Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for January, 2014, including forward Connor Brown of the Erie Otters, defenceman Adam Pelech of the Otters, rookie Travis Konecny of the Ottawa 67’s, and goaltender Justin Nichols of the Guelph Storm.
OHL Player of the Month – Connor Brown (Erie Otters):
Connor Brown of the Erie Otters is the OHL’s Player of the Month for January after leading the league in scoring with 29 points in 12 games with a league-high 13 goals along with 16 assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-8. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect becomes the third Otters’ forward to claim the award this season following Connor McDavid in October, and Dane Fox in November. Brown recorded a point in 10 of his 12 games played including eight multi-point performances and became the first player in the OHL to reach the 100-point mark this season. He produced a career-high six points on January 12 with two goals and four assists as second star of a 9-0 win over the Windsor Spitfires, and also recorded two hat-tricks as part of two four-point games last month including January 17 as first star of a 6-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs, and January 26 as first star of a 5-4 win over the Oshawa Generals.
Brown, a 20-year-old from Etobicoke, ON, is playing in his third OHL season with the Otters. Erie’s captain has been signed to an entry-level contract by the Maple Leafs after being selected in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. The OHL’s Top Scorer so far this season, Brown has 37 goals and 66 assists for 103 points in 51 games and now holds the Otters’ record for points in a single season surpassing Cory Pecker’s franchise mark of 99 points recorded in 56 games played in 2001-02.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Adam Pelech (Erie Otters):
Adam Pelech of the Erie Otters is the OHL’s Defenceman of the Month for January after leading all blueliners in scoring with 17 points, all of them assists, in 10 games played while recording the league’s fourth highest plus-minus rating at plus-13. The New York Islanders prospect returned from representing Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship and helped the Otters earn eight victories in their final 10 games played last month to maintain the league’s second best record. Pelech recorded seven multi-point games in January including a career-high four assists on January 12 as part of a 9-0 win over the Windsor Spitfires.
Pelech, a 19-year-old from Toronto, ON, is playing in his fourth OHL season with the Otters. He was selected by the Islanders in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft after earning OHL Scholastic Player of the Year and Top High School Student Awards that season. Currently tied for third in scoring among defencemen, Pelech has already achieved a career-high with 41 points in 43 games played this season.
OHL Rookie of the Month – Travis Konecny (Ottawa 67’s):
Travis Konecny of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after leading all rookies in scoring with 15 points in 10 games including five goals and 10 assists and claims the award for the third time this season following back-to-back honours in October and November. Ontario’s captain at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Konecny returned from Cape Breton, NS, and tallied a point in eight of his 10 January games including four multi-point performances. His month was highlighted by a career-high four-point performance in his first game back from Team Ontario on January 9 scoring two goals and two assists as first star of an 8-3 win over the Windsor Spitfires.
Konecny, a 16-year-old from Clachan, ON, currently holds a 10-point lead in the rookie scoring race with 51 points in 45 games including 16 goals and 35 assists. The graduate of the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs earned ALLIANCE Player of the Year honours last season before becoming the first 67’s player to be selected first overall since Alyn McCauley in 1993.
Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Justin Nichols (Guelph Storm):
Justin Nichols of the Guelph Storm is the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for January after posting a league-high nine wins in 10 starts including two shutout victories while earning league-best figures in both goals-against-average and save percentage with marks of 1.70 and .948 respectively. Nichols helped backstop the Storm to first place in the OHL standings and also became the fifth goaltender this season to earn OHL Player of the Week honours during the month of January. He collected first star honours twice last month in addition to his shutout performances on January 12 where he was named second star of a 5-0 win over the Kitchener Rangers with 29 saves, and on January 18 where he earned third star honours following a 1-0 win over the Erie Otters where he stopped all 25 shots he faced.
Nichols, an 18-year-old from St. Catharines, ON, is playing in his second OHL season and first with the Storm. He currently leads the OHL in wins and carries a record of 28-5-1-0 along with three shutout victories and ranks tied for fifth with a goals-against-average of 2.68 and is tied for second in the league with a save percentage of .924.
Top OHL Performers of the Month:
Player of the Month:
January – Connor Brown (Erie Otters)
December – Max Domi (London Knights)
November – Dane Fox (Erie Otters)
October – Connor McDavid (Erie Otters)
Defenceman of the Month:
January – Adam Pelech (Erie Otters)
December – Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia Sting)
October – Matt Finn (Guelph Storm)
Rookie of the Month:
January – Travis Konecny (Ottawa 67’s)
December - Andrew Mangiapane (Barrie Colts)
November – Travis Konecny (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Travis Konecny (Ottawa 67’s)
Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
January – Justin Nichols (Guelph Storm)
December – Franky Palazzese (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Devin Williams (Erie Otters)
October – Oscar Dansk (Erie Otters)