Colts overager Vierling named OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player

Vierling is the first player in franchise history to win the William Hanley Trophy

Barrie Colts overage centre Evan Vierling has been named the recipient of the 2022-23 Williams Hanley Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player as voted by league general managers.

The 20-year-old, who is a native of Aurora, led the Colts in scoring this with season with 95 points, collecting 35 goals and 60 assists in 60 regular season games while racking up a mere 12 penalty minutes.

Vierling is the first player in franchise history to win the William Hanley Trophy.

“It truly is an honour to be recognized with the William Hanley Trophy,” said Vierling. “When looking back at the past winners, it’s a great group to join and a nice way to finish off my OHL career. My success this year is a reflection of all the help I got from my teammates, coaches, and family.”

All 20 teams submit a nominee for the award, but are not permitted to vote for their own candidate. The trophy is presented by the OHL to commemorate William Hanley, former Secretary-Manager of the Ontario Hockey Association for over 25 years.

The Colts missed Vierling dearly in their OHL Eastern Conference Semifinal seven-game loss to the North Bay Battalion after a hit in Game 2 knocked him out of the remainder of the series.

Vierling was set to return this weekend.

“Anytime you can have a player that wins a league award it’s always great news for the franchise,” said Colts Head Coach and General Manager Marty Williamson. “Evan was a key contributor to our team this season and he took his play to the next level. It’s a reflection of his game by finishing with 95 points and only 12 minutes in penalties. The entire Colts organization is proud of him.”

Vierling finished with one goals, 12 assists and 13 points in seven playoff games.

A second overall selection of the Flint Firebirds in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Vierling was traded to Barrie on June 8, 2020 for blueliner Tyler Tucker, winger Riley Piercey and a pair of draft picks.

He would finish his four-year junior career with 213 points (75-138-213) in 218 regular season games between Flint and Barrie.

Owen Sound Attack forward Cedrick Guindon finished as a runner-up in award voting, followed by Oshawa Generals forward Calum Ritchie who placed third.

Vierling will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Sportsman of the Year Award, presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 3 during the 2023 Memorial Cup in Kamloops, British Columbia.

He will be formally presented with the William Hanley Trophy at the OHL’s Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 14 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Terry Wilson/OHL Image