When your team wins the first overall pick in the draft it’s easy to forget about the other top prospects in the Leafs organization.
Mitch Marner is one of those prospects, who put up an obscene 116 points in 57 games for the London Knights in the OHL this season. As it turns out, he was rewarded for that obscenely good year today, with the OHL announcing that Marner was the recipient of the 2015-2016 Red Tilson Trophy, awarded to the league’s most outstanding player.
The OHL aptly summarized why Marner won the award here:
Marner and linemates Christian Dvorak and Matthew Tkachuk combined for
an incredible 344 points (111 goals) this season as the Knights led the
league with 319 goals for and finished second in the OHL with 51 wins
and 105 points. The Knights’ co-captain registered a point in 52 of his
57 games played including 31 multi-point performances and highlighted
by a trio of five-point efforts. His 21-game point-streak from October
17 to January 9 was tied for the longest in the OHL this season.
Marner’s offensive abilities not only dazzled fans but made an
impression on Western Conference Coaches who voted him Best Playmaker
and Best Stickhandler in the annual regular season poll.
Pretty good year I’d say.
Marner is also in the midst of absolutely destroying the OHL playoffs, currently sitting on 37 points in 14 games played ahead of the OHL finals (which began Thursday), where Marner will get the chance to add to those totals in a series against Niagara.
Marner actually didn’t lead his team in points per game this year – his linemate Christian Dvorak narrowly beat him with a 2.05PPG ahead of Marner’s 2.04. Marner didn’t lead the league in scoring, either – Barrie’s Kevin LaBanc had 127 points in 65 games played. The award then serves as a testament to just how dominant Marner looked on the ice this season, creating scoring chance after scoring chance with his speed, puckhandling, and playmaking abilities. It also serves as a testament to the leader that Marner has become – he’s the team’s co-captain along with the aforementioned Dvorak.
Marner joins Connor Brown on the list of Leaf prospects who’ve previously won the award. Brown won the award in 2013-2014, totaling 128 points in 68 games for an Erie Otters team that included Connor McDavid.
All this said, it comes as no surprise that Marner will likely be a full-time Leaf next year. I was weary of whether or not this was what was best for him earlier on in the year, but he’s just been too dominant in the OHL. He’s ready.
As the winner of the Red Tilson Trophy, Marner will be the OHL’s representative for the Canadian Hockey League Player Of The Year Award, set to be handed out in June at the CHL Awards Ceremony.