The Red Wings are impressed with their latest crop of defensive prospects.

Michigan connections dominate OHL Performers of the Month list

Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul was named OHL Defenseman of the Month for February. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

By Michael Caples –

The Ontario Hockey League announced their top performers for the month of February this week, and Michigan connections took all three spots.

Saginaw Spirit forward Eric Locke was named the OHL Player of the Month for February, while Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul was selected as the top defenseman. Meanwhile, Plymouth Whalers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic took home the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month award, and the OHL Rookie of the Month selection.

Locke, a 19-year-old from Toronto, is in his third OHL season. The Saginaw Spirit forward picked up 10 goals and 16 assists – a total of 26 points – in just 11 games during February. Locke factored in on more than 60 percent of the Spirit’s goals over the month. He has 92 points in 62 games this season, which puts him at No. 4 in the OHL scoring race.

Sproul, the Red Wings’ second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, led all OHL defensemen with 21 points in 11 games during February. He picked up five goals and 16 assists in the timeframe, contributing points in nine of the 11 games his Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds played in over the last month. Sproul currently leads all OHL blueliners in scoring with 64 points in 45 games. It’s the second month Sproul won the top-defenseman award – he was also selected in December.

Nedeljkovic posted an 8-2-0-0 record for the Plymouth Whalers in February, including a shutout. He racked up more wins than any other OHL goaltender over the month, and posted a league-low of a 1.79 goals-against and a league-high .942 save percentage. On the season, the Parma, Ohio, native holds a 17-2-1-1 record with a goals-against average of 2.11 and .928 save percentage.