Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm was named the 2016-17 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the Ontario Hockey League’s rookie of the year.
Merkley, 16 led all OHL rookies with 55 points (12 goals, 43 assists) in 62 games played. He became the first rookie in franchise history to lead the team in scoring, and is the first OHL defenseman since London’s Rick Corriveau in 1987-88 to lead all rookies in scoring.
His 55 points ranked eighth among all OHL defensemen.
“It is an honour to be selected as the OHL Rookie of the Year,” Merkley said in a release. “Knowing that there are so many talented first year players, makes the award extra special. I would like to thank my teammates and the Storm organization for all their help and support.”
Merkley, the first overall selection of the Storm in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, is eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.
“Being selected as OHL Rookie of the Year is a special honour, but one that Ryan richly deserves,” Mike Kelly, Guelph’s departing General Manager said in a release. “Even as a 16-year-old, Ryan was a critical part of a very young Guelph Storm Hockey team, and he provided our fans, and fans throughout the OHL with some spectacular hockey memories. As good as Ryan was this past year, he will be even more special in upcoming seasons.”
Merkley was also named to the OHL’s First All-Star Team.