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Zacha, Blackwood, Speers among OHL Award finalists

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

2015 Draft Class members Pavel Zacha, Mackenzie Blackwood, Blake Speers are finalists for OHL Awards.

Three members of the Devils' 2015 Draft Class have been named finalists for the OHL Awards to be handed out on June 7.

Pavel Zacha, the sixth-overall pick last year, has been nominated by the Sarnia Sting as the OHL's Most Outstanding Player of the Year. Mackenzie Blackwood of the Barrie Colts, the 42nd-overall pick, is one of six in the running for OHL Goaltender of the Year. Blake Speers of the Soo Greyhounds, selected 67th overall, is a finalist for the Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.

Zacha finished second in regular-season scoring for Sarnia with 64 points (28g-36a) in 51 games. He led the club in the postseason with 13 points (6g-7a), scoring six times in the Sting's seven-game opening round upset loss to Speers' Greyhounds. The native of Brno, Czech Republic, made his NHL debut in the Devils' 2015-16 season finale, recording two assists.

The Most Outstanding Player award is voted on by OHL sportswriters and broadcasters.

Speers led the Greyhounds with 74 points (26g-48a) in 68 games this season and is currently second on the club in postseason scoring with 10 points (6g-4a) in 11 contests. Sault Ste. Marie trails 3-1 in its second-round series with the Erie Otters, which is set to continue Friday at Erie.

Blackwood ranked in the top five in three major goaltending categories: He was fifth in wins (28), tied for first in save percentage (.921) and tied for fourth in shutouts (3). He's off to a 5-1-0 start in the postseason with Barrie, which knocked off Mississauga in a seven-game first-round series and holds a 3-0 series lead on North Bay in the second round. Game 4 was set for Thursday night at North Bay.

Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year are among the six awards voted on by the OHL's member teams.

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