Hockey dreams took a major stride forward on Saturday as OMHA players were chosen in the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection (draft), including six in the first round.
As the OHL Priority Selection was broadcast online, OMHA families were glued to their computers watching the live stream webcast and going over the results being posted. The full draft results are available here.
Blake Murray started things off for the OMHA; the Whitby Wildcats forward was drafted seventh overall by the Sudbury Wolves. The 6'1", 177 lbs. centre has a great combination of skating, high-end skill and the ability to score goals.
Ajax-Pickering Raiders forward Connor McMichael went 11th overall to the Hamilton Bulldogs. He is equipped with a full-arsenal of tools including elite-level skill, excellent hockey sense, good skating ability and a first-rate compete level. McMichael has the rare ability to change the complexion of a game with a big play anytime he is on the ice.
Defenceman Mitchell Brewer of the Halton Hurricanes was selected 15th overall by the Oshawa Generals. Brewer plays a solid and steady two-way game. He keeps puck-moving decisions simple and effectively makes quick decisions under pressure to get pucks up the ice with pace to his forwards springing the offensive attack. Brewer has a good physical game and a strong work ethic.
Kingston Jr. Frontenacs forward Hayden Fowler was scooped up 19th overall by the Soo Greyhounds. A natural goal scorer, Fowler generates a lot of offence and his motor is always running. He has an excellent shot and will let it go anywhere close and in scoring areas. He plays the game with a lot of edge is not an easy player to play against.
The next pick in the draft was used by the Owen Sound Attack on forward Mitchell Russell of the Barrie Jr. Colts. Russell is one of those players that jumps out very quickly. He wants to make a difference every time he is on the ice. Russell was as valuable to his team as any player in the OMHA was. He scored nearly a quarter of his team’s goals this season.
Rounding out the first round with the 21st overall pick in the draft was Grey-Bruce Highlanders forward Emmett Sproule, chosen by the Erie Otters. Sproule was arguably the best playoff performer in the OMHA. He is only going to get better as he continues to grow.
“Congratulations to all 300 players chosen in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, their family, friends, and minor hockey coaches and organizations who have all provided support and encouragement, while assisting with the development of these student athletes,” said Darrell Woodley, Director of OHL Central Scouting. “Being selected by an OHL team is a great accomplishment but it’s also just the beginning of your road to the next level. Opportunities for success are available for players with the right attitude and work ethic, including players not selected today, who may find success through next year’s Under-18 Priority Selection. Best of luck to all players in pursuit of your hockey and academic goals.”
The Ontario Minor Hockey Association led the way with 83 players from 22 teams, including 48 who compete among 12 ETA teams, and 35 from 10 different SCTA teams. The Quinte Red Devils had 10 players selected while the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs, Brampton 45's and OMHA Minor Midget AAA Champion Whitby Wildcats each had eight players drafted. See a full list of all the OMHA players chosen at the bottom of the page.
Player development is a key component of the OMHA experience. The OMHA conducts a wide range of clinics for players, coaches and other volunteers to improve their skills and enhance their overall experience and enjoyment of the sport. OMHA boasts a long list of grads who earned their place in the NHL from Steven Stamkos to Chris Tierney to Taylor Hall.
Here are comments from the OMHA’s first-round picks:
"Getting selected seventh overall feels great. I am very excited. I am just very honoured to be selected by the Sudbury Wolves and can’t wait to get up there and meet everyone in the organization and just get going. I am going to spend the off-season in the gym and on the ice and just working on getting bigger and stronger, working on my foot speed and getting ready to play at the OHL level."
"I am just going through a mix of emotions right now and just happy it's finally happened. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night but I am just super honoured to be drafted by the Bulldogs and really I am just in shock right now. I just have to thank my coaches, teammates and parents for the amazing season I had and really has lead me to where I am today."
"It’s just really hard to explain right now. I am just really excited and happy and just looking forward to get ready for the camp. I am just looking to get out to Oshawa tomorrow to meet some of the people in the organization and have a look around the arena. I am going to work on my overall game and really work on my speed and shot. I really have to thank my parents, coaches and teammates who have supported me along the way and have helped me throughout my minor hockey career."
"It is honestly just crazy right now. It comes at you so quickly and all I can say right now is 'wow'. Sault Ste. Marie is such a great organization and I truly believe it is going to be a perfect fit for me. I am going to take the off-season to just train a lot and continue to get faster on the ice and improve my skills. I just have to thank my parents, getting me to and from the rink all these years, from early mornings to late nights, they have always been there for me."
"It is just so exciting. The Attack are an awesome organization to be a part of and I can’t wait to just get started. They are definitely a team I could see myself with and I am just really happy today. I am going to head down there and meet some of the coaching staff and get some pictures down in the Owen Sound Attack jersey. I really just want to thank my parents, they have been there since I have been little and I really appreciate all my brother has done for me as well."
"I am so excited, it’s unreal and honestly words just can’t explain it. The (Erie) Otters are such a great organization and I can’t wait to get down there and get started. I am going to be on ice and working out at a local gym and just working as hard as I can to get ready for the start of the OHL season. At the start of the season I would never have thought I would have this dream come true. It's just crazy and so amazing that I am following in the footsteps of a guy like Connor Roberts and helping put the Grey-Bruce Highlanders on the map."
|Round||Overall Pick||Name||OHL Team||OMHA Team||Position|
|1||7||Blake Murray||Sudbury Wolves||Whitby Wildcats||F|
|1||11||Connor McMichael||Hamilton Bulldogs||Ajax-Pickering Raiders||F|
|1||15||Mitchell Brewer||Oshawa Generals||Halton Hurricanes||D|
|1||19||Hayden Fowler||Soo Greyhounds||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||F|
|1||20||Mitchell Russell||Owen Sound Attack||Barrie Jr. Colts||F|
|1||21||Emmett Sproule||Erie Otters||Grey-Bruce Highlanders||F|
|3||41||Ryan Stepien||Saginaw Spirit||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||F|
|3||43||Kurtis Evans||North Bay Battalion||Central Ontario Wolves||F|
|3||45||Brayden Guy||Sarnia Sting||Brampton 45's||F|
|3||46||Lucas Peric||Ottawa 67's||Halton Hurricanes||D|
|3||51||Ian Martin||Niagara IceDogs||Ajax-Pickering Raiders||F|
|3||52||Colton Kammerer||Sarnia Sting||Whitby Wildcats||D|
|3||58||Matt Gordon||Kitchener Rangers||Guelph Jr. Gryphons||F|
|3||60||Cameron Supryka||Peterborough Petes||Quinte Red Devils||D|
|4||66||Emmet Pierce||London Knights||Quinte Red Devils||F|
|4||73||Tanner McEachern||Flint Firebirds||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||F|
|4||74||Eric Lalonde||Oshawa Generals||Grey-Bruce Highlanders||D|
|4||75||Daniel Panetta||Peterborough Petes||Quinte Red Devils||F|
|4||76||Zachary Uens||Flint Firebirds||Quinte Red Devils||D|
|4||80||Isaak Phillips||Sudbury Wolves||Barrie Jr. Colts||F|
|5||99||Liam Whittaker||London Knights||York-Simcoe Express||D|
|6||104||Andrew Horsley||Peterborough Petes||Brampton 45's||F|
|6||111||Nathan Porter||North Bay Battalion||Whitby Wildcats||D|
|6||114||Carson Eden||Owen Sound Attack||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||F|
|6||115||Ethan Langevin||Sarnia Sting||Whitby Wildcats||G|
|7||123||Owen Diodati||North Bay Battalion||Southern Tier Admirals||F|
|7||127||Drew Wawrow||Sudbury Wolves||Brampton 45's||D|
|7||130||Christopher Ishmael||Hamilton Bulldogs||Brampton 45's||F|
|7||139||Patrick Klazer||Owen Sound Attack||Burlington Eagles||D|
|8||142||Cole Brady||Guelph Storm||Ajax-Pickering Raiders||G|
|8||145||Jalen Balbosa||Niagara IceDogs||York-Simcoe Express||F|
|8||150||Michael Andrews||Windsor Spitfires||Quinte Red Devils||F|
|8||153||Matthew Altomare||Mississauga Steelheads||Ajax-Pickering Raiders||D|
|8||154||Cole Spencer||Oshawa Generals||Ajax-Pickering Raiders||F|
|8||155||Matthew Dunsmoor||Mississauga Steelheads||Guelph Jr. Gryphons||G|
|8||158||Tye Kartye||Soo Greyhounds||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||F|
|8||159||Spencer Hazell||Owen Sound Attack||Halton Hurricanes||F|
|9||162||Clark Hiebert||Guelph Storm||Oakville Rangers||D|
|9||166||Luke Pearson||Ottawa 67's||Whitby Wildcats||G|
|9||169||Joshua Houston||Flint Firebirds||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||F|
|9||171||Jacob Campbell||Kingston Frontenacs||Quinte Red Devils||D|
|9||177||Christopher Goodwin||Peterborough Petes||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||F|
|9||178||Ethan Taylor||Soo Greyhounds||Quinte Red Devils||G|
|10||186||Jacob DiDanieli||Ottawa 67's||Whitby Wildcats||F|
|10||189||Jacob Winterton||Flint Firebirds||Ajax-Pickering Raiders||F|
|10||198||Liam Fedak||Barrie Colts||Brampton 45's||F|
|11||203||Nicholas Haas||Guelph Storm||Buffalo Regals||G|
|11||204||Dalton Bancroft||Saginaw Spirit||Quinte Red Devils||F|
|11||205||Bryce Caruk||Owen Sound Attack||Clarington Toros||F|
|11||210||Zack Osborne||Hamilton Bulldogs||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||F|
|11||211||Logan White||Kingston Frontenacs||Quinte Red Devils||F|
|11||215||Jacob Patridge||Peterborough Petes||Barrie Jr. Colts||F|
|11||219||Thomas Loudfoot||Erie Otters||Clarington Toros||G|
|12||222||Alton McDermott||Guelph Storm||Oakville Rangers||F|
|12||228||Will Redick||Sarnia Sting||North Central Predators||F|
|12||230||Keegan Pulford-Thorpe||Sudbury Wolves||York-Simcoe Express||D|
|12||231||Liam Del Mastro||Kingston Frontenacs||Southern Tier Admirals||D|
|12||238||Mason Dreger||Soo Greyhounds||Whitby Wildcats||F|
|12||240||Curtis Trolley||Erie Otters||Peterborough Minor Petes||F|
|13||242||Ethan Eliopulos||Guelph Storm||Richmond Hill Coyotes||D|
|13||244||Jeffrey Johnson||Barrie Colts||Barrie Jr. Colts||D|
|13||245||Kyle Sullivan||Niagara IceDogs||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||D|
|13||249||Matthew Stayshyn||Flint Firebirds||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs||D|
|13||250||Maxime Blanchard||Hamilton Bulldogs||Southern Tier Admirals||D|
|13||258||Zackery McMahon||Soo Greyounds||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||D|
|13||260||Marcus Gillard||Erie Otters||Southern Tier Admirals||D|
|14||261||Payton Schaly||Barrie Colts||Barrie Jr. Colts||F|
|14||262||Jonah Burley||Guelph Storm||Guelph Jr. Gryphons||D|
|14||266||Brendan Tomilson||Ottawa 67's||Central Ontario Wolves||D|
|14||269||Charlie Dafonseca||Flint Firebirds||Markham Waxers||F|
|14||272||Graham Dickerson||Kitchener Rangers||Quinte Red Devils||F|
|14||276||Curtis Kuzmyk||North Bay Battalion||Barrie Jr. Colts||F|
|14||277||Cameron Fulop||London Knights||York-Simcoe Express||D|
|15||281||Noah Arsenault||Barrie Colts||Halton Hurricanes||D|
|15||286||Owen Porter||Soo Greyhounds||Brampton 45's||G|
|15||287||Remy Dal Ben||Sudbury Wolves||Brampton 45's||F|
|15||288||Joshua Booker||Sarnia Sting||Brampton 45's||D|
|15||290||Aliesha Song||Hamilton Bulldogs||Oakville Rangers||F|
|15||291||Ethan Doyle||Kingston Frontenacs||Whitby Wildcats||F|
|15||295||Riley Bates||Peterborough Petes||Peterborough Minor Petes||D|
|15||296||AJ Cook||Niagara IceDogs||Niagara North Stars||D|
|15||298||Cullen McLean||Soo Greyhounds||Ajax-Pickering Raiders||F|
|15||299||Tanner Hicks||Owen Sound Attack||York-Simcoe Express||F|