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Strome named OHL sportsmanlike player of the year

by Mike G. Morreale / NHL.com

Erie Otters center Dylan Strome, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, has been awarded the William Hanley Trophy as the most sportsmanlike player of the year in the Ontario Hockey League.

Strome not only led the OHL with 129 points (45 goals, 84 assists) in 68 games, but his 32 penalty minutes were the sixth lowest among the top 20 scorers. He had just four penalty minutes in his last 32 games of the regular season.

"This is a major honor," Stome said in a statement. "You look at the guys who have won this award in the past and it's pretty cool to be recognized alongside them. I'm extremely proud to be recognized as most sportsmanlike for this league."

Strome, chosen No. 2 by the Otters in the 2013 OHL priority draft, is the second Erie player to capture the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the league scoring champion while setting a new franchise record for points and assists. He had 40 multipoint games this season to help the team win 50 games for the second straight season. Erie right wing Connor Brown had a league-leading 128 points (45 goals, 83 assists) in 68 games in 2013-14.

Strome was a force for the Otters when first-line center Connor McDavid, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, missed eight weeks because of a hand injury and time spent representing Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. In the absence of McDavid, Strome scored 15 goals and 30 points in 20 games.

"This is a proud moment for Dylan and the Erie Otters," Otters general manager Sherry Bassin said. "He is one of the top players in this league and plays within the rules. Winning a scoring championship is a special accomplishment, but achieving that elite level of play in the manner of which the game should be played is even more special."

McDavid won the William Hanley Trophy in 2013-14; Brad Boyes won back-to-back Most Sportsmanlike honors with the Otters in 2001 and 2002.

Former winners of the William Hanley Trophy include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie 1977-78), Kirk Muller (Guelph 1982-83), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1998-99), Jeff Carter (Sault Ste. Marie 2004-05), Ryan Spooner (Peterborough 2009-10), and Brandon Saad (Saginaw 2011-12).

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