By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘john tavares’
Posted: March 22nd, 2013

My apologies, this didn’t post for some reason yesterday …

Sean Day was happy and relieved to hear the news Thursday. The Ontario Hockey Federation announced that Hockey Canada granted exceptional player status to the 15-year-old defenseman , which allows him to enter the OHL Priority Selection a year early.
He joins former current New York Islanders center John Tavares (Oshawa, 2005), Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2011) and Erie Otters center Connor McDavid (2012) as the only players to receive early entry into the league.
Unlike his predecessors, Day reportedly isn’t guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick in the April 6 draft. Speculation has arisen about the Ottawa 67′s and their choice. Under league rules, the 67′s aren’t required to choose Day with that top pick. Day isn’t required to report to the club that picks him.
However, Day said during Thursday’s conference call that “I’m prepared to go anywhere,” he said. “Part of getting this (status) is to play in the OHL.”
Meanwhile, the Otters hold the No. 2 pick because they finished with the league’s second-worst record (19-40-4-5). Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager, was tight-lipped earlier this week regarding the pick. “We’ve got a pretty good idea,” Bassin said. “We’ll go with the best player.”
The Otters need help on a defense that allowed 312 goals this season, the second-worst total in the league. Day, a 6 foot 2 inch, 197-pound offensive defenseman, had 11 goals and 35 points in 63 games with Detroit-area Compuware’s minor midget club. “If you need me to play good defense, I can play that,” Day, a Belgian-born Canadian citizen who lives in Rochester, Mich., said during a conference call. “If you need a fourth forward, I can jump into the play.” Yet forwards such as Travis Konecny (Elgin Middlesex Chiefs) and Dylan Strome (Toronto Marlboros) are highly regarded. Earlier this week, Bassin said he needed the right complementary players to play alongside skilled performers like McDavid.
Keith Day, Sean’s father, said there has been no contact yet with officials from the 67′s or Otters.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 2nd, 2012

London, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that goaltender Michael Houser of the London Knights is the 2011-12 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the league.

Houser played an incredible 62 games between the pipes for the first place Knights backstopping the club to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season team. Also named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year, Houser posted a record of 46-15-0-1 tying the OHL single season record for most wins by a goaltender set by Andrew Engelage of the OHL Champion Windsor Spitfires in 2009.

“It’s a huge honour,” said Houser. “There are a lot of great players in the league, especially this year, and it is nice to be recognized. It’s an award that I couldn’t have won without the teammates in front of me. They play hard every night and they make my job a lot easier. A lot of thanks go out to them.”

Houser is just the fifth goaltender to receive the prestigious Red Tilson Trophy following Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 2000), Bill Harrington (Kitchener 1952), Glenn Hall (Windsor 1951), and Gil Mayer (Barrie 1949). He is also the fifth member of the Knights to win the award following Corey Perry in 2005, Jason Allison in 1994, Dave Simpson in 1982, and Dennis Maruk in 1975. The 19-year-old native of Wexford, PA, is also just the third American-born player to win the award following David Legwand (Plymouth 1998), and Pat Peake (Detroit 1993).

“We’re honoured to have had Michael on our team once again this season,” said Knights General Manager and Head Coach Mark Hunter. “He’s a leader both on and off the ice and is definitely one of our hardest workers setting an example for the rest of the team. Houser is one of the biggest reasons we finished first overall and have made it all the way to the Rogers OHL Championship Series and we’re pleased to see him receive the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year.”

Undrafted into the OHL, Houser joined the Knights prior to the 2009-10 season and has already played in 141 regular season contests. His 62 games played led all OHL goaltenders this season while his 1862 saves was also the league’s top mark. He finished second with six shutout victories while his goals-against-average of 2.47 was third-best in the league, and his save percentage of .925 ranked fourth overall.

In this year’s Western Conference Coaches Poll, he appeared in three categories and was considered the Best Shootout Goalie, the second Hardest Worker, and the third Best Puckhandling goalie. This season Houser stopped at least 30 shots in 36 different games including six games with 40 or more saves.

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League. Accredited media were asked to select their top three choices from the 20 nominees representing all 20 member clubs. Players received five points for a first place selection, three points for second place and one point for a third place selection.

In the 80 ballots collected, Houser received 182 points in the voting process and was listed as the number one selection on 30 of the submitted ballots. OHL Top Scorer Michael Sgarbossa of the Sudbury Wolves finished in second place with 164 voting points, ahead of Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67’s who received 106 voting points, and Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs who received 104 voting points.

The trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Other winners of the Red Tilson Trophy include Frank Mahovlich (Toronto 1957), Mike Foligno (Sudbury, 1979), Doug Gilmour (Cornwall 1983), Eric Lindros (Oshawa 1991), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1999), Brad Boyes (Erie 2001 & 2002), Corey Locke (Ottawa 2003 & 2004), John Tavares (Oshawa 2007), Cody Hodgson (Brampton 2009), Tyler Seguin (Plymouth 2010), and Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2011).

Houser will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year Award presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony during the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Shawinigan.

- From OHL news release

Posted: March 31st, 2011

The Ontario Hockey Federation announced on Thursday the results of the review by Hockey Canada in consideration of the application by Aaron Ekblad, determining that the player is to be granted “exceptional player” status and therefore is eligible for the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection on May 7.

The process was administered by Hockey Canada with a Special Evaluation Panel assembled to evaluate Ekblad’s hockey and academic documentation and assess his level of maturity in reaching their decision.

“The process established for the exceptional player is an extensive evaluation of the player in all aspects of life,” said OHF Executive Director Phillip McKee.  “Aaron should be very proud, just as the OHF is of him, for achieving the exceptional player status.”

Born Feb. 7, 1996, the 15-year-old Ekblad is a 6’03, 200 pound defenceman.  This season he played for the Sun County Panthers Minor Midget AAA program recording 34 points in 30 regular season games before producing 21 points in 18 playoff games.  Last season at 14-years-old, he was named a First-Team All-Star at the 2010 All Ontario Bantam AAA Championships after leading Sun County to an ALLIANCE Championship title.

Ekblad becomes the first player since John Tavares in May, 2005, to be granted “exceptional player” status.  Tavares was later selected first overall by the Oshawa Generals in the 2005 OHL Priority Selection and played four OHL seasons recording 433 points in 247 career games before being selected with the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders.

Ekblad is also one of 60 skaters that will participate in the 2011 OHL Development Combine powered by Under Armour this weekend at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

- From OHL news release

Posted: June 23rd, 2010

LAS VEGAS (June 23) — The National Hockey League today announced
the 2009-10 NHL All-Rookie Team, including four players who began the
season as teenagers entering their first professional season: 19-year-old
defenseman Michael Del Zotto of the New York Rangers, 19-year-old center
Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, 20-year-old defenseman Tyler Myers
of the Buffalo Sabres and 19-year-old center John Tavares of the New York

Also named to the All-Rookie Team are Atlanta Thrashers right wing Niclas
, 23, and Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, 26. Voting
was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end
of the regular season.

Following is a summary of each NHL All-Rookie Team member’s outstanding


Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

Howard seized the Detroit starting job in 2009-10 following a
four-year apprenticeship at AHL Grand Rapids. The Syracuse, N.Y., native
started 25 consecutive games from Jan. 29 to Apr. 4, the longest streak by
a Red Wings goaltender since Tim Cheveldae (29) in 1991-92 and tops by a
Detroit rookie since Connie Dion (26) in 1943-44. He posted a 37-15-10
record, 2.26 goals-against average and .924 save percentage, including a
15-0-2 run during his final 17 starts that clinched the Red Wings a
playoff berth for the 19th consecutive season.

DEFENSEMEN (in alphabetical order)

Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers

Del Zotto became the youngest defenseman to suit up for the
Rangers since 18-year-old Dave Maloney in December, 1974, and immediately
gave the club an additional scoring threat on the blueline, capturing NHL
Rookie of the Month honors for October with 12 points (four goals, eight
assists) in 14 games. He finished the season as the scoring leader among
Rangers defensemen with 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists), led all
rookies in power-play assists (18) and ranked second in power-play points

Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres

Myers not only won an NHL roster spot as a 19-year-old, he posted
statistics befitting an established veteran. The 6’8″, 222-lb. defenseman
led the Sabres in ice time per game (23:44), three minutes more than
blueline partner Henrik Tallinder who ranked second. He shared second
place on the club in plus-minus (+13) and was fifth in scoring
(11-37–48). Myers ranked at or near the top in several rookie categories,
including average ice time (first), shorthanded time (first, 3:04),
assists (first), blocked shots (first, 137), plus-minus (T-second) and
points (third). He also was one of four rookies to play all 82 games.

FORWARDS (in alphabetical order)

Niclas Bergfors, Atlanta Thrashers

Bergfors began 2009-10 as one of the New Jersey Devils’ top
prospects; the 23-year-old Sodertalje, Sweden native was the club’s
first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2005 Entry Draft and had spent four
years with the Devils’ AHL affiliate. He began his first full NHL season
with 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 54 games before moving to Atlanta
in a trade that sent Thrashers captain Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey.
Bergfors continued to produce for his new club, tallying 17 points (eight
goals, nine assists) in 27 games down the stretch. He finished fourth
among all rookies in goals and points with 21-23–44 in 81 games.

Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche

Selected third overall in the 2009 Entry Draft, Duchene earned a
place on the Avalanche roster out of training camp as an 18-year-old. He
went on to lead all NHL rookies in scoring with 55 points (24 goals, 31
assists) in 81 games, shared the rookie goal-scoring lead with the New
York Islanders
John Tavares and ranked second among rookies in assists.
The Haliburton, Ontario, native placed second on the Avalanche in goals
and led the club in power-play goals (10) and multi-goal games (six).
Duchene’s 55 points were the second-highest total by a rookie in Avalanche
history behind Paul Stastny‘s 78 in 2006-07.

John Tavares, New York Islanders

Tavares, selected first overall in the 2009 Entry Draft, was one
of just three Islanders to play in all 82 games and led his club in
scoring with 54 points (24 goals, 30 assists). The Mississauga, Ontario,
native led all NHL rookies in power-play goals (11) and power-play points
(25), tied Colorado center Matt Duchene for the rookie goals lead, ranked
second among first-year players in points and was third in assists. His
five-point effort (two goals, three assists) in a 5-2 win at Vancouver on
March 16 tied a franchise rookie record and was the highest single-game
total by a rookie this season.

- From NHL news release

Posted in: AHL, NHL, Uncategorized