Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds wrapped up their third season in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Firebirds’ end of the year awards banquet on Sunday, Mar. 18.
Along with all 23 players in attendance, were the coaches, families, staff representatives, and host families. Of the 10 awards, Flint’s Maurizio Colella and Ty Dellandrea garnered two each.
Dellandrea was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and winner for the Combined Academic & Athletics Excellence award. In his second season in the OHL, Dellandrea more than doubled his points from 24 to 59. The Port Perry, Ont. native scored 27 goals and recorded 32 assists in 67 games this year. Ty achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) at Grand Blanc High School in the first marking period this year. Dellandrea is considered a top-prospect for the upcoming NHL Draft in Dallas, Texas this June 22-23.
Colella earned both the Leading Scorer and Blue Collar Worker awards. The Tottenham, Ont. native earned 20 more points in his overage season. Colella recorded 61 points (23G, 38A) in 67 games this campaign and finished the year as the Firebirds’ leader in point production. Following the 2017-18 season, Colella signed an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) with the New York Islanders’ ECHL affiliate, Worcester Railers.
With a cumulative 3.93 GPA, rookie netminder Luke Cavallin was awarded the High School Player of the Year. Cavallin was the highest picked goaltender in the 2017 OHL Draft last April and is currently a junior at Grand Blanc High School.
After earning 66 college credits and a cumulative GPA of 3.60, Hakon Nilsen was the club’s College / University Excellence award winner in his third year in the OHL.
CJ Clarke was chosen as the Humanitarian Award winner for the 2017-18 season. After being acquired in a trade with the Peterborough Petes in January 2017, Clarke has attended numerous community & school appearances and summer events throughout Genesee County, representing the Firebirds and the OHL in the highest manner.
Firebirds’ captain and Arizona Coyotes prospect Jalen Smereck received the Best Defenseman award. Smereck became the first Flint Firebird to sign a three year NHL Entry-Level Contract in October of 2016. The Firebirds’ captain led all Flint defenseman during the 2017-18 season with 34 points (10G, 24A) in 46 games. Following the campaign, Smereck was called up by the Coyotes to their AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners.
The Firebirds Most Improved Player was awarded to Fedor Gordeev. After being selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2017 NHL Draft last June, Gordeev was one point shy of doubling his points in his second season with the Firebirds. He scored four power play goals, two game-winning goals and recorded 168 shots on goal throughout the 2017-18 season.
Ethan Keppen earned the Rookie of the Year award. The Firebirds’ first-round draft pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection recorded 10 goals and eight assists in 63 games. He was second among all Firebirds’ rookies both in points and in games played.
Additionally, two front office staff members from the business team were surprised with Unsung Hero Awards for their contributions throughout the year: Monika Kronenberger and Dominic Gutierrez.
The 2018 OHL Priority Selection takes place this Saturday, Apr. 7. The Firebirds have the second-overall pick and fans can follow along with live coverage via FlintFirebirds.com beginning at 9 a.m.
Early bird ticket packages for the Flint Firebirds 2018-19 OHL season are on sale now. $50 reserves your seat for next season! Special early bird price deadline is Monday, April 30th. Purchase at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or the Firebirds front office, Monday thru Friday from 9AM to 5PM. For additional pricing and ticket information, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or email email@example.com.