Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for March, 2014, including forward Andre Burakovsky of the Erie Otters, defenceman Nick Ebert of the Guelph Storm, rookie Dylan Strome of the Otters, and Storm goaltender Justin Nichols.
OHL Player of the Month – Andre Burakovsky (Erie Otters):
Andre Burakovsky is the OHL’s Player of the Month for March becoming the fourth different Erie Otters’ forward to earn the award this season following teammates Connor Brown, Dane Fox, and Connor McDavid. The Washington Capitals prospect averaged two points per game last month with 24 points in 12 games including a league-high 14 goals to go along with 10 assists while also recording a league-high plus-minus rating of plus-22. He produced a seven-game point streak including five multi-point games to finish the regular season highlighted by a five-point performance in their final game on March 15 matching a career-high with two goals and three assists as second star of an 8-4 win over the Sarnia Sting. His offensive contributions helped lead the Otters to their best record in franchise history including 52 wins and 106 points, while his seven points including six goals in five playoff games against the Saginaw Spirit helped the Otters advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
Burakovsky, a 19-year-old from Malmo, Sweden, is playing in his first career OHL season with the Otters. Selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft, the 23rd overall pick tied for 14th in OHL scoring this season with 87 points in 57 games scoring 41 goals and 46 assists.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Nick Ebert (Guelph Storm):
Nick Ebert is the OHL’s Defenceman of the Month for March with 13 points in 10 games including seven goals and six assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-14. The Los Angeles Kings prospect becomes the second member of the Storm to earn the award this season following Matt Finn in October. Last month he set a personal best with his first career four-point game on March 14 with two goals and two assists as second star of a 13-1 win over the Sarnia Sting giving the Storm their 52nd win of the season establishing a franchise record. Ebert also helped the Storm advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals following a five-game series win over the Plymouth Whalers with four goals and one assist including a two-goal performance in Game 5 on March 28 as third star of the 8-3 win.
Ebert, a 19-year-old from Livingston, New Jersey, is playing in his fourth OHL season and first with the Storm after being acquired from the Windsor Spitfires midway through this season. Ebert was selected by the Kings in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Draft and finished the regular season tied for sixth in scoring among defencemen with 53 points in 65 games.
OHL Rookie of the Month – Dylan Strome (Erie Otters):
Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters is the OHL Rookie of the Month for March after leading all rookies in scoring with 15 points in 12 games including two goals and 13 assists while posting an impressive plus-minus rating of plus-17. Last month the former GTHL Player of the Year set a pair of personal bests including his first career three-point game with three helpers March 5 in an 11-2 win over the Plymouth Whalers followed by his first two-goal game March 7 as second star of a 6-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires. Strome also finished the first round of OHL Playoffs second in rookie scoring with five assists in five games against the Saginaw Spirit helping the Otters advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
Strome, a 17-year-old from Mississauga, ON, was selected second overall by the Otters in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection. The Toronto Marlboros grad finished the regular season sixth in rookie scoring with 10 goals and 29 assists for 39 points in 60 games played.
Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Justin Nichols (Guelph Storm):
Justin Nichols earns his second Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month honour this season after backstopping the Storm to their first Hamilton Spectator Trophy as regular season champions since 1998 and the club’s first Midwest Division title since 1999. He posted a 7-2-0-0 record including two shutout victories with a goals-against-average of 2.13 and a save percentage of .930 in 10 games last month appearing in five regular season contests and five first round playoff games. In the playoffs, Nichols helped the Storm defeat the Plymouth Whalers in the Western Conference Quarter-Finals where he posted the league’s best goaltending figures including a league-low goals-against-average of 1.81 and league-high save percentage of .941. During that series he earned his first career playoff shutout in Game 2 on March 22 stopping all 30 shots he faced as first star of the 3-0 victory.
Nichols, an 18-year-old from St. Catharines, ON, is playing in his second OHL season and first with the Storm. During the regular season Nichols led the league in wins with a record of 35-7-1-0 posting four shutout victories along with a goals-against-average of 2.85 and save percentage of .918.
Top OHL Performers of the Month:
Player of the Month:
March – Andre Burakovsky (Erie Otters)
February – Robby Fabbri (Guelph Storm)
January – Connor Brown (Erie Otters)
December – Max Domi (London Knights)
November – Dane Fox (Erie Otters)
October – Connor McDavid (Erie Otters)
Defenceman of the Month:
March – Nick Ebert (Guelph Storm)
February – Nikita Zadorov (London Knights)
January – Adam Pelech (Erie Otters)
December – Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia Sting)
October – Matt Finn (Guelph Storm)
Rookie of the Month:
March – Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
February – Travis Konecny (Ottawa 67’s)
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:
March – Justin Nichols (Guelph Storm)
February – Ken Appleby (Oshawa Generals)
January – Justin Nichols (Guelph Storm)
December – Franky Palazzese (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Devin Williams (Erie Otters)
October – Oscar Dansk (Erie Otters)