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Sokolov, Valentini and Sanvido Named in 2016-17 OHL Coaches Poll
Ontario Hockey League

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League announced the results of the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches Polls for the 2016-17 OHL regular season.

The OHL Coaches Poll provides member club coaches with the opportunity to recognize the top three players in 20 different skill categories within their own conference.

In the Eastern Conference, the Central Division champion Mississauga Steelheads and the East Division’s first place Peterborough Petes lead the way with representation across 13 of the 20 different categories.  The Steelheads finished first in six different votes with Spencer Watson and Owen Tippett both receiving top honours in two categories with Watson claiming the title of Smartest Player and Best Playmaker, while Tippett was recognized as being Most Dangerous in the Goal Area and having the conference’s Best Shot.  The Petes finished first across seven different categories led by Zach Gallant and Josh Coyle who each topped the list in two separate votes.  Gallant received Best Defensive Forward honours and was also named Best on Face-offs, while Coyle was voted Best Shot Blocker and Best Penalty Killer.

Niagara IceDogs captain Ryan Mantha was the top individual winner by appearing in the Top-3 in four different categories including first place votes as Most Improved and Best Defensive Defenceman.  Oshawa Generals netminder Jeremy Brodeur also finished first in multiple categories named Best Puck-Handling Goalie and Best Shootout Goalie.

In the Western Conference, the first place Erie Otters lead the way with representation in 15 of the 20 categories including a league-high 10 first place votes.  Top scorer Alex DeBrincat received first place votes twice including Best Shot and was recognized as Most Dangerous in the Goal Area for a third straight season.  Dylan Strome and Kyle Pettit also topped two different categories apiece with Strome voted Best Playmaker along with Smartest Player for a second straight season, with Pettit honoured as Best Shot Blocker and Best on Face-offs for the second time in three seasons.  The Owen Sound Attack finished second in the Western Conference by appearing in 10 different categories highlighted by five different first place finishers including Kevin Hancock (Most Underrated), Jonah Gadjovich (Most Improved), Petrus Palmu (Best Stickhandler), Jacob Friend (Best Body Checker), and Michael McNiven (Best Shootout Goalie).

Other notable Western Conference vote getters include Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Zach Senyshyn who was named Best Skater for a second straight season, and Windsor Spitfires defenceman Mikhail Sergachev who claimed the Hardest Shot vote for the second season in a row.

The Coaches Poll is tabulated when each team submits one nominee per category, and coaches then vote for the top three players for each category within their conference.  Players receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.  Clubs are not permitted to vote for players from their own team allowing for a maximum of 45 possible points for each winner.

All 20 categories are listed below with Eastern Conference and Western Conference winners including their final point totals in brackets.

Most Underrated Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Logan DeNoble, Peterborough Petes (35)
2. Eemeli Rasanen, Kingston Frontenacs (12)
2. Austen Keating, Ottawa 67’s (12)

Western Conference:
1. Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound Attack (30)
2. Kyle Maksimovich, Erie Otters (20)
3. Bobby MacIntyre, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (15)

Most Improved Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Brandon Saigeon, Hamilton Bulldogs (21)
1. Ryan Mantha, Niagara IceDogs (21)
3. Zach Gallant, Peterborough Petes (16)

Western Conference:
1. Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack (39)
2. Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph Storm (11)
2. Sam Miletic, London Knights (11)
2. Conor Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (11)

Smartest Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Spencer Watson, Mississauga Steelheads (27)
2. Matthew Strome, Hamilton Bulldogs (24)
3. Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs (22)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (32) – finished first in 2015-16 and third in 2014-15
2. Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack (26)
3. Blake Speers, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (12)

Hardest Worker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Ted Nichol, Kingston Frontenacs (22)
2. Michael McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (17) – finished tied for first in 2015-16 and third in 2014-15
3. Logan DeNoble, Peterborough Petes (12)

Western Conference:
1. Warren Foegele, Erie Otters (31)
2. Hayden Verbeek, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (24) – finished first in 2015-16
3. Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack (13) – finished tied for second in 2015-16

Best Playmaker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Spencer Watson, Mississauga Steelheads (29)
2. Artur Tyanulin, Ottawa 67’s (28)
3. Matthew Timms, Peterborough Petes (13)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (43) – finished second in 2015-16
2. Jeremy Bracco, Windsor Spitfires (20) – finished third in 2015-16
3. Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (9)

Most Dangerous in Goal Area:

Eastern Conference:
1. Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads (35)
2. Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs (24)
3. Dmitry Sokolov, Sudbury Wolves (16)

Western Conference:
1. Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (45) – finished first in 2015-16 and 2014-15
2. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (24)
3. Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack (10)

Best Skater:

Eastern Conference:
1. Jonathan Ang, Peterborough Petes (35) – finished tied for second in 2015-16
2. Niki Petti, Hamilton Bulldogs (18)
3. Ryan McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (16)

Western Conference:
1. Zach Senyshyn, Soo Greyhounds (32) – finished first in 2015-16 and third in 2014-15
2. Cliff Pu, London Knights (15)
2. Jordan Kyrou, Sarnia Sting (15) – finished tied for third in 2015-16

Best Shot:

Eastern Conference:
1. Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads (41)
2. Ryan Mantha, Niagara IceDogs (17)
3. Dmitry Sokolov, Sudbury Wolves (15)

Western Conference:
1. Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (43) – finished third in 2015-16
2. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (23) – finished first in 2015-16
3. Kole Sherwood, Flint Firebirds (16)

Hardest Shot:

Eastern Conference:
1. Nicolas Hague, Mississauga Steelheads (32)
2. Medric Mercier, Oshawa Generals (20)
3. Dmitry Sokolov, Sudbury Wolves (11)

Western Conference:
1. Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (35) – finished first in 2015-16
2. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (26) – finished third in 2015-16
3. Darren Raddysh, Erie Otters (11)

Best Stickhandler:

Eastern Conference:
1. Artur Tyanulin, Ottawa 67’s (40)
2. Ryan McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (10)
3. William Bitten, Hamilton Bulldogs (7) – finished second in Western Conference in 2015-16
3. Domenic Commisso, Oshawa Generals (7)
3. Ryan Valentini, Sudbury Wolves (7)

Western Conference:
1. Petrus Palmu, Owen Sound Attack (28)
2. Jordan Kyrou, Sarnia Sting (18)
3. Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (13)

Best on Face-Offs:

Eastern Conference:
1. Zach Gallant, Peterborough Petes (33)
2. Michael McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (28)
3. Brett McKenzie, North Bay Battalion (12)

Western Conference:
1. Kyle Pettit, Erie Otters (33) – finished first in 2014-15
2. Cliff Pu, London Knights (15)
2. Drake Rymsha, Sarnia Sting (15)

Best Body Checker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Zach Shankar, North Bay Battalion (24)
2. Travis Barron, Ottawa 67’s (15)
3. Shaw Boomhower, Mississauga Steelheads (12)

Western Conference:
1. Jacob Friend, Owen Sound Attack (29) – finished tied for second in 2015-16
2. Hayden Hodgson, Saginaw Spirit (14)
3. Kevin Spinozzi, Sarnia Sting (13)

Best Shot Blocker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Josh Coyle, Peterborough Petes (18)
2. Aaron Haydon, Niagara IceDogs (17)
3. Connor Walters, Hamilton Bulldogs (12)
3. Patrick Sanvido, Sudbury Wolves (12) – finished tied for third in Western Conference in 2015-16

Western Conference:
1. Kyle Pettit, Erie Otters (30)
2. Mitchell Stephens, London Knights (18)
3. Jalen Smereck, Flint Firebirds (14)

Best Defensive Forward:

Eastern Conference:
1. Zach Gallant, Peterborough Petes (24)
2. Ted Nichol, Kingston Frontenacs (21)
3. Mason Kohn, Oshawa Generals (15)

Western Conference:
1. Anthony Cirelli, Erie Otters (31) – finished tied for third in Eastern Conference in 2015-16
2. Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound Attack (15)
3. Owen MacDonald, London Knights (14)

Best Penalty Killer:

Eastern Conference:
1. Josh Coyle, Peterborough Petes (21)
2. MacKenzie Entwistle, Hamilton Bulldogs (14)
3. Patrick Sanvido, Sudbury Wolves (12)

Western Conference:
1. Boris Katchouk, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (28)
2. Kyle Pettit, Erie Otters (19) – finished second in 2015-16
2. Jalen Chatfield, Windsor Spitfires (19)

Best Offensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:
1. Vili Saarijarvi, Mississauga Steelheads (40) – finished second in Western Conference in 2015-16
2. Ryan Mantha, Niagara IceDogs (15)
3. Matthew Timms, Peterborough Petes (14)

Western Conference:
1. Darren Raddysh, Erie Otters (33)
2. Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (20) – finished third in 2015-16
3. Filip Hronek, Saginaw Spirit (16)

Best Defensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:
1. Ryan Mantha, Niagara IceDogs (24)
2. Stephen Desrocher, Kingston Frontenacs (19)
3. Jacob Moverare, Mississauga Steelheads (15)

Western Conference:
1. Erik Cernak, Erie Otters (21)
2. Alex Peters, Flint Firebirds (18)
3. Brandon Crawley, London Knights (16)

Best Puck-Handling Goalie:

Eastern Conference:
1. Jeremy Brodeur, Oshawa Generals (28)
2. Jeremy Helvig, Kingston Frontenacs (22)
3. Dawson Carty, Hamilton Bulldogs (13)
3. Dylan Wells, Peterborough Petes (13)

Western Conference:
1. Tyler Parsons, London Knights (32)
2. Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (27) – finished third in 2015-16
3. Troy Timpano, Erie Otters (11)

Best Shootout Shooter:

Eastern Conference:
1. Nikita Korostelev, Peterborough Petes (22)
2. Spencer Watson, Mississauga Steelheads (20)
3. Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs (16)

Western Conference:
1. Jordan Kyrou, Sarnia Sting (24)
2. Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor Spitfires (18)
3. Ivan Lodnia, Erie Otters (15)

Best Shootout Goalie:

Eastern Conference:
1. Jeremy Brodeur, Oshawa Generals (29)
2. Leo Lazarev, Ottawa 67’s (13)
3. Dylan Wells, Peterborough Petes (11)

Western Conference:
1. Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (27) – finished second in 2015-16
2. Michael DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires (26)
3. Tyler Parsons, London Knights (14)

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