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OFFICIAL SITE OF THE ELLIOT LAKE WILDCATS JUNIOR A HOCKEY CLUB

NOJHL duo tops in CJHL special teams goals lists

SUDBURY – Taking a look statistically across the 129-team Canadian Junior Hockey League and you’ll find a pair of Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League players rank at the top in a pair of offensive categories.

Kirkland Lake Gold Miners stalwart blueliner Ethan Strong presently leads all CJHL defencemen in power play goals with 10.

The 20-year-old Kinmount, Ont., native, who was a horse on defence for Team NOJHL at the recently held Central Canada Cup Challenge in Toronto, also sits tied for third among league D-men in scoring with 23 points in 25 outings for the defending champion Gold Miners.

Two other NOJHL rearguards also crack the top 10 in this category as Nathan Campbell of the Elliot Lake Wildcats and Brennan Roy of the Abitibi Eskimos share fifth overall with sixth extra man markers with six apiece.

CJHL leaders: Top 10 Defenceman power play goals (As of Dec. 8/14)        
RANK PLAYER POS. TEAM LEAGUE GP G PPG
1 Ethan Strong D Kirkland Lake Gold Miners NOJHL 25 11 10
2 Eric Williams D Aurora Tigers OJHL 28 10 9
3 Will Reilly D North York Rangers OJHL 27 10 8
4 Francis Levesque D Ste-Jerome Panthers QJHL 28 11 7
T-5 Nathan Campbell D Elliot Lake Wildcats NOJHL 26 10 6
T-5 Brennan Roy D Abitibi Eskimos NOJHL 28 13 6
T-5 Michael Giacometti D Stouffville Spirit OJHL 29 9 6
T-5 Guillaume Gelinas D Valleyfield Braves QJHL 24 12 6
T-5 Robert Michel D Ottawa Jr. A Senators CCHL 35 12 6
T-10 Ryan Walsh D Thunder Bay North Stars SIJHL 19 6 5
T-10 Kurt Gosselin D Alberni Valley Bulldogs BCHL 24 9 5
T-10 Damien Charette D Hawkesbury Hawks CCHL 25 7 5
T-10 Brandon Washer D Lindsay Muskies  OJHL 26 11 5
T-10 Ian Edmondson D St. Michael’s Buzzers OJHL 28 6 5
T-10 Andrew Farny D Salmon Arm Silverbacks BCHL 29 7 5
T-10 Niko Kovachis D Toronto Patriots OJHL 29 7 5
T-10 Shane Poulsen D Merritt Centennials BCHL 29 6 5
T-10 Ben Hull D Dauphin Kings MJHL 30 6 5
T-10 Christian Lloyd D Trenton Golden Hawks OJHL 30 10 5
T-10 Daniel Fritz D Coquitlam Express BCHL 31 7 5
T-10 Jacob Piltzmaker D Newmarket Hurricanes OJHL 31 5 5

Meanwhile red-hot Cody Gratton of the Cochrane Crunch has been extra tricky while his side has been down a man during games having notched a CJHL-best 10 shorthanded markers so far this season.

Coming off a week where he scored eight times in three games in a trio of Crunch road wins as was tabbed as one of the Eastlink TV 3 Stars, the 20-year-old Sudbury standout also tops the NOJHL in overall tallies (34), points (55) and game-winners (6).

CJHL leaders: Shorthanded goals (5 or more) (As of Dec. 8/14)         
RANK PLAYER POS. TEAM LEAGUE GP G SHG
1 Cody Gratton F Cochrane Crunch NOJHL 25 34 10
2 Karl Léveillée F Montreal East Rangers QJHL 31 48 7
3 Andy Sturtz F Carleton Place Canadians CCHL 36 18 6
4 Corey Mackin F Coquitlam Express BCHL 31 30 5

Another offensive category among blueliners has Kirkland Lake veteran Jeremy Picard currently sitting third across the country in assists among defencemen with 31.

The 20-year-old Baurraute, Que., product also leads all NOJHL D-men in total points with 34, which is also good enough to put him in a tie for ninth in league scoring.

CJHL leaders: Defenceman assists (25 or more) (As of Dec. 8/14)      
RANK PLAYER POS. TEAM LEAGUE GP A
1 Alexandre Gauthier D Vaudreuil Mustangs QJHL 30 35
2 Mathieu Roy D Ste-Agathe Montagnards QJHL 30 34
3 Jeremy Picard-Fiset D Kirkland Lake Gold Miners NOJHL 27 31
4 Jordan McNaughton D Truro Bearcats MHL 24 27
5 Kurt Gosselin D Alberni Valley Bulldogs BCHL 24 26
T-6 Ryan Bittner D Winnipeg Blues MJHL 28 25
T-6 Jeremy Wu D Whitby Fury OJHL 32 25