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OHL Announces Academic Player of the Year Award Winners

April 26, 2012 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) News Release

Toronto, ON - The Ontario Hockey League today announced the recipients of the league's three Academic Player of the Year Awards for the 2011-12 season.

Adam Pelech of the Erie Otters is this year's recipient of both the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year as well as the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award as the top High School Student. This year's top Post-Secondary student athlete is Kyle Pereira of the Guelph Storm who receives the Roger Neilson Memorial Award.

Pelech, a 17-year-old from Toronto, ON, is a Grade 12 student at McDowell Senior High School in Erie, PA, where he received a 95% average with a full course load including Algebra, Computer Applications, English, Introduction to Business, Physical Education, and Sports and Entertainment Studies. Pelech becomes the Otters' second Bobby Smith Trophy winner following Brad Boyes who received the honour in 2000. He is the organization's first Ivan Tennant Memorial Award winner but follows in the footsteps of his older brother Matt who was the award's first recipient in 2005 as a member of the Sarnia Sting. Pelech becomes the first player to receive both awards in the same season.

"It's awesome, it's an award that my brother won when he was playing in the league so it's cool that I have won it as well," said Pelech. "Both academics and on-ice performance go hand in hand and it's great to be recognized for both."

Pelech has completed his second season with the Otters and is among the top OHL defencemen eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He recorded 20 points in 44 games this season for the Otters and represented Canada earning a bronze medal at the recent IIHF World Under-18 Championship where he was an Alternate Captain.

"Adam Pelech shows his leadership by conduct," said Otters General Manager Sherry Bassin. "He is truly a leader on the ice and a leader in the classroom. He does it quietly and shows by his conduct that goals can be accomplished if you stick with it. We are proud of his accomplishments in the classroom and on the ice. His dedication to being the best is why he will have a long career in the National Hockey League."

Pereira, a 21-year-old from Brampton, ON, is a successful student at the University of Guelph studying six courses this year including Computer Applications, Crime and Criminal Justice, Dynamics of Behaviour, Microeconomics, Nutrition and Society, and Sociology. He is the second member of the Storm to be recognized as the league's top University player following Tim Priamo who received the honour in 2009.

"We are extremely proud of Kyle," said Storm General Manager Mike Kelly. "He is a superb example of what we consider a true Storm player to be combining success in education with his hockey abilities."

Pereira finishes a four-year OHL career that began with the Brampton Battalion in 2008 playing in 231 career regular season games. This last season with the Storm he recorded 20 points in 52 games and led the club with a plus-minus rating of plus-11.

"Kyle consistently demonstrates a high commitment to his studies and the value of education," said the Storm's University student Academic Advisor Shari Dorr. "He is a mature, responsible student who goes about meeting his academic requirements independently. These qualities have helped him to achieve academic success while carrying an academic load that is heavier than most of his peers."

Each year the Bobby Smith Trophy is presented to the OHL Scholastic Player of the year who best combines high standards of play and academic excellence. The trophy is in honour of Bobby Smith, former Ottawa 67's star who exhibited a standard of excellence in both of these areas. The Ivan Tennant Memorial Award is given to the Top Academic High School Player and is named in honour of Ivan Tennant, who spent a lifetime combining hockey and education. He was the Kitchener Rangers' Education Consultant for 20 years and a key figure on the OHL's Education Consultant's Committee. The Roger Neilson Memorial Award is named in honour of the Hall of Fame Coach who served behind the Peterborough Petes bench in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Neilson, a former high school teacher, was a pioneer in stressing the importance of education to all of his players.

Former winners of the Bobby Smith Trophy include NHL stars Dustin Brown who was a three-time award winner with Guelph from 2001-03, Steven Stamkos (Sarnia 2006-07), and Matt Duchene (Brampton 2008-09). The two most recent recipients include Erik Gudbranson and last year's winner Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs who was later named the CHL's Scholastic Player of the Year. Hamilton also won the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award in 2010 one year after his brother Freddie Hamilton. Goaltender Andrew D'Agostini of the Peterborough Petes was last year's winner. Former winners of the Roger Neilson Memorial Award include current CIS athlete Scott Aarssen of the University of Western Ontario Mustangs (London 2007-08), and Derek Lanoue who won the award the last two years with the Windsor Spitfires.

Following Pelech in consideration for the Bobby Smith Award was runner-up Matt Murray of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and Daniel Altshuller of the Oshawa Generals. Chris Bigras of the Owen Sound Attack and Spencer Turcotte of the Guelph Storm were both runner-ups for the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award. Runner-up for the Roger Neilson Memorial Award was Daniel Broussard of the Ottawa 67's, followed by Nathan Chiarlitti of the Sarnia Sting.

Pelech and Pereira will be formally presented with their awards at the OHL's annual Awards Ceremony June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Pelech will be the OHL's nominee for the CHL's Scholastic Player of the Year award.

All 20 of the OHL's member clubs provide nominees for each award with the Bobby Smith Trophy nominees representing the 2011-12 OHL Scholastic Team.

Bobby Smith Award Winner- Adam Pelech, Erie Otters


Barrie Ekblad, Aaron Innisdale

Belleville Gaunce, Brendan Quinte SS

Brampton Auld, Justin Univeristy of Toronto

Erie Pelech, Adam McDowell SHS

Guelph Finn, Matt Our Lady of Lourdes CS

Kingston Blight, Braydon Holy Cross

Kitchener Pederson, Brent Eastwood Collegiate

London Welychka, Brett St. Thomas Aquinas

Mississauga Duhaime, Ryan Philip Pocock CSS

Niagara Hamilton, Freddie Brock

Oshawa Altshuller, Daniel Henry Street HS

Ottawa Monahan, Sean Hillcrest HS

Owen Sound Bigras, Chris West Hill SS

Peterborough Ritchie, Nicholas Thomas A Stewart SS

Plymouth Wilson, Tom Plymouth HS

Saginaw Kea, Justin Saginaw Heritage HS

Sarnia Chiarlitti, Nathan Guelph

Sault Murray, Matt Superior Heights

Sudbury Schutt, Samuel Lockerby

Windsor Clarke, Michael St. Anne's HS

Ivan Tennant Winner- Adam Pelech, Erie Otters

Nominees :

Barrie Ekblad, Aaron Innisdale SS

Belleville Simmonds, Scott Quinte Secondary

Brampton Robinson, Brandon Turner Fenton HS

Erie Pelech, Adam McDowell SHS

Guelph Turcotte, Spencer Our Lady of Lurdes

Kingston Smith, Jacob Holy Cross Catholic

Kitchener Pedersen, Brent Eastwood Collegiate

London Athanasiou, Andreas Oakridge SS

Mississauga Martin, Spencer Philip Pocock

Niagara Graham, Jesse Governor Simcoe SS

Oshawa Altshuller, Daniel Henry Street HS

Ottawa Monahan, Sean Hillcrest HS

Owen Sound Bigras, Chris West Hill SS

Peterborough Varga, Steven Thomas A. Stewart SS

Plymouth Wilson, Tom Plymouth HS

Saginaw Kea, Justin Heritage HS

Sarnia Latta, Nick Northern Collegiate

Sault Nurse, Darnell St. Mary's High School

Sudbury Schutt, Samuel Lockerby

Windsor Johnson, Ben St. Anne's HS

Roger Neilson Award Winner- Kyle Pereira, Guelph Storm


Barrie Buonomo, Chris Laurentian

Belleville Subban, Malcolm Loyalist Collegiate

Brampton Auld, Jordan Toronto

Erie McCarthy, Tyler Gannon

Guelph Pereira, Kyle Guelph

Kingston Greenaway, Darcy Queen's

Kitchener Ming, Eric Waterloo

London Hughes, Tommy UWO

Mississauga Foy, Brett Athabasca

Niagara Hamilton, Freddie Brock

Oshawa Lessio, Lucas Athabasca

Ottawa Broussard, Daniel Guelph

Owen Sound Halmo, Mike Guelph

Peterborough West, Joey Trent

Plymouth Mahalak, Matt University of Michigan

Saginaw Trocheck, Vincent Northwood University

Sarnia Chiarlitti, Nathan Guelph

Sault Alderson, Brandon Guelph

Sudbury McFadden, Josh Laurentian

Windsor McQueen, Zack Windsor

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