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2021-22 OHL Coaches Poll Winners

Ontario Hockey League

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches Polls for the 2021-22 OHL Regular Season.

The OHL Coaches Poll provides member club coaches with the opportunity to recognize the top three players in 20 different skill categories within their own conference.

In the Eastern Conference, the Mississauga Steelheads featured six different players in the final results, with four first place finishes in captain Ethan Del Mastro (Best Penalty Killer, Best Defensive Defenceman), Owen Beck (Best on Faceoffs) and Luca Del Bel Belluz (Most Improved). The Regular Season champion Hamilton Bulldogs led the entire League with nine players included in the top three of their respective categories, including a total of seven different first place finishes. The Dogs were led by Anaheim Ducks prospect Mason McTavish who placed first in three different categories (Most Dangerous in the Goal Area, Best Shot and Hardest Shot). Teammates Logan Morrison (Best Playmaker), Arber Xhekaj (Best Body Checker), Colton Kammerer (Best Shot Blocker) and Ryan Humphrey (Most Underrated) also earned first place finishes. The Central Division champion North Bay Battalion also had six players listed, with captain Liam Arnsby (Hardest Worker) earning a first place finish while appearing in four different categories. Kingston Frontenacs forwards Shane Wright (Tied – Smartest Player) and Jordan Frasca (Best Defensive Forward) both made first place appearances while being included in other categories as well. Other Eastern Conference notables include San Jose Sharks prospect Danil Gushchin of the Niagara IceDogs who earned a pair of first place finishes (Best Stickhandler, Best Shootout Shooter) and was listed in four different categories. On the back end, Los Angeles Kings prospect Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts finished first in two categories (Tied – Smartest Player, Best Offensive Defenceman) and placed third in another (Best Stickhandler).

In the Western Conference, the West Division champion Windsor Spitfires led the way with six players listed, with Dallas Stars prospect and OHL scoring leader Wyatt Johnston pulling in the League’s best individual performance. Johnston was listed in six different categories, placing first in four (Smartest Player, Best Playmaker, Best Skater, Best Stickhandler) while teammate Louka Henault (Best Offensive Defenceman) gave the Spits another first place outcome. New York Rangers prospect and 50-goal scorer Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds received three different first place nods of approval (Most Dangerous in Goal Area, Best Shot, Hardest Shot). The Kitchener Rangers followed Windsor with five players in the final results while the Guelph Storm, London Knights and Sarnia Sting had four each. Knights captain and OHL goal-scoring leader Luke Evangelista is found in four different categories, coming out as the Western Conference’s Best Shootout Shooter while teammate Brett Brochu was the lone goaltender to place first in two different categories (Best Puck-Handling Goaltender, Best Shootout Goaltender). Sarnia’s Nolan Burke was voted the Conference’s Most Improved Player. Other Western Conference notables include Owen Sound Attack captain Mark Woolley who logged two first place finishes (Best Body Checker, Best Shot Blocker) while Soo Greyhounds teammates Rory Kerins (Best on Face-offs), Tye Kartye (Hardest Worker) and Ryan O’Rourke (Best Defensive Defenceman) both came out on top of one of multiple categories they were listed in. Erie Otters defenceman Christian Kyrou also had a strong showing, being voted the Conference’s Most Underrated Player while landing in two other categories as well.

The Coaches Poll is tabulated when each team submits one nominee per category, and coaches then vote for the top three players for each category within their conference.  Players receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.  Clubs are not permitted to vote for players from their own team allowing for a maximum of 45 possible points for each winner.

All 20 categories are listed below with Eastern Conference and Western Conference winners including their final point totals in brackets.

Most Underrated Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Ryan Humphrey, Hamilton Bulldogs (27)
2. Mitchell Russell, North Bay Battalion (20)
3. Kasper Larsen, Mississauga Steelheads (11)

Western Conference:
1. Christian Kyrou, Erie Otters (29)
2. Zacharie Giroux, Flint Firebirds (16)
3. Luka Profaca, Guelph Storm (15)

Most Improved Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Luca Del Bel Belluz, Mississauga Steelheads (43)

2. Kyle Jackson, North Bay Battalion (22)
3. Nick DeGrazia, Sudbury Wolves (8)

Western Conference:
1. Nolan Burke, Sarnia Sting (31)
2. Matthew Maggio, Windsor Spitfires (29)
3. Christian Kyrou, Erie Otters (7)

Smartest Player:

Eastern Conference:
T-1. Brandt Clarke, Barrie Colts (24)
T-1. Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (24) – finished second in 2019-20
2. Logan Morrison, Hamilton Bulldogs (18)
3. Tucker Robertson, Peterborough Petes (11)

Western Conference:
1. Wyatt Johnston, Windsor Spitfires (31)
2. Luke Evangelista, London Knights (27)
3. Rory Kerins, Soo Greyhounds (26)

Hardest Worker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Liam Arnsby, North Bay Battalion (23)
2. Jordan Frasca, Kingston Frontenacs (20)
3. Declan McDonnell, Barrie Colts (16)

Western Conference:
1. Tye Kartye, Soo Greyhounds (21)
2. Mike Petizian, Kitchener Rangers (15)
T-3. Camaryn Baber, London Knights (13)
T-3. Stepan Machacek, Owen Sound Attack (13)
T-3. Matthew Maggio, Windsor Spitfires (13)

Best Playmaker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Logan Morrison, Hamilton Bulldogs (29)
2. Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (21)
3. Brandon Coe, North Bay Battalion (18)

Western Conference:
1. Wyatt Johnston, Windsor Spitfires (37)
2. Rory Kerins, Soo Greyhounds (20)
3. Luke Evangelista, London Knights (16)

Most Dangerous In Goal Area:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mason McTavish, Hamilton Bulldogs (26)
2. Danil Gushchin, Niagara IceDogs (22)
3. James Hardie, Mississauga Steelheads (20)

Western Conference:
1. Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds (29)
2. Luke Evangelista, London Knights (25)
3. Wyatt Johnston, Windsor Spitfires (22)

Best Skater:

Eastern Conference:
1. J.R. Avon, Peterborough Petes (21)
2. Nathan Staios, Hamilton Bulldogs (20)
3. Brandon Coe, North Bay Battalion (19)

Western Conference:
1. Wyatt Johnston, Windsor Spitfires (18)
2. Antonio Stranges, London Knights (17)
3. Robert Calisti, Soo Greyhounds (12)

Best Shot:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mason McTavish, Hamilton Bulldogs (37)
2. James Hardie, Mississauga Steelheads (15)
T-3. Danil Gushchin, Niagara IceDogs (11)
T-3. Ty Tullio, Oshawa Generals (11)

Western Conference:
1. Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds (38)
2. Will Cuylle, Windsor Spitfires (23)
3. Colby Barlow, Owen Sound Attack (11)

Hardest Shot:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mason McTavish, Hamilton Bulldogs (35)
2. Kasper Larsen, Mississauga Steelheads (14)
3. Martin Chromiak, Kingston Frontenacs (12)

Western Conference:
1. Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds (31)
2. Will Cuylle, Windsor Spitfires (30)
3. Colby Barlow, Owen Sound Attack (10)

Best Stickhandler:

Eastern Conference:
1. Danil Gushchin, Niagara IceDogs (26)
2. Lucas Edmonds, Kingston Frontenacs (23)
3. Brandt Clarke, Barrie Colts (15)

Western Conference:
1. Wyatt Johnston, Windsor Spitfires (36)
2. Ty Voit, Sarnia Sting (19)
3. Antonio Stranges, London Knights (15)

Best on Face-Offs:

Eastern Conference:
1. Owen Beck, Mississauga Steelheads (28)

2. Jan Mysak, Hamilton Bulldogs (17)
3. Jordan Frasca, Kingston Frontenacs (15)

Western Conference:
1. Rory Kerins, Soo Greyhounds (29)
2. Danny Zhilkin, Guelph Storm (15)
3. Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers (9)

Best Body Checker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Arber Xhekaj, Hamilton Bulldogs (21)
2. Artem Guryev, Peterborough Petes (17)
3. Liam Arnsby, North Bay Battalion (14)

Western Conference:
1. Mark Woolley, Owen Sound Attack (33) – finished third in 2019-20
T-2. Navrin Mutter, Kitchener Rangers (19) – finished first in 2019-20 and second in 2018-19
T-2. Luka Profaca, Guelph Storm (19)
3. Cameron Morton, Erie Otters (7)

Best Shot Blocker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Colton Kammerer, Hamilton Bulldogs (34)
2. Evan Brand, Mississauga Steelheads (17)
3. Jack Matier, Ottawa 67’s (11)

Western Conference:
1. Mark Woolley, Owen Sound Attack (26)
2. Ashton Reesor, Guelph Storm (17)
3. Ryan O’Rourke, Soo Greyhounds (12)

Best Defensive Forward:

Eastern Conference:
1. Jordan Frasca, Kingston Frontenacs (30)
2. Liam Arnsby, North Bay Battalion (21)
3. Ryan Gagnier, Oshawa Generals (12)

Western Conference:
1. Camaryn Baber, London Knights (24)
2. Cooper Walker, Guelph Storm (19)
3. Wyatt Johnston, Windsor Spitfires (13)

Best Penalty Killer:

Eastern Conference:
1. Ethan Del Mastro, Mississauga Steelheads (41)

2. Liam Arnsby, North Bay Battalion (19)
3. Avery Hayes, Hamilton Bulldogs (14)

Western Conference:
1. Josh Bloom, Saginaw Spirit (25)
2. Ryan O’Rourke, Soo Greyhounds (17)
3. Reid Valade, Kitchener Rangers (16)
3. Cooper Walker, Guelph Storm (16)

Best Offensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:
1. Brandt Clarke, Barrie Colts (39)
2. Nathan Staios, Hamilton Bulldogs (32)
3. Ty Nelson, North Bay Battalion (8)

Western Conference:
1. Louka Henault, Windsor Spitfires (21)
2. Christian Kyrou, Erie Otters (19)
3. Jack Thompson, Soo Greyhounds (18)

Best Defensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:
1. Ethan Del Mastro, Mississauga Steelheads (35)

2. Arber Xhekaj, Hamilton Bulldogs (33)
3. Artur Cholach, Barrie Colts (6)

Western Conference:
1. Ryan O’Rourke, Soo Greyhounds (27)
2. Luke Profaca, Guelph Storm (19)
3. Andrew Perrott, Windsor Spitfires (12)

Best Puck-Handling Goaltender:

Eastern Conference:
1. Josh Rosenzweig, Niagara IceDogs (25)
2. Marco Costantini, Hamilton Bulldogs (13)
T-3. Will Cranley, Ottawa 67’s (11)
T-3. Mack Guzda, Barrie Colts (11)
T-3. Mitchell Weeks, Sudbury Wolves (11)

Western Conference:
1. Brett Brochu, London Knights (36)
2. Luke Cavallin, Flint Firebirds (30)
3. Anson Thornton, Sarnia Sting (9)

Best Shootout Shooter:

Eastern Conference:
1. Danil Gushchin, Niagara IceDogs (24)
2. Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (19)
3. Ryan Stepien, Oshawa Generals (14)

Western Conference:
1. Luke Evangelista, London Knights (29)
2. Rory Kerins, Soo Greyhounds (14)
3. Daniel D’Amico (Windsor Spitfires (13)

Best Shootout Goaltender:

Eastern Conference:
1. Leevi Merilainen, Kingston Frontenacs (22)
2. Mack Guzda, Barrie Colts (16)
3. Joe Vrbetic, North Bay Battalion (13)

Western Conference:
1. Brett Brochu, London Knights (34)
2. Luke Cavallin, Flint Firebirds (14)
2. Ben Gaudreau, Sarnia Sting (14)
3. Pavel Cajan, Kitchener Rangers (9)

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