Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the OHL Performers of the Month for March, 2009.
All Weather Windows OHL Player of the Month – Cody Hodgson, Brampton Battalion
Cody Hodgson led the OHL in scoring for March with 26 points including 12 goals and 14 assists and was tied with Battalion teammate Evgeny Grachev with the highest plus-minus rating at plus-17 in 11 games. The Battalion won six of their final seven regular season games with Hodgson scoring in all six of their wins including two four-point games. In both of those games he scored two goals and two assists and was first star including March 1 in a 7-0 win over the Peterborough Petes and March 11 in a 7-2 win over the Oshawa Generals. He opened the playoffs with consecutive four-point games including a 5-2 game one win over the Petes March 20 with four assists as second star, and game two March 22 as first star with three goals and one assist in the 5-4 win.
Hodgson, a 19-year-old from Markham, ON, is in his third OHL season with the Battalion. He finished fourth in regular season scoring with 43 goals and 49 assists for 92 points in 53 games. He is currently tied for second in playoff scoring with three goals and eight assists for 11 points in four games. Hodgson was selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, 10th overall to the Vancouver Canucks.
Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month – Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers
Tyler Seguin led all OHL rookies in March scoring with 22 points including six goals and 16 assists for the Whalers with a plus-minus rating of plus-6 in 12 games. He finished the final seven regular season games with four goals and seven assists for 11 points with two three-point games including the final regular season game March 15 against the Sarnia Sting where he had three assists as first star in the 6-1 win. The Whalers faced the Sting in the first round of the playoffs and after losing game one, Plymouth won four straight with Seguin contributing multi-point efforts in each victory. His best games included scoring the game-winning goal with three assists as first star in the 5-1 game three win March 24 and scoring one goal and two assists in the 5-0 game four win as third star on March 26.
Seguin, a 17-year-old from Brampton, ON, ranked third this season in rookie scoring with 21 goals and 46 assists for 67 points in 61 games for the Whalers. He is currently tied for second in playoff scoring with two goals and nine assists for 11 points in five games. Seguin was selected ninth overall at the 2008 OHL Priority Selection.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires
Ryan Ellis led all OHL defencemen in scoring with seven goals and nine assists for 16 points with a plus-minus rating of plus-10 in nine games in March for the Spitfires. He finished the regular season scoring points in four of his final five games highlighted by a four-point game with two goals and two assists in a 9-4 win over the Plymouth Whalers March 6 where he was named second star of the game. He opened the first round of the playoffs with back-to-back first star of the game performances including March 18 in a 7-4 game one win over the Owen Sound Attack with two goals and one assist, and again on March 20 with another two goals and one assist in the 7-5 victory. Ellis added another assist in the series to bring his playoff total to seven points in four games.
Ellis, an 18-year-old from Freelton, ON, is in his second OHL season with the Spitfires. He finished the regular season leading all defencemen in scoring and ranked seventh overall in the league with 22 goals and a league-high 67 assists for 89 points in 57 games. He is eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
OHL Goaltender of the Month – Mike Murphy, Belleville Bulls
Mike Murphy posted the best goals-against-average in the OHL in March with a mark of 1.73 with a save percentage of .942 and a 9-2-0-0 record with one shutout. He led the Bulls to first place in the Eastern Conference finishing the regular season with five straight wins. His shutout came March 11 in a 4-0 win over the Peterborough Petes where he made 38 saves as first star of the game. He followed that up with a 36 save performance March 13 in a 5-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves and March 14 with 35 saves in a 3-2 win over the Barrie Colts. In the first round of the playoffs against the Wolves he opened the series with a first star performance March 18 with 25 saves in the 3-1 win. He was also twice named third star of the game in the six game series.
Murphy, a 20-year-old from Inverary, ON, finished the regular season ranked first in OHL goaltenders in goals-against-average at 2.08 and save percentage at .941. His 40 wins were second best in the league and his five shutouts were tied for third best. A Carolina Hurricanes prospect, Murphy was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)