Breaking

Post Top Ad

Your Ad Spot

Monday, September 17, 2018

2018-19 Barrie Colts 'Pony Awards' Predictions. #OHL


This year at the seasons end, we will have our 3rd annual Pony Awards. These are awards that we bestow upon players for 5 categories. Most Improved Player (Colin Behenna Award), Fan Favourite which is voted for online (The Joseph Blandisi Award), Rookie of the Year (The Aaron Ekblad Award), Most Valuable Player (The Mark Scheifele Award) and Hardest Hitter (The Luch Nasato Award).

Here are our predictions for who will win each award. If you would like to take a look at last years winners, you can find them here.


Ryan Noble
The Colin Behenna Award (Most Improved Player)
Aidan Brown. As you may have read in our OHL Predictions post, I had Aidan Brown as my 'Breakout Player' for the 2018-19 OHL season. Over 3 seasons in Barrie, Brown has 12 goals and 17 assist in 152 regular season games. I feel that this year, Brown will at least match, if not surpass his total production since joining the league. Aidan has been one of the strongest looking players at Colts training camp. His speed has really improved, and so as his shot which he hasn't been afraid to use in the 2018- pre-season. Brown was 3rd on the team for points in the pre-season with 2 goals and 2 assists over 5 games. To me, the part of his game that seems to have improved is his confidence. He is carrying the puck well and with the opportunity to land a top-6 spot on the roster, I sincerely believe he can be one of the teams top producers. 

The Joseph Blandisi Award (Fan Favourite – voted for online)
Justin Murray. I mean, it is the 3rd Pony Awards and Justin has won the award every time. 49% in the first year and 58% last season, I'd be shocked if he didn't win it again. Why do Colts fans love Murray? Well, his compete level is one reason. Justin shows up every night and is an outstanding leader. The other guys on the team obviously love and respect him. Murray is also a great guy in the community. He obviously takes his role as captain very seriously and there is no doubt in my mind that fans will vote him the Joseph Blandisi Award winner for the 3rd straight year.

The Aaron Ekblad Award (Rookie of the Year) 
Matej Pekar. The Import Draft Pick has already won a rookie of the year award during the USHL 2017-18 season. Putting up 14 goals and 40 assists as a rookie for the Muskegon Lumberjacks was no easy feat for the rookie. Pekar was selected by the Buffalo Sabres 94th overall in 2018 and was outstanding at Buffalo's training camp. He displayed and incredible level of skill, while being an "annoying rat" to opposing players. I think Pekar will be the Colts top rookie by a landslide.  

The Mark Scheifele Award (Most Valuable Player)
Joey Keane. Sure, there will be players to produce more points on the team but Keane is so valuable to the team. His offensive ability is dominant. He might be one of the best skaters in the league and is very responsible defensively. A +45 last season was the teams best and 3rd league wide. The Colts are much better when Keane is on the ice and I don't think another player offers what he does. Look for him to log a lot of PK ice time and he will be very effective in that spot just like last season. And, I mean, the Colts have a history of taking a lot of penalties so this will make him that much more important. 

The Luch Nasato Award (Hardest Hitter)
Tyler Tucker. This award was added to the 'Pony Awards' last year and Tucker was the winner. I mean, I don't know what to say here. Tucker will run over everything that moves and there is no way he doesn't win this award again. 


Ryan McArthur
The Colin Behenna Award (Most Improved Player)
Aidan Brown. He was coming on strong last season before a bruised spleen took him out of the lineup. This is a player you love to have on your team and opponents can’t stand. Brown is a very gritty player that plays the role of agitator extremely well. During his rookie season, there was a game in Mississauga where he absolutely leveled a guy at centre ice. Most rookie players don’t make runs at guys like that. Aidan has guts and he is out there to terrorize opposing players. Expect his offensive production to increase a ton in 2018-19 and his role on the team to be elevated. I’d like to see him in front of the net on the power play. Hopefully Brown gets to chance to display his offensive talent with a big bump up the depth chart in Barrie this season.

The Joseph Blandisi Award (Fan Favourite – voted for online)
Justin Murray. Captain Murr is expected to get the nod again this season. Fans love him, and he is currently the leader of the Barrie Colts program. Murray leads by example with his play and does a great job talking to refs and giving the opposing team a hard time every shift. Justin notices everything that happens on the ice and he is always extremely engaged in the action. He is severely underrated. NHL teams didn’t give him a sniff at Rookie Camps this season, which blows my mind. He is a very intelligent player who thinks the game well and rarely makes mistakes. Murray is great at directing pucks to the net and getting the biscuit through the traffic in front. He’s deceptively fast, has excellent gap control, and is very tough to play against in the defensive zone. Justin is great at making breakout plays or stretch passes. NHL teams take notice!

The Aaron Ekblad Award (Rookie of the Year)
Matej Pekar. Yes!!! I was so pumped to find out Matej Pekar (from the Czech Republic) signed with the Barrie Colts!!! Great decision by the Buffalo Sabres fourth round pick in 2018 and USHL Rookie of the Year for the Muskegon Lumberjacks last season. Expect Pekar to push for Rookie of the Year in the entire OHL. There is potential for him to put up a ton of points with the firepower possessed by the Colts. Matej plays a very gritty style of game and will fit in perfectly in Barrie. The Colts don’t back down and are one of the toughest teams to play against in the OHL every year. Pekar got into it at Buffalo Sabres Development Camp with Casey Middlestadt and Rasmus Dahlin. He sure made an impression with the Sabres brass! Expect him to have a huge impact with the Colts this season! Count the exclamation marks - I’m so jacked to see this kid play!!

The Mark Scheifele Award (Most Valuable Player)
Zach Magwood (if returned from Smashville). If not, Ryan Suzuki. Zach Magwood was a man amongst boys at Barrie Colts camp at the end of August. He was dominant out there and his skating/puck possession were very impressive. Please give him back Nashville – it would be great for his development. OHL fans have no idea what they’re in for if he returns. They are going to hate seeing him possess the puck for half of all his shifts and release his awesome wrister on the regular. LOOK OUT! If Magwood doesn’t return, expect Ryan Suzuki to take the nod. Zuke looked awesome at Barrie Colts camp at the end of August and has gained a ton of experience from the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup where he won gold with Canada. See my upcoming NHL Draft preview on Ryan Suzuki for more information on the top NHL prospect in the OHL.

The Luch Nasato Award (Hardest Hitter)
Tyler Tucker. Big Rig! Tyler Tucker was a beast last year and he will be even better this season. It’s obvious that he worked out a ton during the offseason and he looks chiselled. I feel bad for opposing players coming into the BMC. Keep your head up! Oh yeah, trainers might want to bring a few ice packs to the road games in Barrie. Tucker had wicked scrap during an NHL Rookie Tournament against the New York Rangers. Again, ice packs!! LOL. Tucker isn’t just a physical player, there is much more there. The seventh-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in the 2018 NHL Draft scored two game-winning goals in the playoffs last year. He will get lots of goals this year and huge boost in offensive production. This isn’t a prediction – it WILL happen.


Justin Stapleton
The Colin Behenna Award (Most Improved Player)
Aidan Brown. No doubt about this one. Aidan was a player that improved immensely late last season before getting injured while playing his best hockey as a Barrie Colt. He has looked exceptional in preseason playing in the top 6 with the likes of Lucas Chiodo and Ryan Suzuki. Aidan is one of many members of this Colts team that has plenty of toughness to his game. Look for that to continue, but the point production to go way up! Big year ahead!

The Joseph Blandisi Award (Fan Favourite – voted for online)

Tyler Tucker. Big Tucks! How can you not be a huge fan of this guy?! Colts fans tend to love a physical player and Tucks is one of the toughest in the league. Once a game you’ll be treated to a Tucker bomb that sends opposition players flying. There’s way more to his game to as he’s a beast in his own end and in the corners, while having an underrated ability to rush the puck. Several great candidates for this award, but Tyler is my pick.

The Aaron Ekblad Award (Rookie of the Year)
Jet Greaves. The Colts highly touted goalie prospect is finally here! With the Colts deep goaltending depth it might be difficult for Greaves to get into a ton of games this year, but when he does I think he’s going to impress. A slightly smaller goalie, Jet is extremely quick but extremely poised in the net. In his OHL Preseason debut he shutout the Niagara IceDogs. Not a bad start for the young rookie netminder!

The Mark Scheifele Award (Most Valuable Player) 
Joey Keane. Look for Keane to be the leader of an extremely deep Colts blue line this year and log some major minutes. Already a finalist for Defenseman of the year for the OHL last season, Keane will be the Colts big star this year and will do it all for the team. I’d expect he will be a key component of the penalty kill once again, while this year taking over the powerplay duties from TJ Fergus. With his elite skating and high hockey smarts, Keane will drive the puck up the ice. Look for a sizeable offensive improvement, while being a puck possession beast.

The Luch Nasato Award (Hardest Hitter)
Tyler Tucker. The easiest prediction to make, and that’s saying something with a tough, hard hitting Colts team. Other hard hitting players like Aidan Brown, Luke Bignell, Matej Pekar, Chris Cameron and if returned from Nashville, Zach Magwood show you better keep your head up against this Colts team, and Big Tucks is the hardest hitter of them all!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad

Your Ad Spot

Pages