Orillia’s Colby Barlow named OHL’s player of the month
Barlow, 17, had 20 points in 12 games while helping his Owen Sound Attack to an 8-3-1 record in January
Barrie Colts defenseman Brandt Clarke and Owen Sound Attack forward Colby Barlow, a native of Orillia, received top honors from the Ontario Hockey League for their outstanding game in January.
The OHL announced their best players on Wednesday, with Barlow being named Player of the Month while Clarke was named Best Defender. Rounding out the honors were Windsor Spitfires’ Liam Greentree as top rookie and North Bay Battalion’s Domenic DiVincentiis as top goaltender.
Barlow, who qualified for the 2023 NHL draft this summer, scored 14 goals and added six assists and 20 points in 12 games to add to his plus-6 rating last month. The attacking captain led his team to an 8-3-1-0 record and scored points in 11 of his 12 games.
The 5’11, 187-pound forward recorded a goal and two assists on Jan. 12 as the attack beat the Erie Otters 6-5 in overtime. Barlow’s scoring chances continued with another three-pointer on January 14, recording an assist and two goals, including the game-winner in a 6-4 win over Guelph Storm. He scored another night with two goals on January 21 as the attack beat the Peterborough Petes 7-4 before ending the month with another crucial goal in a 4-3 win over the Sudbury Wolves on January 28 .
Barlow, 17, is the first attacking player to win OHL Player of the Month since Petrus Palmu was honored in March 2017.
The Orillia native leads the OHL with 36 goals this season, including 10 winners. Barlow is listed as the OHL’s highest-ranked skater by Central Scouting’s midseason NHL rankings and leads the offense with 63 points (36-27-63) in 42 games.
In his second season at Owen Sound, the left winger has amassed 66 goals, 44 assists and 110 points in 101 regular-season games throughout his career. He was selected to the league’s first all-rookie team last season and set an Attack franchise record with 30 goals by a 16-year-old forward.
Barlow was Owen Sound’s first-round pick (eighth overall) in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Marlboros U16 program.
Clarke, a Los Angeles Kings prospect, was named the top defenseman after recording 10 goals and 10 assists in nine games and a plus-12 rating since returning from the Kings on Jan. 12. He returned to the Colts after winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship last month.
The 19-year-old’s offensive dominance on the blue line helped the Colts to a January record of 6-3-0-0 on his return. His month included points in eight of his nine competitions, including six multi-point shows.
Clarke scored two goals and assists (2-2-4) on January 15 to earn the first star as the Colts defeated the Mississauga Steelheads 6-2. The six-foot-tall, 188-pound blue-liner scored two goals and an assist against Owen Sound on Jan. 17, assisting the overtime winner as the Colts beat the attack 6-5. Clarke continued to lead the Colts to victory, adding another three points with two goals and an assist on January 28 as Barrie defeated the Flint Firebirds 6-4. The following night, he rounded out January with his first OHL hat-trick of his career when he provided an assist in the Colts’ 4-1 win over Saginaw Spirit.
This is the Nepean native’s second Defender of the Month award, having previously been recognized in January 2022.
In his third season with the Colts, Clarke was selected to the league’s second All-Star Team in 2021-22 and had 59 points (11-48–59) in 55 games. He was Barrie’s first round selection (fourth overall) in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection from the Don Mills Flyers U16 program.
Clarke was drafted eighth overall by the LA Kings in the 2021 NHL Draft and signed a three-year entry-level NHL contract with the club on August 10, 2021. Earlier this season, he played nine games for Los Angeles and recorded two assists.