4 London Knights That Have Won The Red Tilson Trophy
The Red Tilson Trophy has been awarded to the most outstanding player in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL, OMJHL, OHA) since 1944-45. The London Knights entered the OHA as the London Nationals for the 1965-66 season, renamed the Knights for 1968-69. In that time, four London Knights players have been named the recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy.
Dennis Maruk was the first, winning the award in 1974-75. In 65 games that season, Maruk scored 66 goals and assisted on 79 for 145 points. Over his OHA career with London from 1972-73 to 1974-75, Maruk totaled 370 points in 193 games for a 1.92 points per game average.
The California Golden Seals drafted Dennis in the second round of the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft, 21st overall. Maruk played 888 regular season NHL games between 1975-76 and 1988-89 with the Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, Minnesota North Stars and Washington Capitals. In 1981-82 with the Capitals, Maruk scored 60 goals and added 76 assists for 136 points. All were team records at the time, with only Alexander Ovechkin breaking the team mark for goals in a season since.
Dave Simpson set the London Knights record for most points in a season in 1981-82 with 155, a mark that remains today. He played for the Knights from 1979-80 to 1981-82, playing 135 games and contributing 245 points. Along with the Red Tilson Trophy in 1981-82, Simpson was also honoured as the CHL’s Player of the Year, as well as, winning the Eddie Powers Trophy (OHL scoring leader), William Hanley Trophy (sportsmanship) and the Bobby Smith Trophy (top scholar).
Simpson was drafted in the third round of the 1980 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders, 59th overall. He never played in the National Hockey League. He played just three years of pro hockey after leaving London, in the Central Hockey League and American Hockey League.
Jason Allison was the next London Knight to win the Red Tilson. In 1993-94, Allison scored 55 goals and added 87 assists for 142 points in just 56 games, a 2.5 points per game pace. The 142 points earned him the Eddie Powers Trophy. Jason played for the Knights from 1991-92 to 1994-95.
Allison was taken in the first round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, 17th overall, by the Washington Capitals. He played 552 NHL regular season games, retiring after the 2005-06 season. Jason played for the Capitals, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs over his NHL career. His best season came in 2000-01 with the Bruins when his 95 points tied him for fourth in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.
The only one of the four London Red Tilson Trophy winners to have his jersey retired, Corey Perry led the 2004-05 Knights to Hamilton Spectator Trophy, Robertson Cup and Memorial Cup victories. He played 60 regular season games, scoring 47 goals and assisting on 83 others for 130 points. Over an OHL career that lasted from 2001-02 to 2004-05, Perry totaled 380 points in 253 regular season games.
Corey Perry was a first round pick of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, 28th overall. He will play his 500th NHL game during the 2011-12 season, all with Anaheim. In 2010-11, Corey’s 50 goals earned him the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer. Early in the 2011-12 season, the Knights retired Perry’s number 94.