Steelheads Earn High Marks on 2018-19 OHL Coaches Poll
The results of the 2018-19 OHL Coaches Poll were revealed on Wednesday night and Steelheads players earned high praise in mulitple categories. Steelheads players earned four 1st-Place finishes, three 2nd-Place finishes and one 3rd-Place finish in the Eastern Conference voting categories.
The most decorated Steelheads was Thomas Harley, with two 1st-Place finishes in the categories of Most Improved Player and Best Offensive Defenceman. Harley's sophomore campaign saw him register 11 goals and 47 assists for 58 points this season, those totals ranked him 12th, 4th and 8th respectively in those categories amongst OHL defenceman. The second-year D-Man nearly quadrupled his point totals from his rookie season in the league, upping his totals to 58 from 15 in the 2017-18 season. Harley's final honour, was finishing 2nd-Place in the best skater to only Brett Neumann of the Oshawa Generals. The award comes as no surprise after Harley's performance in the physical testing at the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects game which saw him finish 1st in the 30M Backward Skate competition.
Five other Steelheads would place in the top three of Eastern Conference categories:
Alan Lyszczarczyk took home 1st-Place in the most underrated player category, the over age forward had a career-best season recording 82 points in 64 games, his 39 goals and 43 assists on the season were both career-highs for the forward. Lyszczarczyk finished one vote ahead of Ottawa 67's goaltender Cedrick Andree and four votes ahead of Barrie's Jason Willms.
Keean Washkurak embodied the Steelheads 'Hardworking Hockey' culture taking home 1st-Place in the Hardest Worker category earning 32 1st-Place votes, beating out Oshawa's Kyle MacLean and Kingston's Ryan Cranford. Washkurak, a 2019-draft eligible forward put together a solid sophomore campaign scoring 16 goals and 41 assists in 66 games.
Liam Ham earned 2nd-Place in the Best Defensive Defenceman category, tied with former Mississauga Steelhead Merrick Rippon of the Ottawa 67's. After joining the Trout from Niagara, Ham posted 30 points in 41 games while drawing matchups against the other team's top forward units.
Cole Carter and Jacob Ingham were both rewarded for their prowess in the shootout with the two earning 2nd and 3rd-Place in the Best Shootout Shooter and Best Shootout Goalie categories respectively. The two were pivotal in the Steelheads back-to-back shootout wins on February 8th and 10th against the Ottawa 67's and Windsor Spitfires. Carter converted on 3 of 5 shootout attempts this season, all three goals were game winners. Ingham stopped 13 of the 16 shooters he faced in 2018-19 and held a 3-2 record in shootouts on the season.
You can see all these standout performers in the playoffs, the Steelheads' Round One series gets started on Friday Night in Sudbury, their first home game goes at 7:00PM Sunday in the Paramount Fine Foods Centre.
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