Born: July 26, 1979
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Weight: 187 lbs
When a junior hockey player wins one scoring championship, it’s pretty impressive, but when a player wins back-to-back championships, it’s almost unheard of. This season Peter Sarno of the Sarnia Sting became the second player in OHL history, and first since 1970-71, to do so. The last player to win back-to-back scoring titles was Marcel Dionne with St. Catharines (1969-70, 1970-71).
Sarno has had a pretty illustrious OHL career. Sarno was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in the fifth round of the 1996 OHL midget draft. His totals in Tier 2 Junior A with North York were impressive. He scored 39 goals and 96 points in 52 games with North York.
In Sarno’s 3 seasons in the OHL he has looked more like a first round draft pick then a fifth round pick. His playmaking skills make watching him fun. Adding a great scoring touch to his playmaking skills make him a threat every time he comes onto the ice. In his rookie season (1996-97), Sarno won the Emms Family Award as the OHL rookie-of-the-year. His rookie season was very successful as the creative centreman scored 20 goals and 83 points in 66 games. The 63 assists that Sarno picked up were the fifth highest total in the league.
Sarno’s offensive production didn’t slow down in his second season (1997-98). In fact, his point production increased drastically. His point total increased by 38 points. The 121 points that Sarno got, which led the league, was 18 points higher than second place Jeremy Adduono of the Sudbury Wolves. Adduono had 106 points. Sarno also led the OHL in assists with 88 helpers.
This season Sarno’s totals were even higher than his totals from the previous season. He led the OHL in both points and assists again. This year his totals were as follows: 68 GP, 37 G, 93 A, 130 Pts, 49 PIM. Sarno is also very good on the power play. He scored 7 power play goals this season. Moving over to the Sarnia Sting in a draft week deal from the Windsor Spitfires did him a world of good. He may not have won this years scoring title had he not been traded to the Sting. Playing with Peter Cava helped his point total a lot. Getting the chance to play for Sarnia coach Mark Hunter has helped his defensive game. His plus/minus totals have been dramatically altered. When he won his first scoring title with Windsor his plus/minus was a dismal -41. Last season with Sarnia it was a very impressive +32.
The Edmonton Oilers have got themselves a real good prospect in Sarno. They are getting a creative centreman that may crack their lineup in a few years. Sarno was the Oilers sixth round pick (141st overall) in the 1997 NHL draft. Now, after 2 scoring championships, he probably would have been drafted even higher than he was.
Sarno may not be done yet. He still has one season of junior eligibility left. In September, when OHL training camps are in full swing, you may hear stories floating around about Sarno trying to become the first player in OHL history to three-peat as the OHL scoring champion. Now, I’m not trying to start a rumor that Sarno is coming back to Sarnia next season, he could stick with Edmonton or play in their minor league system, but remember, anything is possible.