Coaches notice Shankar, McKenzie
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Zach Shankar and Brett McKenzie of the North Bay Battalion were recognized when results of the Ontario Hockey League’s Coaches Poll were released Thursday.
Defenceman Shankar was voted best bodychecker in the Eastern Conference, while McKenzie finished third in balloting for best on faceoffs in the conference.
After each team submits a nominee in each of the 20 categories, coaches vote on a 5-3-1 points basis for players in their own conference, with the stipulation that they cannot vote for players from their own team.
Shankar received 24 points, with left winger Travis Barron of the Ottawa 67’s second with 15 points and centre Shaw Boomhower of the Mississauga Steelheads third with 12.
Shankar, a Brockville, Ont., resident who turned 20 on Jan. 28, was a fourth-round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection from the Upper Canada Cyclones minor midgets. In 64 games this season, he has three goals and 21 assists for 24 points with 111 penalty minutes.
Centre Zach Gallant of the Peterborough Petes topped the vote for best on faceoffs in the conference with 33 points, followed by centre Michael McLeod of Mississauga with 28 and McKenzie with 12.
McKenzie, an Ottawa native who turned 20 last Sunday, was the Battalion’s first-round pick in 2013 from the Oakville Rangers minor midgets. He has 28 goals and 37 assists for 65 points in 64 games with 58 PiM.