As always, there’s a star-studded cast up for consideration for this season’s Red Tilson Trophy, presented each year to the OHL’s most outstanding player.
Each team is allowed to nominate one player and six clubs have listed their goalie, the most in recent memory.
Up for consideration are Owen Sound’s Michael McNiven, Windsor’s Michael DiPietro, London’s Tyler Parsons, Oshawa’s Jeremy Brodeur, Peterborough’s Dylan Wells and Niagara’s Stephen Dhillon.
It far exceeds the number of goaltender nominees from last year, when only Erie’s Devin Williams and Ottawa’s Leo Lazarev were given the nod.
Michael Houser was the last netminder to win the award back in 2012 and it’s unlikely that a goalie will win this year since Alex DeBrincat can be considered a lock after turning the OHL into his playground this year.
Perhaps McNiven could challenge for it since he’s been a linchpin for the Attack and is a big reason why they’re a legitimate Memorial Cup contender.
If the Attack end up upsetting the Otters in a potential Western Conference final, McNiven will likely be the key force behind it.
He should be a shoo-in to win goalie of the year after leading the league in goals-against average at 2.30 along with a shiny .915 save percentage.
The other goalies nominated can all stake claim to being most valuable to their clubs.
DiPietro was near the top in both major goalie categories in only his second season in the league.
The Generals were on top of the Eastern Conference by the trade deadline and were expected to slide down the standings after trading stars Anthony Cirelli and Mitchell Vande Sompel, but backed by Brodeur’s efforts, they only finished four points back of the first-place Petes.
Speaking of the Petes, Wells was busy in goal all season long, facing an average of 35.5 shots per game while maintaining a .916 save percentage.
Only one goalie faced more shots and that was Dhillon, who averaged 39.2 against per game to go along with a .914 save percentage.
Finally, a lot can be said each year about London’s offence each year, but Parsons carried off of his 2016 Memorial Cup success and was outstanding when called upon by the Knights.
He missed a large chunk of the season due to injuries and time spent leading the United States to World Junior gold, but was still considered most valuable.
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