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Two Kitchener Rangers receive honours at annual OHL Awards Ceremony in Toronto

Forward and Kitchener-native Matthew Sop took home the Leo Lalonde Trophy as the Overage Player of the Year for the league. Defenceman Hunter Brzustewicz was given the Ted Baker Award for Best Teammate of the Year. (Source: Twitter/@OHLRangers) Forward and Kitchener-native Matthew Sop took home the Leo Lalonde Trophy as the Overage Player of the Year for the league. Defenceman Hunter Brzustewicz was given the Ted Baker Award for Best Teammate of the Year. (Source: Twitter/@OHLRangers)
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The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) handed out their annual awards at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto Wednesday night where two Kitchener Rangers walked away with honours.

Forward and Kitchener-native Matthew Sop took home the Leo Lalonde Trophy as the Overage Player of the Year for the league.

"This recognition from the league means a lot to me," said Sop. "I am really honoured to receive it, but I definitely could not have gotten it without all of my teammates and coaches around me!"

The 21-year-old scored 43 goals and notched 47 assists in 67 games this season.

Sop’s production has steadily increased over his three OHL seasons, culminating in a total of 169 points over 203 regular-season games. Kitchener Rangers General Manager Mike McKenzie praised Sop's growth and dedication, noting the significance of his achievement as a former seventh-round pick.

“We are so excited and proud of Matthew on this individual accomplishment,” McKenzie said. “It has been tremendous to see the growth in his game throughout his career with the Rangers and this is well-earned recognition for a great season… Matthew is another example that development looks different for everyone and players that aren’t top picks can still make a big impact.”

Sop is the fourth Kitchener Ranger to win this award, joining past winners Jason Akeson, Andre Benoit, and Joey St. Aubin.

Owen Sound Attack's Deni Goure was the runner-up.

Meanwhile, Hunter Brzustewicz was given the Ted Baker Award for Best Teammate of the Year.

Recognized for his leadership and selflessness, Brzustewicz excelled both on and off the ice, achieving a franchise record of 79 assists and tying the record for points by a Kitchener defenceman with 92.

“…All I’ve wanted to do since I’ve been here is give it my all to be the best teammate and player I can be,” Brzustewicz said. “The coaches gave me the guidance to make all that possible. I believe everything happens for a reason. No matter what, always make the best out of the opportunities you get.”

The 19-year-old from Washington has appeared in 135 career regular season games for Kitchener since being acquired from the Barrie Colts in January 2022, amassing 149 points along the way.

"We are very proud of Hunter," said McKenzie. "He had many moments of adversity throughout the season but was always there for our team and was a steadying presence on and off the ice."

Brzustewicz signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames.

A full list of award winners can be found here.

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