Jackson, Vrbetic Honoured
NORTH BAY, Ont. - Kyle Jackson and Joe Vrbetic of the North Bay Battalion captured half of the Ontario Hockey League's Performer of the Month awards for November, it was announced Wednesday.
Jackson was named Player of the Month, while Vrbetic was recognized as Goaltender of the Month.
Jackson is the Battalion's first Player of the Month honouree since Justin Brazeau earned the distinction in October, 2018. Vrbetic is the first Battalion goaltender to claim the monthly award since Patrick Killeen last did so as a member of the Brampton Battalion in February, 2010.
"We as a staff are very happy for the recognition that Kyle and Joe have received today," said general manager Adam Dennis.
"Both have been integral parts of our team thus far, and both had big years taken away from them due to covid last season. They both took advantage of the time off, and we're very proud of their accomplishments."
Also honoured were Nathan Staios of the Hamilton Bulldogs as Defenceman of the Month and centre Owen Beck of the Mississauga Steelheads as Rookie of the Month.
Vrbetic posted a won-lost-extended record of 6-0-2, a 2.09 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and two shutouts in eight November games, including a shutout stretch of 203 minutes, four seconds.
The Dunvegan, Ont., resident, who turned 19 on Oct. 24, recorded back-to-back blankings in a pair of home wins, 4-0 over the Sudbury Wolves on Nov. 14 and 3-0 over the Ottawa 67's on Nov. 18.
Vrbetic is 11-2-2 this season with a 2.59 GAA, a .907 save percentage and two shutouts in 15 games. In his second OHL season, he was a second-round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. The Montreal Canadiens chose him in the seventh round of the National Hockey League Draft in July.
Centre Jackson, an Ottawa native who turned 19 on Oct. 17, registered 22 points on 11 goals and 11 assists in 11 November games along with a plus-minus rating of plus-7. He had points in 10 of the 11 outings to help the Battalion rise to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a 7-2-2 record for the month.
Jackson recorded his first career three-goal game in a 5-4 win Nov. 5 over the host Kingston Frontenacs, adding an assist for a four-point performance. He had two goals and one assist in the Nov. 18 shutout of Ottawa. Jackson posted his third four-point game of the season with two goals and two assists Nov. 26 in a 5-2 victory at Kingston.
Jackson is tied for second in the OHL scoring race, behind teammate Brandon Coe, with 35 points from 14 goals and 21 assists in 22 games. Jackson's scoring percentage of 27.5 is second-best among players with at least 50 shots on goal.
He has 24 goals and 36 assists for 60 points in 96 games since being the Battalion's third-round pick in the 2018 Priority Selection.
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