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Grachev named OHL's top rookie

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Evgeny Grachev, a 2008 Rangers third-round draft choice, won the Emms Family Trophy as the Ontario Hockey League Rookie of the Year on Wednesday -- just one more honor in what has been a truly remarkable season for the Blueshirts' 19-year-old prospect.

Evgeny Grachev played on the Rangers' prospects team at the Traverse City (Mich.) prospects tournament last fall.
Playing for the Brampton Battalion, the Yaroslavl, Russia, native finished first among OHL rookies in scoring with 40 goals and 40 assists for 80 points in 60 games. He had a plus-minus rating of plus-48 which was fourth best in the league. His 40 goals were the fifth highest total in the OHL and his 80 points had him ranked 13th in the league this season.

Grachev, who said after last year's draft that he is determined to have the same impact at the NHL level that countryman Evgeni Malkin has enjoyed, also helped Team Russia win a bronze medal at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa.

Grachev was named the Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month for November and January. His best offensive game was when he scored four goals as first star Nov. 16 in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa 67’s. He registered 21 multi-point games with six game-winning goals.  On Oct. 11 he began a 10-game point streak and followed that up with an 11-game point streak beginning Dec. 14. 

He represented Team Russia at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge and was named Game MVP Nov. 20 with a shorthanded goal in the 6-3 loss to Team OHL.  He also represented the Battalion and the Eastern Conference at the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic.

The Emms Family Award is presented annually to the top first -ear player as selected by OHL general managers.  Grachev received 47 points in the voting process ahead of Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers with 40 points, and Calvin de Haan of the Oshawa Generals who finished third with 31 points

Grachev is the first Rangers draft pick to be named OHL Rookie of the Year in the 37-year history of the award. Past Emms Family Trophy winners include Hall of Famers Mike Gartner, Wayne Gretzky as well as current NHL star Joe Thornton and projected 2009 No. 1 overall draft pick John Tavares.
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