Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Evgeny Grachev of the Brampton Battalion is the recipient of the Emms Family Award as the OHL’s Rookie of the Year for the 2008-09 season.
Grachev, a 19-year-old from Yaroslavl, Russia, was selected by the Battalion 40th overall in the CHL Import Draft last June. He finished first among OHL rookies in scoring with 40 goals and 40 assists for 80 points in 60 games. He had a plus-minus rating of plus-48 which was fourth best in the league. His 40 goals were the fifth highest total in the OHL and his 80 points had him ranked 13th in the league this season. Grachev also helped Team Russia win a bronze medal at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa. He was selected in the third round, 75th overall, by the New York Rangers at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Grachev was named the Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month for November and January. His best offensive game was when he scored four goals as first star November 16 in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa 67’s. He registered 21 multi-point games with six game-winning goals. On October 11 he began a 10-game point streak and followed that up with an 11-game point streak beginning December 14. He represented Team Russia at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge and was named Game MVP November 20 with a shorthanded goal in the 6-3 loss to Team OHL. He also represented the Battalion and the Eastern Conference at the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic.
The Emms Family Award is presented annually to the top first year player as selected by OHL general managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a player from their own hockey club. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.
Grachev received 47 points in the voting process ahead of Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers with 40 points, and Calvin de Haan of the Oshawa Generals who finished third with 31 points.
Former winners of the Emms Family Award include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie, 1977-78), Joe Thornton (Sault Ste. Marie, 1995-96), Rick Nash (London, 2000-01), and Patrick Kane (London 2006-07). Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires won the award last season. Grachev is just the second Russian born player to win this award following Vitali Yachmenev who won the award during the 1993-94 season with the North Bay Centennials. He is the first member of the Brampton Battalion organization to be honoured with this award.
The Emms Family Award was donated by Leighton "Hap" Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines OHL franchises.
Grachev will be formally presented the Emms Family Award during the 2008-09 OHL Awards Ceremony taking place on Wednesday June 3, 2009, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
The OHL also announced the All-Rookie Teams for the 2008-09 season.
The first team includes Grachev at left wing with Seguin at centre and Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67’s at right wing. The defence includes de Haan with John Carlson of the London Knights. Between the pipes in goal is JP Anderson of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.
2008-09 OHL All-Rookie Teams
Centre – Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers
Left Wing – Evgeny Grachev, Brampton Battalion
Right Wing – Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67’s
Defence – John Carlson, London Knights
Defence – Calvin de Haan, Oshawa Generals
Goaltender – JP Anderson, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
Centre – Ryan Spooner, Peterborough Petes
Left Wing – Darren Archibald, Barrie Colts
Right Wing – Jason Akeson, Kitchener Rangers
Defence – Erik Gudbranson, Kingston Frontenacs
Defence – Ryan O’Connor, Barrie Colts
Goaltender – Scott Stajcer, Owen Sound Attack