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Brazeau voted to first all-stars

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion has received yet more recognition from the Ontario Hockey League for his 2018-19 accomplishments.

Right winger Brazeau has been voted to the OHL’s first all-star team, the league announced.

Brazeau scored a league-leading and franchise-record 61 goals and earned 52 assists for 113 points in 68 games, capturing the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy as the OHL’s top-scoring right winger and the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy as the best overager. Brazeau finished second in the OHL scoring race to Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs, the left winger on the first all-star team.

“With all the great players this league has, it’s a great feeling to be not only recognized for any of the teams but for the first team it really does feel good,” Brazeau said via text from Toronto.

“For myself it’s kind of the perfect ending to a season I won’t ever forget and a nice way to end my junior hockey career!”

Brazeau, who turned 21 on Feb. 2, was a 13th-round pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection from the New Liskeard Cubs minor midgets. In 268 games over four seasons, he scored 128 goals and earned 110 assists for 238 points. He ranks third in Battalion history in points and second in goals and is tied for seventh place in assists. He is eighth in career games played.

The six-foot-six, 226-pound Brazeau tied a franchise record set by Wojtek Wolski by amassing seven points, including three goals, in an 8-3 victory Oct. 21 over the visiting Kingston Frontenacs. Brazeau was named the OHL and Canadian Hockey League Player of the Week for the period ended Oct. 21, the CHL Player of the Week for the period ended Dec. 16 and was the OHL Player of the Month for October.

He has signed a two-year American Hockey League contract with the Toronto Marlies, the top affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Brazeau twice went undrafted to the NHL, making him a free agent.

Others on the first team, selected by votes of OHL general managers after the regular season, are centre Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, for a second consecutive season, defencemen Evan Bouchard of the London Knights, also for the second year in a row, and the Greyhounds’ Mac Hollowell and goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves.

The first team coach is Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s, who also captured coach-of-the-year honours.

Luukkonen, who backstopped Finland to gold in the World Junior Championship, won the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding player and was chosen goaltender of the year, was a unanimous first all-star choice. Robertson, who played for the United States at the world juniors, had 117 points from 48 goals and 69 assists in 62 OHL games.

Voting was conducted in two stages, with a first ballot by conference and a second that merged the top choices. Forwards and goaltenders received points on a 5-3-1 basis, while defencemen were awarded points on a 5-5-3-3-1-1 basis. GMs could not vote for players on their own teams, making 95 the maximum number of points possible.

Brazeau received 79 points, Frost 77, Robertson 84, Bouchard 73, Hollowell 68, Luukkonen 95 and Tourigny 71.

On the second team, London centre Kevin Hancock drew 44 points, left winger Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs 40, Ottawa right winger Tye Felhaber 51, defencemen Bode Wilde of the Saginaw Spirit and Adam Boqvist of London 59 and 46 respectively, goaltender Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals 44 and Sudbury coach Cory Stillman 26.

The third team consists of centre Nick Suzuki of the Guelph Storm with 38 points, Guelph left winger Isaac Ratcliffe with 25, Storm right winger Nate Schnarr with 18, defencemen Dmitri Samorukov of Guelph and Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads with 32 and 25 respectively, Saginaw goaltender Ivan Prosvetov with 19 and London coach Dale Hunter with 24.

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