Bannister and Hayton take home hardware

photo: soo greyhounds

The Ontario Hockey League held their 2017-2018 Awards Ceremony on Wednesday at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Out of the fourteen league awards presented on Wednesday, two of them were won by members of the Soo Greyhounds.

Head coach Drew Bannister, who is now the Soo Greyhounds former head coach, was the recipient the Matt Leyden Trophy for the Ontario Hockey League’s Coach of the Year.

The 44 year old helped guide the Soo Greyhounds to their best regular season ever, with 55 wins and 116 points.

Their 55 wins set a new team record for most wins in a regular season, breaking their previous team record from 1984-1985 and 2014-2015, when they had 54 wins.

Their 116 points during the 2017-2018 regular season, broke their previous team record for most points in a regular season (110), which was back in 2014-2015.

Two days ago (June 5), Bannister was named head coach of the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage, who are the affiliate team of the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues.

Bannister became just the fourth Soo Greyhounds head coach to win the Matt Leyden Trophy, joining Terry Crisp (1983 & 1985), Craig Hartsburg (2002) and Sheldon Keefe (2015), who is currently head coach of the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.

Second year forward Barrett Hayton was the recipient of the Bobby Smith Trophy for the Ontario Hockey League’s Scholastic Player of the Year.

The Peterborough, Ontario native had an 87% average this year as a grade 12 student attending Superior Heights Secondary School.

The 17 year old finished sixth in team points (60) during the regular season and is expected to go high in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.

Hayton became just the third Soo Greyhound to win the Bobby Smith Trophy, joining goaltender Jake McCracken (1997) and defenceman Darnell Nurse (2013)), who is now with the Edmonton Oilers.



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Matt Stefano
Matt had graduated from Sault College in the General Arts and Sciences program in 2011 and has been working in the sports field ever since. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native has worked as an Athletics Assistant in the Sault College Athletics Department during his final year of school in 2011. After graduating, Stefano worked for two years at the George Leach Centre from 2011-2013 for the Algoma University Thunderbirds Varsity Basketball Games as an Athletics Assistant. From 2013 on, Stefano has been working as the Soo Thunderbirds communications person and has also been volunteering with Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie since 2014, doing Soo Thunderbirds TV Segments.