The OJHL announced today that Buffalo Jr. Sabres forward Ryan Schmelzer (photo credit - Dave Powers/OJHL Images) has been named the Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month for January after recording 17 points in only seven games played during the month.
The 19-year old has been a key member of the Jr. Sabres jump to the top of the OJHL standings this season, currently sitting second on the club and ninth overall in the league in scoring with 61 points, including 24 goals and 37 assists. Schmelzer recorded a West Division leading eight goals in January, along with nine assists, tying for third in Conference scoring with 17 points. Much of the forward's success would come on special teams with five power play assists, seven power play points and two shorthanded goals, while recording four multi-point games. Twice he would notch four points, along with a five point outing on January 7, as the Sabres continued to fight for first place in the Conference with a record of 5-1-1 on the month. Schmelzer's efforts during the season earned a spot as a member of the OJHL West Division All-Star Team in December, recording three points in three games played, at the 2012 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge held in Wellington, Ontario.
"It is a great honour to win this award," said Schmelzer upon hearing of his selection, "as there are a lot of great players in this league. So for me to be chosen for this award, it really means a lot. Both Tyler and Parker previously won this award and joining them is a great accomplishment in itself. None of us could have won this award without the players and coaches surrounding us and that goes to show how deep our team is."
Sabres' Head Coach and General Manager Michael Peca would praise his star forward's efforts thus far this season, "Ryan is the player coaches dream of having on their teams. Skilled, hard-working, tremendous leadership and very unselfish. He's been consistent all year long, driving all to be better. It's great to see him rewarded for his efforts."
Trevor Warnaar of the Mississauga Chargers was runner-up to Schmelzer as the OJHL South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. Warnaar tied for the Conference lead during January with 10 goals, while also recording 18 points to lead the South Division in 12 games played.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)