Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the OHL Performers of the Month for January, 2009.
All Weather Windows OHL Player of the Month – John Tavares, London Knights
John Tavares scored a league-high 15 goals with nine assists for 24 points in 10 January games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. He recorded points in eight games with seven multi-point games and was named first star of the game five times. The first of which came in his debut with the Knights January 11 where he scored two goals, including his league-leading sixth shorthanded goal, and one assist in the 7-3 win over the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. He scored two hat-tricks including January 16 in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Guelph Storm and January 27 as part of a six-point night with four goals and two assists in a 9-0 win over the Kitchener Rangers.
Tavares, an 18-year-old from Oakville, ON is in his fourth OHL season and currently leads the league in scoring with 41 goals and 37 assists for 78 points in 43 games. He is eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and is the top-ranked North American Skater as determined by NHL Central Scouting. Tavares competed at the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for Team Orr.
Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month – Evgeny Grachev
Evgeny Grachev scored eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 11 January games with a plus-minus rating of plus-16. He recorded points in 10 consecutive games including five multi-point games. The Battalion went 10-3 in January and currently enjoying a 12 game winning streak that began January 11 when Grachev scored the overtime winner to beat the Barrie Colts 2-1 as third star of the game. Grachev was named first star of the game three times, second star once, and was twice named third star of the game. His first star outings were all three-point games including his two goals and one assist performance January 18 in a 7-2 win over the Sarnia Sting.
Grachev, an 18-year-old from Yaroslavl, Russia is in his rookie season with the Battalion. He currently leads all rookies in scoring with 29 goals and 28 assists for 57 points in 44 games. His 57 points are also 20th overall in OHL scoring. He was selected in the third round, 75th overall by the New York Rangers at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – John Carlson, London Knights
John Carlson led all OHL defencemen in January scoring with four goals and 16 assists for 20 points in 14 games with a plus-minus rating of plus-10. He scored points in nine games including a five-game scoring streak to end the month. Seven of his games were multi-point games where he registered two points each time. He scored two goals on January 9 as third star of the game to lead the Knights to a 6-1 win over the Oshawa Generals. He was also named third star of the game with one goal and one assist January 25 in a 6-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves.
Carlson, an 18-year-old from Colonia, New Jersey, is in his first OHL season and is currently ranked third in scoring amongst defencemen with 13 goals and 41 assists for 54 points in 46 games. His 54 points also have him ranked second in rookie scoring. Carlson was drafted in the first round, 27th overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
OHL Goaltender of the Month – Thomas McCollum, Brampton Battalion
Thomas McCollum backstopped the Battalion to eight wins in January with a league-best goals-against-average of 1.86 with a save percentage of .931. He also recorded a league-high three shutouts that he registered in three of his last four January games. Since joining the Battalion he has won nine straight games. He was twice named first star of the game including his January 22 start where he made 23 saves to shutout the Saginaw Spirit 3-0. He was also named second star of the game two different times. He was named the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week and the ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending January 25.
McCollum, a 19-year-old from Sanborn, New York, is in his third OHL season. He currently has the second best goals-against-average and save percentages in the league with marks of 2.09 and .929 respectively. He leads the OHL in shutouts with six. McCollum was drafted in the first round, 30th overall by the Detroit Red Wings at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
2008-09 OHL Performers of the Month:
All Weather Windows OHL Player of the Month
January – John Tavares, London Knights
December – Chris Terry, Plymouth Whalers
November – Cody Hodgson, Brampton Battalion
October – Justin DiBenedetto, Sarnia Sting
Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month
January – Evgeny Grachev, Brampton Battalion
December – John Carlson, London Knights
November – Evgeny Grachev, Brampton Battalion
October – John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves
OHL Defenceman of the Month
January – John Carlson, London Knights
December – Cameron Gaunce. Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
November – T.J. Brodie, Saginaw Spirit
October – Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires