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BRAMPTON, Ont. – Three members of the Brampton Battalion have drawn the notice of Eastern Conference bench bosses in the Ontario Hockey League’s Coaches Poll, with Cameron Wind winning two categories and Sam Carrick tying for another title.
Wind was recognized as best defensive defenceman and best body checker in the conference as the results were announced Thursday. Carrick tied fellow centre Joey West of the Peterborough Petes as most underrated player.
Battalion rearguard Zach Bell finished second in voting for best shot blocker, which was won by defenceman Jamie Oleksiak of the Niagara IceDogs.
Wind, a Barrie resident who turned 20 on Jan. 25, has scored two goals and earned 17 assists for 19 points in 66 games while accumulating 94 penalty minutes. The assists and points totals are career highs for the Orillia, Ont., native. He was a third-round choice in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection.
In 66 games, Carrick has 34 goals, 30 assists, 64 points and 104 penalty minutes, all team-leading totals and career highs. The Stouffville, Ont., resident, a first-round pick in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection, turned 20 on Feb. 4.
“It’s a great honour to be recognized,” said Carrick. “There are a lot of underrated players in this league and on our team, so any one of those guys could have won this award.
“It’s a team game, and individual awards aren’t really my main concern, but it’s a good feeling to know the other coaches have noticed my play this year.”
Brampton resident Bell, a fourth-round selection in 2009, has four goals and 15 assists for 19 points, all career highs, in 56 games with 75 penalty minutes. He turned 19 on Feb. 13.
Niagara was represented in the top three of 14 categories, including seven first-place finishes, three by centre Alex Friesen, who won best defensive forward and best on faceoffs and tied for best penalty killer.
Each team nominated one player in each of 20 categories, with conference coaches voting on a 5-3-1 points basis. No coach was allowed to vote for one of his own players.
Results of Western Conference voting are to be announced Friday.