Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rangers’ Jason Akeson named OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Jason Akeson of the Kitchener Rangers is the 2010-11 recipient of the William Hanley Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player.

Akeson, a 20-year-old from Orleans, ON, recorded just 23 penalty minutes in 67 games while finishing tied for the league-lead in scoring with 108 points scoring 24 goals and 84 assists. His 23 penalty minutes was the lowest among the top-12 scores in the OHL while only eight players in the top-100 scorers had fewer than 23 minutes in penalties this season. Akeson is the third member of the Rangers to win this award since it was first introduced in 1960-61 following Andre Benoit who claimed the honour in 2003-04 and Nick Spaling who won for the 2007-08 season.

“I am grateful to the league for recognizing me with this award,” said Akeson. “It is an honour, specifically because I pride myself for playing the game the right way in both ends of the rink.”

Akeson adds to an impressive list of accolades this season becoming the first player in OHL history to capture four major regular season awards. He has already been named co-recipient of the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy for Top Scorer and Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy winner as Top Scoring Right Winger both shared with Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67’s. Last week he was also awarded the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy as the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year. During the season he was recognized by Western Conference Coaches as the Most Improved Player this season in the annual Coaches Poll recording 30 multi-point games including two six-point games this season, while his 84 assists established a new Rangers’ single season record surpassing Dwight Foster who produced 83 assists in the 1976-77 season. In March, Akeson signed a three-year entry-level contract as a Free Agent with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The William Hanley Trophy is awarded each year based on a selection by the 20 General Managers of the Ontario Hockey League. Teams are not permitted to vote for their own candidate with players receiving five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote. The trophy is presented by the OHL to commemorate William Hanley, former Secretary-Manager of the Ontario Hockey Association for over 25 years.

Akeson received 46 points in the voting process ahead of Greg McKegg of the Erie Otters who received 41 points as runner-up for the second straight year. Joey Hishon of the Owen Sound Attack finished in third place with 28 points.

Former winners of the William Hanley Trophy include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie 1977-78), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1998-99), Brad Boyes (Erie 2000-01 and 2001-02), Jeff Carter (Sault Ste. Marie 2004-05), Wojtek Wolski (Brampton 2005-06), and Cody Hodgson (Brampton 2008-09). Nominated again this season, Ryan Spooner earned the award last season as a member of the Peterborough Petes.

Akeson will be presented with the William Hanley Trophy at the 2010-11 OHL Awards Ceremony set for Wednesday June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He will also be the OHL’s nominee for Sportsman of the Year at the CHL Annual Awards.

(Nathan can be reached at

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