The Ontario Hockey Association is pleased to announce that Harrison Israels (Mississauga, Ont.) has been named the OHA 2019-20 Junior A Player of the Year, as selected in partnership by the Ontario Hockey Association and Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL).
JUNIOR C PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Harrison Israels, Oakville Blades
Israels, a 20-year-old centre, was among the OJHL’s top players in 2019-20, in what was his second season in the League.
The 6’1” 190 pound forward skated his second season with the West Division’s Oakville Blades in 2019-20 and was tied in league scoring with 86 points (29G/57A) in 51 games this season. He was also the league-leader in assists with 57. Israels also led the Blades in scoring by a 16 point margin and was tied with teammate Jack Ricketts in goals with 29.
In four 2020 postseason games Israels netted four goals and added an assist for five points in what was a shortened playoffs.
Israels was named the OJHL’s Player of the Month in September 2019 and was named to the league’s First-Team All-Star team at the commencement of the regular season.
The 2018-19 season was Israels’ first in the OJHL and he was part of the OHA Buckland Cup and Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion Oakville Blades. He led the Blades in regular season goals with 27 last season and won the Blades’ “Unsung Hero-forward” award.
His efforts earned him a scholarship with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks as he boasted an 87 per cent academic average at the University of Toronto-Mississauga. Israels has committed to play for University of Alaska-Fairbanks men’s ice hockey team in the 2020-21 season and he will also take the Business Administration program.
Prior to skating in two OJHL seasons with Oakville, Israels played minor hockey in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) with the Mississauga Senators. In his Midget AAA season, Israels posted 28 points in 31 games. From the GTHL Israels then played in the North Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) and had a 69 point season (38G/31A) in 38 games with the Powassan VooDoos before joining the OJHL Blades.
Israels volunteered with P3 hockey School where he would work with community youth hockey teams every weekend and the odd weekday to them basic hockey instruction. Israels would also work with coaches to help them develop practices for their respective teams, as well as helping out at winter and summer camps.
The centreman believes he was a good candidate for the award because all year long he was tasked with consistently managing his time while playing to the best of his ability. This season he balanced a busy junior hockey schedule while taking part-time University courses, working a retail job at West Star Athletics, and volunteering with youth hockey teams. Israels says at points he was pushed to exhaustion, however he continued to produce on the ice and was a good leader within my team and community.
“Overall this season has further prepared me for college next year and has made me a good candidate for this award,” said Israels.
Israels is described by his peers as dedicated, hardworking and personable. In April, Israels was also named a finalist for the CJHL’s Top Forward Award. At the end of the OJHL season, Israels was named OJHL MVP for the 2019-20 season.
Congratulations to Harrison Israels on being named the 2019-20 OHA Junior A Player of the Year.
Recent Winners – OHA Junior A Player of the Year
2014-15 Steve Hladin, Georgetown Raiders
2015-16 Luc Brown, Wellington Dukes
2016-17 Jack Jacome, Georgetown Raiders
2017-18 Andrew Petrucci, Toronto Jr. Patriots
2018-19 Jett Alexander, North York Rangers
Photo credit: Spencer Smye/OJHL Images
OHA AWARDS SCHEDULE
June 1 – Trainer of the Year & Coach of the Year
June 2 – OHA Top Prospects
June 3 – Donald Sanderson Memorial Award
June 4 – BJ Monro Memorial Award
June 5 – Officiating Awards