(Amherst, NY) – The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) today announced that Tyler Gjurich of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres has been named the recipient of the OJHL Most Valuable Player Award.
Gjurich, who will join the University of Maine Black Bears program beginning next season, was dominant for much of his first full season in the OJHL, becoming the only OJHL player to reach the magical 50 goal mark, finishing the season with 53 goals, while also leading the league with 97 points and 4 shorthanded goals. The native of Hatfield, Pennsylvania would finish second among OJHL players with 9 game-winning goals and seventh with 44 assists.
Standing at 5’10”, 180 lbs., Gjurich jumped out to a quick start this season and would continue a dominant offensive performance throughout the 2012-13 season. He would fail to record a point in just 11 of 53 games played this season, while recording multiple points 30 times, including three, five point efforts. A key member of both Jr. Sabres’ special teams units, Gjurich finished seventh in the OJHL with 11 power play goals and ninth with 18 power play assists, to key the league’s fourth best unit with a 21.04% success rate. Counted on defensively as well, he would tally six shorthanded points and help kill off 89.92% of Buffalo’s penalties as part of the top ranked penalty killing unit.
Perhaps more importantly, however; was the fact that the offensive dynamo notched 62 of his 97 points at even strength and his 53 goals represented more than 21% of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 249 goals for this season, which ranked first overall among all OJHL clubs. Gjurich’s impressive season was instrumental in securing the Jr. Sabres, the South-West Conference regular season title with a 38-12-5 record for 81 points, the franchise’s best finish since making the jump to the Metro Junior ‘A’ Hockey League in 1995-96.
Other highlights of Gjurich’s impressive rookie campaign included being a member of the OJHL West Division All-Stars that competed at the 2012 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge that was held in Wellington, Ontario and he was named an OJHL 1st Team All-Star following the season, as well as winning the OJHL Top Scorer and Rookie-of-the-Year Awards. He was named the South-West Conference Gongshow Gear Player-of-the-Month for November, as well as runner-up in December.
The OJHL Most Valuable Player Award is awarded annually to the player adjudged to be the most valuable player to his club’s success throughout the course of the regular season.
Photo by Amy Deroche, OJHL Images