Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2015 NHL Draft top prospect Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters is the 2014-15 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the league.
McDavid finished third in OHL scoring with 120 points in 47 games played recording 44 goals and 76 assists with a league-high plus-minus rating of plus-60 helping the Otters win 50 games for the second straight season earning their first Midwest Division title since 2002. He becomes the second straight Otter to win the award and third player in franchise history to receive the honour following Connor Brown and Brad Boyes who won back-to-back in 2001 and 2002.
“Obviously it’s amazing, it’s such a special honour,” McDavid said. “It’s an award that’s really for a team. You wouldn’t be at this point without your teammates and all the coaches and everyone. I think it’s one of the most team-oriented awards there are. Obviously it means a lot getting your name on it, but at the same time, I owe it all to the boys. You look at the list of names that have been there before and a couple of Otters come to mind, obviously Brad Boyes and Connor Brown. Just to be named with those two guys, let alone the other names that are on that trophy, it’s such an honour.”
The 18-year-old from Newmarket, ON, recorded a point in 45 of his 47 games played this season with an incredible 36 multi-point efforts and highlighted by a league-high 27-game point-streak. The Otters’ captain led the league with three-star recognition in 32 games this season including 17 first star performances. He received OHL Player of the Week honours for the week ending October 26 and was named OHL Player of the Month in October and February while leading the OHL’s Western Conference Coaches Poll with first place votes in three categories including Best Playmaker and Best Skater both for the second straight season, and Best Stickhandler for the third straight season. A member of Canada’s National Junior Team, McDavid won gold at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and was named a Tournament All-Star finishing tied for first with 11 points.
“We all know he’s an amazing player, playing in an amazing development league,” said Otters General Manager Sherry Bassin. “The real issue is, I want the world to know that he’s an amazing person. It’s his character as a person, it’s his inner drive to be the best he can. That combination with his ability makes him very worthy of this award. It’s a special award for a special person.”
The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League. First presented in 1945, the trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.
Accredited media were asked to select their top three choices from the 20 nominees submitted by all 20 member clubs. Players received five points for a first place selection, three points for second place and one point for a third place selection. In over 80 ballots collected, McDavid received 407 points in the voting process with first place votes on over 94% of all ballots. Overage Player of the Year and New Jersey Devils prospect Joseph Blandisi of the Barrie Colts finished second in voting with 123 points, followed by Defenceman of the Year and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Anthony DeAngelo of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Arizona Coyotes prospect Max Domi of the London Knights who tied for third in voting with 79 points.
Eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, McDavid is the top ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. He becomes the sixth youngest recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy behind John Tavares who earned the honour as a 16-year-old with the Oshawa Generals in 2007, and four other players who received the honour prior to their NHL Draft selection including Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers in 2010, the Whalers’ David Legwand in 1998, the Generals’ Eric Lindros in 1991, and Jack Valiquette of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1974.
McDavid’s 2015 Red Tilson Trophy marks the fifth different major OHL Award he has earned since joining the league after being granted exceptional player status as a 15-year-old by Hockey Canada in 2012 making him the most decorated player in OHL history. As the Otters’ first overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, McDavid received the Jack Ferguson Award and later earned the Emms Family Award as Rookie of the Year for the 2012-13 season. Last season he received the William Hanley Trophy awarded to the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, also earning the Bobby Smith Trophy as the OHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year which he won again in 2014-15. He becomes just the second player in OHL history to have his name appear on OHL Awards six times joining former Otter Brad Boyes who earned Red Tilson Trophy honours in 2001 and 2002, William Hanley Trophy honours in 2001 and 2002, along with the Bobby Smith Trophy in 2000, and the Wayne Gretzky ‘99’ Award as OHL Playoff MVP in 2002.
McDavid will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year Award presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony during the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Quebec City. McDavid will also be present at the OHL’s Awards Ceremony on Tuesday June 9 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.