Pittsburgh Native Wins CHL Goaltender of the Year
One year after the city of Pittsburgh produced four draft picks in the first 64 selections of the NHL Draft, the city is now the proud home of the best goaltender in all of Canadian junior hockey.
Wexford, Pa. native and former Pittsburgh Hornet Michael Houser was named the Canadian Hockey League Goaltender of the Year, while also being a finalist for CHL Player of the Year, after a phenomenal season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
Houser was also named the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player and OHL Goaltender of the Year after posting a 46-15-0-1 record, 2.47 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and six shutouts. Houser’s 46 wins tied an OHL record.
Houser, 19, lifted the Knights to the OHL championship and their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular-season team. He led the Knights, along with Penguins’ 2011 second-round pick Scott Harrington, to the Memorial Cup Championship Final against host team Shawinigan Sunday night. And though London fell in overtime, 2-1, Houser was named a MasterCard Memorial Cup All-Star.
Houser is only the third American to win OHL Most Outstanding Player (David Legwand, Pat Peake) and second American to win Goaltender of the Year (Craig Anderson). Houser was also named an OHL First-Team All Star, along with teammate Harrington and fellow Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad (Saginaw, Gibsonia, Pa.) – goaltender John Gibson (Kitchener, Whitehall, Pa.) was named as a Third-Team All-Star.
The 2012 NHL Draft will be held at CONSOL Energy Center June 22-23 and Houser is draft eligible.
In the 2011 NHL Draft in Minnesota, Pittsburgh produced four draft picks in the first 64 picks – J.T. Miller (15th, NY Rangers), Gibson (39th, Anaheim), Saad (43rd, Chicago) and Vincent Trocheck (64th, Florida). Miller became the highest Pittsburgh-area player drafted ever, one spot ahead of R.J. Umberger (16th, Vancouver, 2001).