The OJHL announced today that Buffalo Jr. Sabres forward Tyler Gjurich has been named the Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month for November after leading all OJHL players throughout the month with 22 points in only nine games played.
The 20-year olds performance, including a league-leading 15 goals, helped lead the Jr. Sabres to the top of the West Division standings with a 7-1-1 record on the month, as well as earn a spot on the CJHL Top 20 rankings for the first time in franchise history, currently sitting #10 in the country. Gjurich would record points in eight of his nine games played, notching five points on two occasions; a one goal, four assist performance versus Mississauga and a four goal, one assist outing versus West Division rival Georgetown. He scored goals in six of his nine games during the month, including four power play goals, two shorthanded goals and two game-winners, to jump to the top of the OJHL goal and scoring charts.
Gjurich was honoured when informed of the award, "First off, I need to thank my teammates. Without them, especially my linemates, I could not have had the success I had. Our team had a great month, so to have contributed to that means more than any individual honour. Lastly, it is personally satisfying to have been awarded this great honour being an American playing in a great Canadian junior league."
Jr. Sabres General Manager and Head Coach Michael Peca was pleased to see his star forward receive the well-deserved recognition, "Tyler has been a leader for us all year long. It’s been a pleasure to get the opportunity to coach such a gifted goal scorer like him. I'm not sure I've seen more than a handful of players at the pro level (all levels) shoot the puck like he does. It's incredible. He has become more than just a scorer for us as he has developed into one of our best penalty killers on a team ranked #1 in the OJHL right now. Special kid."
John Carpino of the North York Rangers was runner-up to Gjurich as the OJHL South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. Carpino posted nine goals and ninteen points, including three power play goals, in 10 games played for the Rangers during November.
Born on May 24, 1992 in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, Tyler Gjurich would end up playing high school hockey for the North Penn Knights, while also traveling to play for the Long Island Gulls ‘AAA’ 16-and-Under squad in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League, where he was one of the top scorer’s for both organizations.
Gjurich would eventually make his way to the Buffalo Regals Tier I Elite 18-and-Under program, where he would star as the club’s leading scorer with 99 points during the 2009-10 season, helping the Regals capture the 2010 New York District State Championship with a 6-2 victory over Wheatfield in the championship game. During the season, he would also get his first taste of junior hockey, playing seven games for the nearby Jr. Sabres, notching three assists during the short stint. Now firmly implanted on the scouting radar, Gjurich would be selected by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the 6th round, 87th overall, of the 2010 USHL Draft.
Making the jump to junior full-time in 2009-10, Gjurich joined the Springfield Pics of the Eastern Junior Hockey League, where he would spend the next two seasons plying his trade. As an 18-year old rookie, the talented forward would finish second on the club in scoring with 21 goals and 49 points in 45 games played, following that up last season with 17 goals and 45 points in just 29 games played.
Joining the Jr. Sabres this season, Gjurich has been one of the club’s leaders since day one of camp, spearheading the club’s improvement this season and jump to being among the OJHL’s elite.