At the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, the Niagara IceDogs completed a player poll, based on topics ranging from the most underrated player on the team, to their best dressed teammate. Nearly the entire team completed the survey, validating the results captured.
Most Underrated Player:
There seemed to be no runaway winner with this question as many players received votes. It just goes to show that on a team full of stars that even some very good players can seem underrated. Oliver Castleman did receive the most votes. In his third season with the Ice Dogs he put up his second 40 point campaign of his OHL career. Castleman also contributed on the powerplay putting up 8 powerplay goals and 4 powerplay assists.
Several different players received votes for this question. However, Philip Tomasino was voted as the fastest skater by his teammates. Tomasino uses his speed to his advantage to be a dynamic, playmaking centerman. He’s able to use his speed to kickstart a breakout and to put pressure on the opposing defence in the offensive zone. One of his linemates had this to say: “He’s super explosive and his feet move faster than anyone I’ve ever seen on skates.” Elijah Roberts received a close 2nd highest amount of votes for fastest skater.
Rarely the player with the hardest shot on a team is a forward and not a defenceman. For the IceDogs, the hardest shot belongs to a 40 goal scoring forward, Kirill Maksimov. Maksimov used his heavy shot to pepper goalies with 232 shots and put up 16 power play goals in the 2018-2019 season. His teammates overwhelmingly voted his shot as the hardest on the team. One teammate had this to say about Maksimovs shot; “The release he has is unparalleled in this league. Maksi practices his shot after every practice. You can see why he puts so many pucks in the net with the power he has behind it”.
Best Trash Talker:
It’s no surprise that OHL veteran Matt Brassard is considered to be the teams best trash-talker. Over 220 games played in the OHL gives one lots of time to master the art of trash-talking. His opponents may not appreciate his talent, but his teammates sure do.
Matt Brassard is able to translate his on-ice trash talking skills into providing comedic value to his teammates off the ice. Similar to the trash-talking, it makes sense that a veteran is the guy who’s able to keep things light and keep the guys entertained off the ice. Several other players received votes, but Brassard was the ultimate winner. One teammate said this of him: “Matt is always happy and joking around at the rink. He keeps the mood light and has lots of quick, funny responses.”
Best Dressed Player:
Fashion is just one way our IceDogs choose to show their personalities and express themselves. Known for rocking a three-piece suit to games, Elijah Roberts can consider himself covered in the wardrobe department as he is always finding ways to remain stylish both around and outside of the rink. He was chosen as the best-dressed IceDog with Ben Jones receiving the second highest amount of votes.