2012 Western Conference Coaches Poll
2012 Western Conference Coaches Poll Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of the Western Conference Coaches Poll for the 2011-12 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. 

 

The London Knights lead the way with representation in 15 of the 20 different categories with a total of eight players listed and five first place selections.  Scott Harrington, a 19-year-old Kingston, ON, native and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect finished first in two categories including Smartest Player and Best Defensive Defenceman as determined by Western Conference coaches.  Fellow Knights Seth Griffith and Michael Houser appeared in three categories each with Griffith winning Most Improved Player, the second Most Dangerous in the Goal Area, and the second Best Shootout Shooter.  Houser was named the Best Goalie in Shootouts, the second Hardest Worker, and third Best Puck Handling Goalie in the Western Conference.

 

The Plymouth Whalers follow the Knights with representation in 11 different categories with a total of eight players recognized including defenceman Beau Schmitz who appeared in three different categories.  The 20-year-old from Howell, Michigan, was named the second Best Defensive Defenceman, the third Most Underrated Player, and the third Best Offensive Defenceman.

 

Other notable winners include Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting who finished first in three different categories including Most Dangerous in the Goal Area and Best Shot, both for the second straight year.  Yakupov also finished first in the Best Stickhandler category.  Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers had two first place selections including Best Skater for the second straight year, and Best Offensive Defenceman after finishing second in that category last season.  He was also listed as the second Best Stickhandler for the second straight year.  Vincent Trocheck of the Saginaw Spirit also claimed two first place votes including Best Playmaker and Best Shootout Shooter, while finishing third in the Best Stickhandler category. 

 

Each team submits one nominee per category and coaches then vote for the top three players for each category within their conference and are not permitted to vote for players on their own team.  Players receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.  

 

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

 

2011-12 Western Conference:

 

Most Underrated Player

1.       Garret Ross, Saginaw Spirit (22)

2.       Franky Palazzese, Kitchener Rangers (15)

3.       Beau Schmitz, Plymouth Whalers (14)


Most Improved Player

1.       Seth Griffith, London Knights (21)

2.       Charles Sarault, Sarnia Sting (20)

3.       Kerby Rychel, Windsor Spitfires (17)

 

Smartest Player

1.       Scott Harrington, London Knights (25)

2.       Nick Cousins, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (16)

3.       Radek Faksa, Kitchener Rangers (12)

 

Hardest Worker

1.       Mike Halmo, Owen Sound Attack (22)

2.       Michael Houser, London Knights (18)

3.       Connor Brown, Erie Otters tied Hunter Garlent, Guelph Storm tied Michael Catenacci, Kitchener Rangers tied Tom Wilson, Plymouth Whalers tied Connor Murphy, Sarnia Sting (8)

 

Best Playmaker

1.       Vincent Trocheck, Saginaw Spirit (26)

2.       Ryan Spooner, Sarnia Sting (19)

3.       Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (16)

 

Most Dangerous in the Goal Area

1.       Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting (38) – finished first in voting in 2010-11

2.       Seth Griffith, London Knights (23)

3.       Josh Shalla, Saginaw Spirit (11) – finished third in voting in 2010-11


Best Skater

1.       Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers (21) – finished first in voting in 2010-11

2.       Alex Aleardi, Plymouth Whalers (19)

3.       Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (15)


Best Shot

1.       Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting (33) – finished first in voting in 2010-11

2.       Josh Shalla, Saginaw Spirit tied Ryan Sproul, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (18)


Hardest Shot

1.       Ryan Sproul, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (36)

2.       Josh Shalla, Saginaw Spirit (14)

3.       Cody Sol, Kitchener Rangers tied Jared Knight, London Knights (9)

 

Best Stickhandler

1.       Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting (35)

2.       Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers (17) – finished tied for second in voting in 2010-11

3.       Vincent Trocheck, Saginaw Spirit (14)

 

Best on Face-Offs

1.       Mitchell Heard, Plymouth Whalers (22) – finished tied for third in voting in 2010-11

2.       Daniel Catenacci, Owen Sound Attack (16)

3.       Andrew Crescenzi, Kitchener Rangers (15)

 

Best Body Checker

1.       Tom Wilson, Plymouth Whalers (31)

2.       Jarred Tinordi, London Knights (21)

3.       Mike Halmo, Owen Sound Attack (16) – finished third in votes in 2010-11 and second in 2009-10

 

Best Shot Blocker

1.       Jamie Devane, Plymouth Whalers (24)

2.       Austin Watson, London Knights (22)

3.       Cody McNaughton, Guelph Storm (19)

 

Best Defensive Forward

1.       Rickard Rakell, Plymouth Whalers (24)

2.       Cameron Brace, Owen Sound Attack (19)

3.       Ryan Rupert, London Knights (13)


Best Penalty Killer

1.       Austin Watson, London Knights (17)

2.       Tobias Rieder, Kitchener Rangers (16)

3.       Cameron Brace, Owen Sound Attack (15)


Best Offensive Defenceman

1.       Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers (43) – finished second in voting in 2010-11

2.       Ryan Sproul, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (19)

3.       Beau Schmitz, Plymouth Whalers (13)


Best Defensive Defenceman

1.       Scott Harrington, London Knights (38)

2.       Beau Schmitz, Plymouth Whalers (11)

3.       Cody Sol, Kitchener Rangers tied Keevin Cutting, Owen Sound Attack (9)

 

Best Puck Handling Goalie

1.       Jack Campbell, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (27)

2.       JP Anderson, Sarnia Sting (21)

3.       Michael Houser, London Knights (16)

 

Best Shootout Shooter

1.       Vincent Trocheck, Saginaw Spirit (26)

2.       Seth Griffith, London Knights (23)

3.       Stefan Noesen, Plymouth Whalers (12)

 

Best Shootout Goalie

1.       Michael Houser, London Knights (34)

2.       John Gibson, Kitchener Rangers (22)

3.       Matt Mahalak, Plymouth Whalers (8)

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