Pickering Panthers’s Rob Pearson named OJHL Coach of the Year

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Published April 20, 2022 at 9:11 am

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Pickering Panthers head coach Rob Pearson has been named Coach of the Year in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Pearson, who hails from Oshawa and enjoyed one spectacular season with the Generals before beginning a 10-year pro career, has led the Panthers to regular season division titles in both his seasons behind the bench.

Named head coach and general manager two games into the 2019-20 season, Pearson and his Panthers had their championship-calibre season cut off by the pandemic and the 2020-21 season wiped out entirely. This year the club smashed 50-year-old franchise records for points in a season and are currently one win away from their first playoff division crown since 1987.

“I am honoured and grateful,” said Pearson, who scored 63 goals in his final junior season – including 57 in 41 games after being traded from Belleville to Oshawa 10 games in. “My heartfelt gratitude for those who surround me every day at the rink and make me a better person. To all the players I have coached, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your hockey journey, especially my Pickering Panthers.”

Pearson played 269 games in the NHL with Toronto, Washington and St. Louis before turning to coaching. He had stints with Ontario Tech and the Whitby Fury before coming to Pickering three tears ago.

The award was voted on by league general managers and a panel of media members. Pearson and the other OJHL award recipients will be honoured during a ceremony before Game 1 of the OJHL Nutrafarms Championship Series in early May. The OJHL is announcing its 2021-22 award winners throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs.

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