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Petes' Matt Puempel Named OHL Rookie Of The Year

April 8, 2010 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) News Release

Toronto, ON - The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes is the recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL's Rookie of the Year for the 2009-10 season. In addition to the Rookie of the Year, the league also today announced the OHL's first and second All-Rookie teams.

Puempel, a 17-year-old from Essex, ON, was selected by the Petes with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection after playing with the Sun County Panthers minor midget hockey club. He led all OHL rookies in scoring with 64 points in 59 games with a rookie and team-high 33 goals with 31 assists. His 64 points placed him 39th overall in league scoring and was the only rookie listed in the OHL's top-80 scorers. This season, Puempel also competed as a member of Team Ontario winning silver at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Puempel becomes the first member of the Petes organization to win the award since Chris Longo following the 1989-90 season.

"I am really honoured to win this award and it is a pretty big one for Peterborough and to be on the same list as so many great players" said Puempel. "I would like to thank my teammates and coaches, and I could not have won this award without them. I had such a great time playing in Peterborough this year."

Joining Puempel on the OHL's first All-Rookie team is Emms Family Award runner-up Boone Jenner of the Oshawa Generals at centre, with Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers joining him at forward. On defence is Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers, and Scott Harrington of the London Knights. Michael Houser of the Knights was named the first All-Rookie netminder.

Puempel was named the OHL's Rookie of the Month three straight times and was the only rookie to claim the Boston Pizza OHL and CHL Player of the Week award during the regular season, earning the title in the season's final week. He produced 18 multi-point games and finished his rookie campaign on a season-high seven game point streak. He scored two hat-tricks including one on March 13 to close out the regular season where he added three assists for a season-high six points as first star of a 10-3 win over the Oshawa Generals. His 33 goals set a new franchise record becoming the youngest player in Petes' history to score more than 30 goals.

The Emms Family Award is presented annually to the OHL's top rookie and is selected by all 20 member club General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a player from their own hockey club. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Puempel received 75 points in the voting process ahead of Jenner with 49 points, and Ivan Telegin of the Saginaw Spirit who finished third with 17 points and was voted a second team All-Rookie centre.

Former winners of the Emms Family Award include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie, 1977-78), and current NHL stars Joe Thornton (Sault Ste. Marie, 1995-96), Rick Nash (London, 2000-01), John Tavares (Oshawa, 2005-06), and Patrick Kane (London 2006-07). Evgeny Grachev of the Brampton Battalion won the award last season with 80 points in 60 games.

The Emms Family Award was donated by Leighton "Hap" Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines OHL franchises.

Puempel will be formally presented with the Emms Family Award at the annual OHL Awards Ceremony June 9 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

2009-10 OHL All-Rookie Teams:

First Team: Centre - Boone Jenner, Oshawa Generals

Left Wing - Matt Puempel, Peterborough Petes

Right Wing - Gabriel Landeskog, Kitchener Rangers

Defence - Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers

Defence - Scott Harrington, London Knights

Goaltender - Michael Houser, London Knights

Second Team:

Centre - Ivan Telegin, Saginaw Spirit

Left Wing - Michael Curtis, Belleville Bulls

Right Wing - Austen Brassard, Belleville Bulls

Defence - Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs

Defence - Geoffrey Schemitsch, Owen Sound Attack

Goaltender - Petr Mrazek, Ottawa 67's

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