Aleardi had two hat-trick performances and was twice named first star of the game including opening night against the Windsor Spitfires, and Saturday night against the Barrie Colts. He added an assist on Thursday to factor in on all four Whalers’ goals despite a 5-4 shootout loss to the Spitfires to open the regular season, however his three goals on Saturday helped the Whalers earn their first win of the season by a 6-2 score over the Colts. He also recorded a goal Friday night despite a 3-2 loss to the London Knights.
Aleardi, an 18-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, is playing in his third OHL season and first with the Whalers after being acquired from the Belleville Bulls just prior to the start of the season. Last season he recorded 41 points in 64 games scoring 16 goals and 25 assists splitting time with the Bulls and Kitchener Rangers.
Windsor Spitfires’ forwards Zack MacQueen and Alexander Khokhlachev were also considered for the award after each recorded six points in three games. MacQueen’s two goals and four assists and Khokhlachev’s three goals and three assists led the defending champs to a pair of victories on the OHL’s opening weekend. In goal, Philipp Grubauer of the Kingston Frontenacs finished the week with a goals-against-average of 2.00 and save percentage of .954 highlighted by a shutout victory with 44 saves Saturday as first star in a 3-0 win over the Belleville Bulls.