Matthews vs Laine - Who’s the better draft pick?

Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are two names that have been followed and heavily scrutinized leading up to the 2016 NHL Draft.  In the end, Auston Matthews went first overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is the better pick.  

Both players are off to amazing starts to their NHL careers as Matthews potted four goals in his NHL debut and has six goals and four assists in just his first nine games.  Laine is off to just as an impressive start with six goals and two assists in nine games.  Both players are on pace for incredible rookie seasons.  Matthews is on pace for 55 goals and 37 assists while Laine is on pace for 55 goals and 19 assists.  That would mean the duo finishes with 110 goals and 56 assists which would put them second amount points in a rookie season for the first and second overall picks just behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin from the 2005 draft class (194 combined points).  


Matthews has started his season on a line with Zach Hyman and William Nylander. Combined, the two have played 58 games with 13 goals and 17 assists.  In Winnipeg, Laine is playing along Mathieu Perrault and Kyle Connor who have combined for 388 games and 201 points. Granted basically all of those stats are from Perrault but it still helps to play along side a veteran like Perrault especially in your first season unlike Matthews who is having to be the leader of his line right away.  Matthews averages 17:11 minutes a game while Laine spends roughly 2 minutes more a game on the ice (19:23).  Both players have the potential to be elite players in the NHL for years to come but after the first nine games and based on their current situation, it looks as though Laine may be the better player at least for 2016-2017.  What happens after that is yet to be seen. We will have to wait and see how this season players outMatthews vs Laine Infographic.jpg


200 game milestone

*DISCLAIMER - This post involves a lot more personal information than you think.  Its also kinda long but its 3 a.m. and I wanted to write so screw it*

  As many people know before transferring to Ryerson University in 2014, I went to the University of Windsor for Communications and Visual Arts and in the end it wasn’t the program for me.  I met some great people there, a few who I still keep in touch with and have helped me with various things since I left.  The town and the city just weren’t what I was use to and I was missing home a lot and wanted to be closer to family.  The one thing that made my time at Windsor manageable was athletics.  I spent several weekends going to football games and watching them from the stands before I got a crack at photographing homecoming for “The Lance”.  Mike Specht was the man who gave me the opportunity that in the end sparked the burning passion I now have for sports photography and am able to look back at now and say I’ve met some amazing people and been to amazing places because of my photography.  

     Im a firm believer in “Everything happens for a reason”.  At the time, I didn’t have the balls to finish my RTA application until I saw the Sport Media program.  Windsor was the launching pad for my photography career and it started me on the path of whats lead me to be where I am today.  

     When I was originally hired to work as the Varsity Athletics photographer back in the summer of 2014, I made it clear in my mind that I had every intention of keeping this job all four years I’m in school.  Ive spent the last two years dedicating my weekends to Ryerson Athletics and I’ve had the best seat to witness some of the best games in recent history.  As I come up to my 200th game/event shot for Ryerson Athletics this Saturday as the Rams Womens Volleyball team plays the Western Mustangs in the final game of their season, I took the time to reflect back on some of the best games I have been to in my time as a part of Ryerson Athletics.  Its reading week, what else am I suppose to do? Homework? 

10 - MHKY vs UofT Varsity Blues Playoffs game 2 2015:  Ive been a hockey fan my whole life so any chance I get to be involved in a hockey game, I jump at the opportunity. You don’t have to be from Toronto to understand the rivalry between Ryerson and UofT. For years they have bested Ryerson in many sports and the Mens Hockey teams renewed the rivalry in the first round of the 2014-2015 playoffs. Brett Willows had been Ryerson’s kryptonite all season and continued to do so in the playoffs as he stopped 49 of 50 shots in game 1 as UofT won 2-1 on two first period goals from Russell Turner. Game 2 was the game everyone will remember. Within athletics, Valentines day wasn’t exactly the greatest day to be a Ram as both Volleyball teams were eliminated from the playoffs (WVB vs Ottawa, MVB vs Windsor). Valentines Day is suppose to be about showing your love for your someone you care about. Rather ironic as the Rams play one of the teams they hate the most. This game seemed like the game that would never end. Rams up 2-1 after one. Up 4-3 after two and then UofT kicked into another gear (and got a few lucky bounces) as they would score 3 goals in 10 minutes to ice the game and the Rams season. One of the most back and forth games I’ve been to. To top it off, the whole game you could hear Jordan Henry yelling at Brett Willows about Denzel Washington, Apple Pie, Shawshank Redemption and his family. Pissed off UofT so much they got security yo come and tell him to stop but for those who knows Jordan, when is he ever tame.  

9 - WBB Final 4 vs Queen’s Gaels 2015:  After being Nationally ranked for the first time in program history, the women continued their great season by heading to the OUA Final 4 along with their semi final opponents Queens, Lakehead and National Champions Windsor Lancers. The Rams won 69-60 but the moment I remember most is after years of struggling and fighting to get the program to its first OUA final 4, seeing the elation on the faces of the veteran players as they rushed to centre court to celebrate with the rest of the team was priceless. Queens Jenny Wright and Ryerson’s Sofia Paska went back and forth all night as Paska went off for 18 points and 6 rebounds while Wright had 18 points as well and added an extra rebound over Paska (7 rebounds).


8 - BSB vs McMaster 2015:  After a several decade absence from the Ryerson athletics community, Ryerson baseball made its much awaited return to the OUA circuit a few years ago. Head Coach Ben Rich said by year 3 they would make the playoffs and he held true to his word as their win in the first game of the double header vs McMaster was enough to bolster Rich and his squad into the playoffs for the first time in the newly resurrected programs history. After being tied at 3’s heading ito the 7th inning, the baseball looked more like a beach ball to the Rams as they went off for 7 runs and that was enough to complete the playoff push. 


7 - WVB vs Queen’s Gaels 2016:  This game was the volleyball equivalent of what happened to the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS vs the Texas Rangers. Down heading into a critical part of the game and boom. Just like that the game flips its script and all of a sudden the Rams woke up and things started to go their way. After losing 25-27 and 27-29, the Rams made quick work of the Gaels and won the next set 25-16 and battled to a 26-24 win in the 4th set to force a 5th set where they won 15-12. Down 0-2, come back to win 3 straight. That isn’t something you see everyday and when you do, well lets just hope its in your teams favour. 


6 - WHKY vs Guelph Gryphons Playoffs game 2 2015:  First playoff appearance and you lose the first game in overtime 2-1 and the second game in double OT 2-1 to one of the best teams in the province, not a bad way to make a name for your program. Christine Grant buried a shot late in the 2nd overtime to knock the Rams out and end their season. A heartbreak loss but an overall amazing game and one of the best WHKY games I’ve witnessed in my time at Ryerson.


5 - MBB vs Ottawa Gee-Gee’s CIS Final 8:  Ottawa 84 - Ryerson 75. One quarter and one big man’s shooting is what prevented the Rams from playing for the national championship. Since I view the game through my cameras viewfinder 99% of the time, majority of the games I go to, I judge the game on the atmosphere I felt in the arena. All season the Rams crowds had consisted of fans and family but there weren’t the “super fans” like this season. To see all of Ryerson’s athletics and hundreds of students come out and cheer on their school was a sight to see. Painted faces, awful chirps and school spirit all on display.  


4 - WBB/MBB vs Brock Badgers 2016:  The games themselves - not exactly the best. Women won 74-67 but the Mens game was a different story. Coach Tatham must have fed the team their wheaties cause the Rams found another gear and fed off the NCAA type atmosphere inside Coca-Cola Court and DESTROYED the Badgers 104-79. Ive now been to countless games and the atmosphere easily ranks in the top 3 for best all-time for me. If only every game could be like that. The Rams are already feared on the court around the CIS, time to be feared in the stands. 


3 - MSOC vs Mac Final 4 (2014 & 2015):  For some reason McMaster always seems to create memorable games with Ryerson’s Mens Soccer team.
2014 - 0-0 after regulation and extra time. No one likes to lose in penalty kicks and frankly no one deserved to lose that game. Both teams fought hard and played their hearts out. As McMaster’s final kick went in the net, Senior Goalkeeper Christian Maraldo kneeled as Mac celebrated yards away from him. My first experience of watching someones playing career come to an end in heartbreaking fashion. You always want to see players go out on a good note. 

2015 - Much like 2014, one shot sealed the Rams fate. Around the 55th minute, McMaster buried the ball. for the next 35 minutes and change, the Rams battled hard but couldn’t beat Mac keeper Angelo Cavaluzzo. In the final seconds, 5th year senior Martin Dabrowski stepped up to take what would be his last set piece of his OUA career. Martin has been through so much on and off the pitch over the last couple seasons and to see him and the rest of the Rams laying on the pitch in defeat, another classic between Mac and Ryerson but also another heartbreaking moment watching fabulous careers come to an end.


2 - WBB/MBB vs Ottawa 2016:  For those who follow Ryerson basketball, these games are pretty self explanatory. WBB - Overtime loss after Julia Soriano of Ottawa hit a three pointer with 5.6 seconds left on the clock. After a back and forth game where the 2nd quarter was the swing of momentum Ottawa needed, I remember watching the final inbounds as the Ottawa players were all over every Ryerson player and wouldnt give them any space to get a shot off. As the final shot hit off the rim, my heart hit my stomach. Arguably one of the worst feelings I’ve had witnessing a loss strictly just over how the game ended…and then the men played.

MBB - Ottawa was and still is a powerhouse not only in the OUA but in the CIS. Ryerson has been on the come up over the last couple years and I’ve been privileged enough to witness this program grow over the last two seasons. The news that Ottawa would be without Caleb Agada gave all the people coming through the doors and myself more hope that we could pull off the upset without arguably the nations best player.
29-26 first quarter - how often do you see that? both teams came firing out of the gate and would go into the fourth quarter tied. Manny Diressa went off for 21 points on 6-9 from the field and 7-9 from the line. As the clock hit zero, Vets like Adika Peter-McNeilly and Aaron Best broke into celebration after knocking off the now FORMER #1 and #2 teams in the country ultimately propelling the Rams into #1 in the country. Very proud moment to be a Ram and it produced one of my favourite images from the basketball season thus far.


1 - MBB vs UofT Home Opener 2015 This game tops the list for many reasons. The main one is the finish to the game. Up 14 at half. UofT fights back with a 27-11 3rd quarter. 9.2 seconds left, Juwon Grannum lays it up to put Ryerson up by 1 and comes back down the court to help get the game winning steal. Can you ask for a better way to open your season. After not watching a Rams basketball game since Final 8, my heart was beating out of my chest and I struggled at the end of the game between keep my focus on shooting and taking in the final seconds and being a fan.

So what have I learned after 200 games/events for Ryerson:

- games vs Mac, Queens and UofT usually seem to always be dogfights and produce instant classics. 

- 2016 has already had some incredible games and we’re really only a month into the 2016 portion of the season

- The better the atmosphere, the better the game

- Jordan Henry is an interesting person to be around at sporting events

- Success follows those who pour their heart and soul into their work

Finally, If you want something, work your ass off until you get it

I finished last season on a high note as I finished in the Top 15 for the Sportsnet U 10k scholarship and 2nd in the OUA C.H.A.M.P.S photo of the year award.  I was heartbroken over the loss of that award and told myself I would work my ass off this season so that I could win that award at the end of this season. I have spent countless nights at Mattamy until 1am or later, hours travelling back and forth in the cold to Downsview park and have made more friends then I thought I would within athletics.  I am truly grateful for every opportunity I’ve gotten in my life and I will always be thankful for every person who has helped, supported and motivated me along the way to always be the best person I can be. 

To all those in athletics who take the time to say hi as they pass by, stop and have a conversation with me or say how much they love my work, know that I appreciate it all even if it may not know.  

I may have shot 200 games as of now but I still have 300 games to go until I reach my goal of 500 games. 

Who needs a social life anyways when you spend all your time doing what you love with people you love.

*DISCLAIMER - This post involves a lot more personal information than you think.  Its also kinda long but its 3 a.m. and I wanted to write so screw it*

  As many people know before transferring to Ryerson University in 2014, I went to the University of Windsor for Communications and Visual Arts and in the end it wasn’t the program for me.  I met some great people there, a few who I still keep in touch with and have helped me with various things since I left.  The town and the city just weren’t what I was use to and I was missing home a lot and wanted to be closer to family.  The one thing that made my time at Windsor manageable was athletics.  I spent several weekends going to football games and watching them from the stands before I got a crack at photographing homecoming for “The Lance”.  Mike Specht was the man who gave me the opportunity that in the end sparked the burning passion I now have for sports photography and am able to look back at now and say I’ve met some amazing people and been to amazing places because of my photography.  

     Im a firm believer in “Everything happens for a reason”.  At the time, I didn’t have the balls to finish my RTA application until I saw the Sport Media program.  Windsor was the launching pad for my photography career and it started me on the path of whats lead me to be where I am today.  

     When I was originally hired to work as the Varsity Athletics photographer back in the summer of 2014, I made it clear in my mind that I had every intention of keeping this job all four years I’m in school.  Ive spent the last two years dedicating my weekends to Ryerson Athletics and I’ve had the best seat to witness some of the best games in recent history.  As I come up to my 200th game/event shot for Ryerson Athletics this Saturday as the Rams Womens Volleyball team plays the Western Mustangs in the final game of their season, I took the time to reflect back on some of the best games I have been to in my time as a part of Ryerson Athletics.  Its reading week, what else am I suppose to do? Homework? 

10 - MHKY vs UofT Varsity Blues Playoffs game 2 2015:  Ive been a hockey fan my whole life so any chance I get to be involved in a hockey game, I jump at the opportunity. You don’t have to be from Toronto to understand the rivalry between Ryerson and UofT. For years they have bested Ryerson in many sports and the Mens Hockey teams renewed the rivalry in the first round of the 2014-2015 playoffs. Brett Willows had been Ryerson’s kryptonite all season and continued to do so in the playoffs as he stopped 49 of 50 shots in game 1 as UofT won 2-1 on two first period goals from Russell Turner. Game 2 was the game everyone will remember. Within athletics, Valentines day wasn’t exactly the greatest day to be a Ram as both Volleyball teams were eliminated from the playoffs (WVB vs Ottawa, MVB vs Windsor). Valentines Day is suppose to be about showing your love for your someone you care about. Rather ironic as the Rams play one of the teams they hate the most. This game seemed like the game that would never end. Rams up 2-1 after one. Up 4-3 after two and then UofT kicked into another gear (and got a few lucky bounces) as they would score 3 goals in 10 minutes to ice the game and the Rams season. One of the most back and forth games I’ve been to. To top it off, the whole game you could hear Jordan Henry yelling at Brett Willows about Denzel Washington, Apple Pie, Shawshank Redemption and his family. Pissed off UofT so much they got security yo come and tell him to stop but for those who knows Jordan, when is he ever tame.  

9 - WBB Final 4 vs Queen’s Gaels 2015:  After being Nationally ranked for the first time in program history, the women continued their great season by heading to the OUA Final 4 along with their semi final opponents Queens, Lakehead and National Champions Windsor Lancers. The Rams won 69-60 but the moment I remember most is after years of struggling and fighting to get the program to its first OUA final 4, seeing the elation on the faces of the veteran players as they rushed to centre court to celebrate with the rest of the team was priceless. Queens Jenny Wright and Ryerson’s Sofia Paska went back and forth all night as Paska went off for 18 points and 6 rebounds while Wright had 18 points as well and added an extra rebound over Paska (7 rebounds).


8 - BSB vs McMaster 2015:  After a several decade absence from the Ryerson athletics community, Ryerson baseball made its much awaited return to the OUA circuit a few years ago. Head Coach Ben Rich said by year 3 they would make the playoffs and he held true to his word as their win in the first game of the double header vs McMaster was enough to bolster Rich and his squad into the playoffs for the first time in the newly resurrected programs history. After being tied at 3’s heading ito the 7th inning, the baseball looked more like a beach ball to the Rams as they went off for 7 runs and that was enough to complete the playoff push. 


7 - WVB vs Queen’s Gaels 2016:  This game was the volleyball equivalent of what happened to the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS vs the Texas Rangers. Down heading into a critical part of the game and boom. Just like that the game flips its script and all of a sudden the Rams woke up and things started to go their way. After losing 25-27 and 27-29, the Rams made quick work of the Gaels and won the next set 25-16 and battled to a 26-24 win in the 4th set to force a 5th set where they won 15-12. Down 0-2, come back to win 3 straight. That isn’t something you see everyday and when you do, well lets just hope its in your teams favour. 


6 - WHKY vs Guelph Gryphons Playoffs game 2 2015:  First playoff appearance and you lose the first game in overtime 2-1 and the second game in double OT 2-1 to one of the best teams in the province, not a bad way to make a name for your program. Christine Grant buried a shot late in the 2nd overtime to knock the Rams out and end their season. A heartbreak loss but an overall amazing game and one of the best WHKY games I’ve witnessed in my time at Ryerson.


5 - MBB vs Ottawa Gee-Gee’s CIS Final 8:  Ottawa 84 - Ryerson 75. One quarter and one big man’s shooting is what prevented the Rams from playing for the national championship. Since I view the game through my cameras viewfinder 99% of the time, majority of the games I go to, I judge the game on the atmosphere I felt in the arena. All season the Rams crowds had consisted of fans and family but there weren’t the “super fans” like this season. To see all of Ryerson’s athletics and hundreds of students come out and cheer on their school was a sight to see. Painted faces, awful chirps and school spirit all on display.  


4 - WBB/MBB vs Brock Badgers 2016:  The games themselves - not exactly the best. Women won 74-67 but the Mens game was a different story. Coach Tatham must have fed the team their wheaties cause the Rams found another gear and fed off the NCAA type atmosphere inside Coca-Cola Court and DESTROYED the Badgers 104-79. Ive now been to countless games and the atmosphere easily ranks in the top 3 for best all-time for me. If only every game could be like that. The Rams are already feared on the court around the CIS, time to be feared in the stands. 


3 - MSOC vs Mac Final 4 (2014 & 2015):  For some reason McMaster always seems to create memorable games with Ryerson’s Mens Soccer team.
2014 - 0-0 after regulation and extra time. No one likes to lose in penalty kicks and frankly no one deserved to lose that game. Both teams fought hard and played their hearts out. As McMaster’s final kick went in the net, Senior Goalkeeper Christian Maraldo kneeled as Mac celebrated yards away from him. My first experience of watching someones playing career come to an end in heartbreaking fashion. You always want to see players go out on a good note. 

2015 - Much like 2014, one shot sealed the Rams fate. Around the 55th minute, McMaster buried the ball. for the next 35 minutes and change, the Rams battled hard but couldn’t beat Mac keeper Angelo Cavaluzzo. In the final seconds, 5th year senior Martin Dabrowski stepped up to take what would be his last set piece of his OUA career. Martin has been through so much on and off the pitch over the last couple seasons and to see him and the rest of the Rams laying on the pitch in defeat, another classic between Mac and Ryerson but also another heartbreaking moment watching fabulous careers come to an end.


2 - WBB/MBB vs Ottawa 2016:  For those who follow Ryerson basketball, these games are pretty self explanatory. WBB - Overtime loss after Julia Soriano of Ottawa hit a three pointer with 5.6 seconds left on the clock. After a back and forth game where the 2nd quarter was the swing of momentum Ottawa needed, I remember watching the final inbounds as the Ottawa players were all over every Ryerson player and wouldnt give them any space to get a shot off. As the final shot hit off the rim, my heart hit my stomach. Arguably one of the worst feelings I’ve had witnessing a loss strictly just over how the game ended…and then the men played.

MBB - Ottawa was and still is a powerhouse not only in the OUA but in the CIS. Ryerson has been on the come up over the last couple years and I’ve been privileged enough to witness this program grow over the last two seasons. The news that Ottawa would be without Caleb Agada gave all the people coming through the doors and myself more hope that we could pull off the upset without arguably the nations best player.
29-26 first quarter - how often do you see that? both teams came firing out of the gate and would go into the fourth quarter tied. Manny Diressa went off for 21 points on 6-9 from the field and 7-9 from the line. As the clock hit zero, Vets like Adika Peter-McNeilly and Aaron Best broke into celebration after knocking off the now FORMER #1 and #2 teams in the country ultimately propelling the Rams into #1 in the country. Very proud moment to be a Ram and it produced one of my favourite images from the basketball season thus far.


1 - MBB vs UofT Home Opener 2015 This game tops the list for many reasons. The main one is the finish to the game. Up 14 at half. UofT fights back with a 27-11 3rd quarter. 9.2 seconds left, Juwon Grannum lays it up to put Ryerson up by 1 and comes back down the court to help get the game winning steal. Can you ask for a better way to open your season. After not watching a Rams basketball game since Final 8, my heart was beating out of my chest and I struggled at the end of the game between keep my focus on shooting and taking in the final seconds and being a fan.

So what have I learned after 200 games/events for Ryerson:

- games vs Mac, Queens and UofT usually seem to always be dogfights and produce instant classics. 

- 2016 has already had some incredible games and we’re really only a month into the 2016 portion of the season

- The better the atmosphere, the better the game

- Jordan Henry is an interesting person to be around at sporting events

- Success follows those who pour their heart and soul into their work

Finally, If you want something, work your ass off until you get it

I finished last season on a high note as I finished in the Top 15 for the Sportsnet U 10k scholarship and 2nd in the OUA C.H.A.M.P.S photo of the year award.  I was heartbroken over the loss of that award and told myself I would work my ass off this season so that I could win that award at the end of this season. I have spent countless nights at Mattamy until 1am or later, hours travelling back and forth in the cold to Downsview park and have made more friends then I thought I would within athletics.  I am truly grateful for every opportunity I’ve gotten in my life and I will always be thankful for every person who has helped, supported and motivated me along the way to always be the best person I can be. 

To all those in athletics who take the time to say hi as they pass by, stop and have a conversation with me or say how much they love my work, know that I appreciate it all even if it may not show.  

I may have shot 200 games as of now but I still have 300 games to go until I reach my goal of 500 games. 

Who needs a social life anyways when you spend all your time doing what you love with people you love.

1 - MBB vs UofT Home Opener 2015

2 - WBB/MBB vs Ottawa 2016

2 - WBB/MBB vs Ottawa 2016

3 - MSOC vs Mac Final 4 (2014 & 2015)

3 - MSOC vs Mac Final 4 (2014 & 2015)

4 - WBB/MBB vs Brock 2016

5 - MBB vs Ottawa Gee-Gee’s CIS Final 8

6 - WHKY vs Guelph Playoffs game 2 2015

7 - WVB vs Queens 2016

8 - BSB vs Mac 2015

9 - WBB Final 4 vs Queens 2015

10 - MHKY vs UofT Playoffs game 2 2015


Top 10 Moments of 2015

        2015 has been a whirl wind year. Hundreds of games and events, tens of thousands of photos taken and I’ve narrowed down my top 50 photos of 2015.  I have been to events I never thought I’d come close to being able to photograph, I’ve been to historic buildings both old and new.  Many people know I’m not one who’s great with words when it comes to speaking to groups of people so why not do a blog post; Spent all semester doing them for class so may as well do one more. 

        For myself, there is a lot to reflect back on from this year and those who know me, they know I do more then just photography.  RTA and media are also major parts of my life.  I decided that on top of my Top 50 Photos of 2015 (http://www.alexdaddese.com/2854698-top-50-of-2015) I would create a Top 10 moments of 2015 to share.

10. WBB wins OUA Silver - One of the last games I got to shoot of a Ryerson Rams team in the 2014-2015 season was the Women’s Basketball team facing off against the Windsor Lancers in the OUA Finals.  After seeing the seniors rush off the bench with pure joy less then 24 hours prior, seeing the pain from the loss was arguably one of the hardest things I’ve witnessed in my photography career so far.  From 

9. OHL Finals/ Being Published in Sportsnet Magazine - By now, everyone knows who Connor McDavid is.  If you don’t, you will soon.. McDavid continued to dominate every opponent he faced in the OHL as his Erie Otters steamrolled to the OHL Finals to face the Oshawa Generals.  Thinking there was no chance of it, I emailed a contact asking if they could get me a pass to shoot the series for Sportsnet Magazine.  After getting the okay from the Editor of the magazine, I shot games 1 and 5 of the series and was able to be beside the Generals bench as time expired and to be on the ice as Captain Josh Brown went to centre ice to get the trophy.  The series was nothing like I expected but I met many great people and I had a blast shooting it and having photos published in Sportsnet Magazine was the icing on the cake.

8. Parade and Concert - P Reign, Future, Drake, Norm Kelly, What more do you want at a concert?!  I have always wanted to photograph Drake in concert and I had a feeling like he would show up so I emailed everyone I knew involved with the event to try and get a pass.  After getting a pass, spending hours shooting the concert in the rain from rocks beside Lake Devo with thousands of people packed around us, Drake didnt disappoint.  He showed up and Ive never heard a crowd get that loud that quick.  He played a couple songs and I was doing my best to try and get a good shot as he bounced around the stage.  After leaving the stage, He returned for one last appearance with Norm Kelly as they fulfilled the audiences dreams as they stood back to back much like the song.  On a night usually synonymous with tragedy (September 11), everyone’s spirits were lifted and the artists put on a great show.

7. Calling Mattamy Athletic Centre home - I basically lived at Mattamy Athletic Centre (also referred to as “The MAC”).  Between photographing Ryerson sports, other various jobs and events held in the building, and having class in there, I have been extremely lucky to call such a historic building home for me.  I grew up watching the leafs and always wanted to visit Maple Leafs Gardens and now I spend majority of my time walking through the same building the legends who built the media industry use to. I feel truly honoured to be able to do that and never will treat is as a right but always as a privilege to be there. 

6.  CIS Final 8 -  Ryerson’s First National medal as they finished 3rd best in the country was something special to witness.  Working with the CIS as a photographer was great but being in my first year and already witnessing history is not something I expected to happen.  The atmosphere that was in the building through most of the games and especially the semi finals and finals was unbelievable.   

5. CBC Hockey Night in Canada Play On! Tournament - Two weekends, two days each, countless hours spent in the sun being fried while shooting hundreds of hockey games all at once; I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a weekend.  Between the good company, the local hockey celebrities and the pure emotion in all the games, it was a blast to shoot! Unfortunately the furthest tournament we shot was in Ottawa but hopefully this year we can get on the trips to the West Coast and shoot the tournaments out there this summer.  

4. Producing Inside the PressBox - In 2015, I continued to produce Inside the PressBox with a couple friends on the RTA Radio station Spiritlive.net.  We have come a lot further then we ever imagined when we started it.  We had several media personnel on the show including Rogers Sportsnet Scott Moore, Sid Seixeiro, Donnovan Bennett and others. Through connections, it even led to Adam and Victor being able to attend the Memorial Cup in Quebec City.  We haven’t been able to air the show since the studios have been under construction but we will be coming back fully prepared for 2016! 

3.  Named One of Two Photographers in Top 15 of Sportsnet Recruited 10K Scholarship - This has to be one of the moments that was the most strenuous and most rewarding moments of the year.  I heard about the contest after a friend had messages me a link to the website and told me I should enter (Thanks Splash).  I spent a night going through Ryerson Rams photos from the year and narrowed down my favourite 9 photos and submitted them.  Thinking nothing of it, I periodically checked the site to see if my work had been featured in the hopes that if it was featured it meant I would make the top 15.  I remember waking up one morning and my phone had blown up and I had made the top 15 and was only one of two photographers selected.  Months and Months of waiting and then a winner was announced.  Sucks not to win but this contest helped me make many connections and also led to me being able to shoot the OHL Finals and make more connections at that event.  It was a great moment this year and I couldn’t be more thankful for those who supported me and pushed me to do it.

2. Drake posting my photo on his Instagram - C’mon there really is no explanation needed for this. I must have emailed every media outlet I could think associated with the Parade and Concert asking to shoot the event before the RSU (Ryerson Student Union) said they would bring me on.  I had a feeling Drake would be the “surprise guest” and like everyone else there, I wasn’t disappointed to see him fly onto the stage and perform a couple songs before leaving the stage and making one last appearance after the concert with the 6ixDad himself, Norm Kelly.  I woke up a couple days after the concert to see I had been tagged in something on Instagram by several people. Seeing he had posted the photo was a feeling I’ll never forget. Plus I doubt I’ll ever get 300K+ likes on another photo I take. 

1. 2015 IIHF World Juniors - This is a moment I can’t top.  I have watched the World Juniors for as long as I can remember and it is apart of not only mine but many other Canadians christmas holidays. I spent last winter break photographing at the World Juniors at the Air Canada Centre.  I have spent my entire childhood in that arena, going to Leafs games with my Dad after getting company tickets.  I have dreamed about sitting at ice level in a photo chair shooting a game but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be sitting in one of those chairs after Canada won gold.  Having Hockey Canada and countless other media outlets retweet, post and publish my photos online were cool but I will never forget watching the Canadian flag raised to the rafters as Team Canada celebrates winning gold and hearing almost 20,000 people sing O’ Canada.  That is one moment I will never forget 


2015 pushed me to be the best I could be in every aspect in my life.  I met many great people and did some things I never imagined I could do.  If 2015 has taught me anything, its that you should never be afraid to be told “No” from anyone and always put your best foot forward in everything you do.  Whether or not other people think its good, if you don’t think its the best you can do, work on it until its the best.  Thanks again for all those people who supported me and helped me get through this year.  I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for my photography and my life. 


Special thanks to Tim Bates - Tim is synonymous with OJHL Images for most people who know him but he is not a moment from this year, he wasn’t just from a single event, He has been a mentor to me.  I started with OJHL Images during their 2014 Playoffs while I was taking night school courses at Ryerson.  I had been shooting games with the Oakville Blades for a couple months and never thought of myself as a good photographer.  The 2014-2015 season came around and I shot a bunch of games in September but as I started working for the Ryerson Rams, I didnt have time to shoot OJHL games. Tim has had faith in me and my photography skills since day 1.  Despite shooting a handful of games during the season, Tim still kept in contact with me and still did his best to answer any questions I had.  My fondest memory with Tim has been the CBC Hockey Night in Canada Play On! Tournament in Ottawa and Toronto.  Two days in the blistering heat, thousands of images and not ideal conditions but Tim managed to keep the group of us shooting along side him upbeat.  Regardless of the situation, Tim has always found the time for anything I may need help with and has always offered advice on how to deal with things.  Tim has helped me improve in so many aspects of my photography and has always pushed me to be the best as a photographer, on social media and in life.   

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