Windsor, ON – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club held a media conference today to announce the rosters for the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic. The event will showcase 40 of the top players in the OHL with representation from each of the 20 member clubs. The event features a skills competition on Tuesday February 3, 2009, beginning at 7:00 pm with the game taking place Wednesday February 4, 2009, at 7:00 pm at the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre.
The teams will be divided by conference with each of the rosters selected by a management team. The Eastern Conference All-Stars management team consists of Stan Butler, Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach of the Brampton Battalion, and Brian Kilrea, General Manager and Head Coach of the Ottawa 67’s. For the Western Conference All-Stars, Mike Vellucci, General Manager and Head Coach of the Plymouth Whalers, and Mark Hunter, General Manager of the London Knights selected the team.
The host Windsor Spitfires and the London Knights Hockey Club lead the way with five players each on the Western Conference team. The roster includes Taylor Hall of the Spitfires who currently leads the OHL in scoring with 64 points followed closely by John Tavares of the London Knights with 63 points. Ryan Ellis leads all defencemen in scoring with 56 points. For the Eastern Conference, the Belleville Bulls are represented by five players including defenceman P.K Subban and the OHL’s top goalie Mike Murphy. Cody Hodgson (Brampton Battalion), Stefan Della Rovere (Barrie Colts), and Alex Pietrangelo (Niagara IceDogs) join fellow Team Canada World Junior gold medalists Tavares, Ellis, and Subban in the game. Evgeny Grachev (Brampton Battalion) won a bronze medal with Team Russia and Eric Tangradi (Belleville Bulls) and Thomas McCollum (Brampton Battalion) also competed at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships for Team USA. Goaltender Edward Pasquale of the Saginaw Spirit was Player of the Game at the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and headlines the list of 11 players competing at the event who are eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
“Players from the Ontario Hockey League have enjoyed great success on the world stage this season and it will be a great opportunity to celebrate the skills of the top 40 players in the OHL during the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic in Windsor” commented OHL Commissioner David Branch.
Behind the bench for the Eastern Conference All-Stars will be George Burnett of the Belleville Bulls with Steve Spott of the Kitchener Rangers on the Western Conference side. Both coaches faced off against each other during the 2008 OHL Championship Series, won by the Kitchener Rangers in seven games.
The 2008 event took place in Sault Ste. Marie with the Eastern Conference team victorious 8-7 in a shootout. Defenceman Bobby Sanguinetti playing for the Brampton Battalion and current NHL forward Steven Stamkos from the Sarnia Sting were named Players of the Game.
Over the years the game has featured many players that have moved on to be NHL stars including Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, and Patrick Kane.
Subway is the title sponsor of the event with associate sponsors All Weather Windows, Boston Pizza, and CCM/RBK. Rogers Sportsnet will broadcast the game live in Ontario.
For more information please visit the event website at www.ohlallstarclassic.com
The following are the rosters for the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic:
Eastern Conference All-Stars
Thomas McCollum – Brampton Battalion
Mike Murphy – Belleville Bulls
Calvin de Haan – Oshawa Generals
Julian Demers – Ottawa 67’s
Cameron Gaunce – Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
Shawn Lalonde – Belleville Bulls
Alex Pietrangelo – Niagara IceDogs
P.K Subban – Belleville Bulls
Bryan Cameron – Belleville Bulls
Logan Couture – Ottawa 67’s
Corey Cowick – Ottawa 67’s
Stefan Della Rovere – Barrie Colts
Matt Duchene – Brampton Battalion
Evgeny Grachev – Brampton Battalion
Cody Hodgson – Brampton Battalion
Alex Hutchings – Barrie Colts
Zack Kassian – Peterborough Petes
Eric O’Dell – Sudbury Wolves
Eric Tangradi – Belleville Bulls
Ethan Werek – Kingston Frontenacs
Eastern Conference All-Stars Staff – Belleville Bulls
Head Coach – George Burnett
Assistant Coach – Jake Grimes
Trainer – Ryan Bennett
Equipment Manager – Matt Sands
Western Conference All-Stars
Andrew Engelage – Windsor Spitfires
Edward Pasquale – Saginaw Spirit
John Carlson – London Knights
Michael Del Zotto – London Knights
Ryan Ellis – Windsor Spitfires
Mark Katic – Sarnia Sting
Dan Kelly – Kitchener Rangers
Jacob Muzzin – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Chris Chappell – Saginaw Spirit
Justin DiBenedetto – Sarnia Sting
Taylor Hall – Windsor Spitfires
Joey Hishon – Owen Sound Attack
Peter Holland – Guelph Storm
Nazem Kadri – London Knights
Philip McRae – London Knights
Greg Nemisz – Windsor Spitfires
Ryan O’Reilly – Erie Otters
John Tavares – London Knights
Chris Terry – Plymouth Whalers
Scott Timmins – Windsor Spitfires
Western Conference All-Stars Staff - Kitchener Rangers
Head Coach – Steve Spott
Assistant Coach – Troy Smith
Trainer – Dan Lebold
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)