NOJHL names its Players of the Month for December

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Thursday its respective player, defenceman, goaltender and rookie of the month for December.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – DEVON SAVIGNAC, (F) BLIND RIVER BEAVERS: As one of the youngest players in the NOJHL this season, the 16-year-old forward from Sudbury had points in all six games he played last month, picking up nine in total.

Savignac also scored in five of those outings, including registering the game-winning marker on three occasions.

He’ll enter play in the New Year riding a nine-game point streak and in 31 match-ups so far this season has supplied 19 goals and nine assists.

Honourable Mention: Caleb Serre, (F) Blind River Beavers; Gregory Trudeau-Paquet, (F) Powassan Voodoos

Monthly recipients
September: Caleb Serre, (F) Blind River Beavers
October: Caleb Serre, (F) Blind River Beavers
November: Caleb Serre, (F) Blind River Beavers
December: Devon Savignac, (F) Blind River Beavers

DEFENCEMAN OF THE MONTH – MATTIAS SALEM, (D) ESPANOLA EXPRESS: Suiting up in eight outings for the Express in December, the 20-year-old blueliner from Brampton, Ont., racked up a dozen points on a pair of tallies and 10 helpers.

Four of those games were multi-point affairs for Salem, including picking up his fourth and fifth three-point nights of the season for Espanola.

Salem presently tops all league defencemen in offensive production with 43 points in 34 games on 11 goals and 32 assists.

Honourable Mention: Nathan Balkwill, (D) Blind River Beavers; Josh Anderson, (D) Timmins Rock

Monthly recipients
September: Nathan Balkwill, (D) Blind River Beavers
October: Josh Anderson, (D) Timmins Rock
November: Brice French, (D) Soo Eagles
December: Mattias Salem, (D) Espanola Express

GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH – TYLER MASTERNAK, (G) TIMMINS ROCK: Getting the starting nod on four occasions in December, Masternak won them all and allowed only six goals against, including posting his NOJHL-leading fifth shutout of the season in his final start of 2019.

The period saw the 19-year-old Oshawa, Ont., native produce a stingy 1.47 goals-against average along with a save percentage of .949.

Masternak’s overall record this season sits at 15-2-1-1 while sporting a 1.88 GAA along with a .927 save mark and the league-best five shutouts.

Honourable Mention: Jackson Hjelle, (G) Blind River Beavers; Laim Oxner, (G) Hearst Lumberjacks

Monthly recipients
September: Owen Say, (G) Powassan Voodoos
October: Owen Say, (G) Powassan Voodoos
November: Jackson Hjelle, (G) Blind River Beavers
December: Tyler Masternak, (G) Timmins Rock

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH – MATTHEW MINICHIELLO, (F) COCHRANE CRUNCH: The 18-year-old from Toronto had seven points for the Crunch to conclude the 2019 portion of their schedule.

Minichiello had three goals and four assists to produce at just over a point-per-game pace in December.

His 33 total points ties him for the NOJHL scoring lead among rookies as he has notched 14 goals and chipped in with 19 assists in 35 games played.

Honourable Mention: Matthew Belanger, (F) Rayside-Balfour Canadians; David Gobeil, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks

Monthly recipients
September: Matthew Minichiello, (F) Cochrane Crunch
October: Nicholas DeGrazia, (F) Rayside-Balfour Canadians
November: Jacob Kovacs, (F) Soo Thunderbirds
December: Matthew Minichiello, (F) Cochrane Crunch