Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the top OHL Performers of the Month for October, 2011, including Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov and goaltender Brandon Maxwell, defenceman Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs, and rookie Artur Gavrus of the Owen Sound Attack.
OHL Player of the Month – Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting
Nail Yakupov led the league in scoring with 29 points in 13 games for the Sarnia Sting producing 11 goals and a league-high 18 assists. He recorded a point in 12 of his 13 games with an impressive nine multi-point games along with the league’s second highest plus-minus rating of plus-13. He claimed OHL and CHL Player of the Week honours for the week ending October 16 where he matched a career-high with four assists October 14 as third star of a 7-2 win over the Saginaw Spirit. Yakupov was recognized as a star of the game seven times in October with four first-star performances including a stretch of three straight games from October 22-29 where he scored seven points in three games. He was also named first star of a 7-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves with two goals and two assists to open the month on October 1.
Yakupov, an 18-year-old Russian native of Nizhnekamsk, is playing in his second OHL season with the Sting and was named the OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year last season. The 2012 NHL Entry Draft prospect currently leads the OHL in scoring with 34 points in 16 games with 12 goals and a league-high 22 assists. Yakupov will also compete for Team Russia in the 2011 SUBWAY Super Series on November 10 in Ottawa, ON.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs
Dougie Hamilton led all OHL defencemen in scoring with 20 points in 12 games including seven goals and 13 assists for the Niagara IceDogs in October. He put together a career-high nine game point streak that began on October 6 and included seven multi-point games including one contest on October 8 where he matched a career-high with four assists despite an 8-6 loss to the Barrie Colts. His point streak ended with a first star performance on October 26 with a goal and two assists as part of a 6-4 win over the Erie Otters.
Hamilton, an 18-year-old from Toronto, ON, is playing in his third OHL season with the IceDogs. Last season Hamilton finished third in voting for the OHL Defenceman of the Year Award but claimed both OHL and CHL Scholastic Player of the Year honours. Selected ninth overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Hamilton has 23 points in 14 games this season and will compete for Team OHL in the 2011 SUBWAY Super Series November 10 in Ottawa, ON, and November 14 in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month – Artur Gavrus, Owen Sound Attack
Artur Gavrus led all OHL rookies in scoring with 13 points in 11 October games for the Owen Sound Attack scoring eight goals and five assists. He recorded three multi-point games including his first career hat-trick on October 10 in a 6-3 win over the Saginaw Spirit where he was named first star of the game. Gavrus finished October with a six-game point streak.
Gavrus, a 17-year-old from Belarus was selected by the Attack in the first round of the 2011 CHL Import Draft 55th overall. The 2012 NHL Entry Draft prospect has eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 16 games so far this season.
Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Brandon Maxwell, Sarnia Sting
Brandon Maxwell led the league with nine October wins posting an overall record of 9-1-0-1 helping the Sarnia Sting climb to first place in the OHL’s West Division. His goals-against-average of 2.11 and save percentage of .929 were both among the best in the league in October while playing a league-high 626 minutes. Maxwell also posted one shutout victory which came on October 21 against his old team the Kitchener Rangers where he made 25 saves and was named first star of the 3-0 win. He stopped a season-high 39 shots to close out the month on October 29 where he was named second star despite a 3-2 shootout loss to the London Knights.
Maxwell, a 20-year-old from Cambridge, ON, is playing in his third OHL season and first with the Sting. Selected in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche, Maxwell currently holds the lowest goals-against-average in the OHL with a mark of 2.09.