The William Hanley Trophy is awarded each season to the Ontario Hockey League's Most Sportsmanlike Player.
Since the 1974-75 Ontario Hockey League season, the William Hanley Trophy has been awarded each season to the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player.
The first recipient was Doug Jarvis of the Peterborough Petes. That season, Jarvis had 133 points and just 38 minutes in penalties. Doug went on to a 13 year NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals and Hartford Whalers. Originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jarvis was a four time Stanley Cup winner with Montreal and is currently the assistant coach of the Boston Bruins.
Since 1974-75, there have three two-time winners of the William Hanley Trophy. Dale McCourt won the award as a member of the Hamilton Fincups in 1975-76 and the St. Catherines Fincups in 1976-77. McCourt was the first overall draft pick in the 1977 NHL entry draft by the Detroit Red Wings and went on to a seven year NHL career with Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto.
Sean Simpson won the award in 1978-79 and 1979-80 with the Ottawa 67’s. Sean was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks but never played a game in the NHL.
Brad Boyes was awarded the Hanley in 2000-01 and 2001-02 as a member of the Erie Otters. During his Ontario Hockey League career, Brad was a member of the Canadian National Under-20 team twice, winning bronze and silver at the World Junior Championships. He was a first round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2000 and has played for San Jose, Boston and his current team, St. Louis.
There are thirteen William Hanley Trophy winners still actively playing hockey: Vitaly Yachmenev, 1994-95, Traktor Chelyabinsk; Matt Bradley, 1997-98, Washington Capitals; Brian Campbell, 1998-99, Chicago Blackhawks; Mike Zigomanis, 1999-00, Toronto Maple Leafs; Brad Boyes, 2000-01 & 2001-02, St. Louis Blues; Kyle Wellwood, 2002-03, Free Agent; Andre Benoit, 2003-04, Binghamton Senators; Jeff Carter, 2004-05, Philadelphia Flyers; Wojtek Wolski, 2005-06, Phoenix Coyotes; Tom Pyatt, 2006-07, Montreal Canadiens; Nick Spaling, 2007-08, Nashville Predators; Cody Hodgson, 2008-09, Manitoba Moose; Ryan Spooner, 2009-10, Peterborough Petes.
There have been three non-Canadian winners of the William Hanley Trophy. John Spoltore of the United States won in 1991-92, Pat Peake of the United States won in 1992-93 and Vitaly Yachmenev of Russia won in 1994-95.
Only five winners of the award have been shut out at the NHL entry draft. Wayne Gretzky won in 1977-78 and was never drafted to the NHL as he started his professional career in the now defunct WHA which was shortly after swallowed up by the NHL. The other four were John Goodwin (1980-81), Kevin Conway (1983-84), John Spoltore (1991-92) and Andre Benoit (2003-04).
As of this past season, the Ottawa 67’s lead all Ontario Hockey League clubs in William Hanley Trophy winners with five. Not surprising considering the disciplined style of hockey that coaching legend Brian Kilrea instilled on the team for 31 seasons.