Mississauga, Ontario – The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) announced that Matteo Costantini (Photo by Owen Mertens / OJHL Images) of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres has been named the Warrior North-West Conference Player-of-the-Month for December after he tallied 17 points during nine games.
His league-leading 13 goals included three on the power play, one shorthanded and two game-winners. Eight was the next highest goals total for the month across the 22-team league – accomplished only by Costantini’s Buffalo teammates, Alec Cicero, and Nolan Dann of the Georgetown Raiders.
In his first season of junior hockey, the 17-year-old from St. Catharines leads all OJHL scorers with 28 goals. He has added 18 assists during 35 regular season games in Buffalo. Costantini played midget with the Jr. Sabres organization in 2018-19, scoring 34 goals and assisting on 35 more during 57 games.
The product of the Niagara North Stars bantam and minor midget teams was a 15th-round selection of the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2018 Ontario Hockey League draft.
Luke Strickland of the Stouffville Spirit was runner-up to Costantini as the North-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. The Keswick resident led the North Division with seven goals in December, including a game-winner, for the first-place Spirit. He added three assists in nine games.
Like Costantini, Strickland is 17 and in his first year in the OJHL, following a season of midget AAA. He had 39 points in 30 games for the Markham Waxers last year. Strickland was also a 15th-round pick in the 2018 OHL draft, by the Sudbury Wolves, from the Waxers minor midgets.