Alex Hebblethwaite of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s (photo credit – Rich Denham | OJHL Images) has confirmed his commitment to join the NCAA Division I Rochester Institute Tigers in Rochester, NY beginning with the 2025-26 season.
The 18-year-old from Burlington has scored eight goals and added seven assists in nine games for expansion Canucks this season.
Playing Jr. B with the Canucks in the GOHL last season, Hebblethwaite had 31 goals and 24 assists in 41 games. In the GOHL Golden Horseshoe Conference, he was Rookie of the Year, co-recipient of Rob Judge Memorial Trophy for most goals scored, won the Cecil Jones Memorial Award as Most Gentlemanly Player and was selected to the All-Rookie Team.
“Alex came to Niagara Falls last season, and his presence down at the Gale Centre was spectacular,” Canucks Head Coach and Co-owner Frank Pietrangelo told the OJHL. “Aided by his tremendous speed, Alex made his name be known to everyone in the hockey world.”
“As we transitioned to Jr. A (OJHL) hockey this season, Alex hasn’t slowed down. He scored eight goals in our first nine games, and was runner-up for the OJHL Western Conference Player of the Month in September.”
“We are tremendously proud of Hebby, and wish him nothing but the best with his future at RIT,” Pietrangelo said. ‘The Tigers sure got themselves a great one!”
Hebblethwaite is a big fan of The Falls.
“My time in Niagara over the past two years has been amazing, Hebblethwaite told the OJHL. “From starting off in Junior B to moving up this year to the OJHL, it’s been a terrific journey. The coaching staff has been the best you could ask for. The fans at the Gale Centre are the best fans you could ever play in front of!”
“I’ve been able to not only play hockey, but make friends for a lifetime here in Niagara. I love coming to the rink every day with my brothers and working together towards our goal – a championship.”
OJHL grads on this year’s RIT roster include: Tyler Fukakusa,Gianfranco Cassaro, Christian Catalano and Matthew Wilde (Toronto Jr. Canadiens), Dimitri Mikrogiannakis (Newmarket), Evan Miller (Wellington), Ryan Nicholson (Oakville) and Elijah Gonsalves (Aurora, Wellington, Pickering).
Congratulations to Alex and best of luck in the OJHL and NCAA!
The OJHL has had more than 35 NCAA Division I scholarship commitments already this season.