College Hockey and the OHL Selection Draft
by Bob Miller CHP Managing Editor April 6, 2012
While the Frozen Four plays out in Tampa on Saturday night, the future of many prospective college hockey players will be shaped and formed earlier that day.
On Saturday morning, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) will hold their annual selection draft of players born in the calendar year 1996.
The OHL Selection Draft is the route for re-stocking the member teams’ rosters and developmental systems. Yet, the OHL draft can be a source of info and a predictor of the college hockey fates for many of the players who eligible and selected.
A handful of players eligible to be drafted have already committed to NCAA college hockey programs and the competition between the OHL and their NCAA counterparts for the players will be ongoing and fierce.
Held the past few years on the first Saturday in May, the OHL draft is conducted on-line and with a telephone feed between the member teams and the OHL administrative offices. This year, the draft has been moved to first Saturday in April, not officialy but likely to take advantage of an earlier jump at getting players to commit to the OHL route over the college hockey option.
The move of the draft has not been roundly popular among OHL teams’ front office types manyh of whom are currently embroiled in the league’s post-season playoffs. Having a shorter preparation time combined with the multi-tasking required to juggle playoff tension and future planning has made for some long days around the province’s Major A offices.
For fans and aficionados of US college hockey, the OHL draft holds interest for two major reasons. First, a players’ level of commitment to the college path can be partially judged by their selection position, by round, in the draft. If an OHL team drafts a prospective college player in the earlier rounds, that’s an indication of a junior team’s confidence that they can sign the player. If, however, the OHL team selects a player in the later rounds, that means that the team doesn’t expect the player to be an easy signing. In the latter case, the team is just stockpiling talent in the hope that a player has a change of heart or experiences dissatisfaction with their current college situation.
The names below are players worth following by college hockey fans in tomorrow’s OHL draft. Not all will be drafted, but their consideration by OHL teams can also be used is an indicator of recruiting interest by college hockey teams. College Hockey PROSPECTive will provide post-draft analysis and notes. Return to our pages here for continued coverage of the recruiting process.
Look for these names (listed alphabetically) as the draft unfolds Saturday. The draft can be followed live starting early at www.ontariohockeyleague.com
Louis Belpedio (D) 5-10 165 Culver (IN) (committed to Miami)
Andres Bjork (C) 5-11 161 Chicago Mission U16 (committed to Notre Dame)
Charlie Combs (LW) 5-6 175 St. Louis Blues U16
Kyle Connor (LW) 6-0 150 Detroit Belle Tire U16 (committed to Michigan)
Chris Dodera (LW) 5-9 169 CYA (Chicago Young Americans) U16
Christian Dvorak (LW) 5-9 143 Chicago Mission U16
Dylan Fouts (RW) 6-1 165 Pittsburgh Hornets U16
Joshua Gabriel (LW) 6-0 180 Buffalo Sabres U16
Butrus Ghafari (D) 5-11 185 Detroit Compuware U16 (committed to Western Michigan)
Marcel Godbout (C) 5-9 175 Shattuck St. Mary’s U16 (committed to Michigan State)
Aaron Haydon (D) 6-3 190 Detroit Belle Tire U16
Ryan Hitchcock (C) 5-9 165 New Jersey Rockets U16 (committed to Yale)
Josh Jacobs (D) 6-2 171 Detroit Honeybaked U16 (committed to Michigan State)
Austin Kamer (RW) 6-0 165 Detroit Belle Tire U16
Kevin Kerr (D) 5-10 150 Team Comcast U16 (committed to Penn St.)
Dylan Larkin (C) 6-0 150 Detroit Belle Tire U16 (committed to Michigan)
Brendan Lemieux (LW) 6-0 180 Toronto Red Wings U16 (committed to North Dakota)
Darby Llewellyn (LW) 6-1 170 Detroit Honeybaked U16
Mackenzie MacEachern (LW) Brother Rice (MI) HS (committed to Michigan State)
Ryan McInnis (C) 6-3 175 St. Louis Blues U16
Seamus Malone (C) 5-6 160 Chicago Mission U16 (committed to Wisconsin)
Ryan Mantha (RW) 6-2 185 Detroit Belle Tire U16
Nick Magyar (C) 6-0 173 Cleveland Barons U18 (committed to Ohio State)
Grant Meyer (RW) 5-10 175 Cleveland Barons U16Sonny Milano (C) 5-10 154 Cleveland Barons U16 Dylan Pavelak (C) 5-10 175 Detroit Belle Tire U16 Brendan Perlini (LW) 6-0 165 Detroit Belle Tire U16 (committed to Michigan State) JJ Piccinich (RW) 5-11 170 New Jersey Avalanche U16 Austin Pooley (C) 6-0 165 Columbus Blue Jackets U16 Max Rasberg (C) 5-9 152 Cleveland Barons U16 Nick Schmaltz (C) 5-11 158 Chicago Mission U16/Green Bay (USHL) (committed to North Dakota) Alex Tuch (C) 6-2 195 Syracuse U16 Matt Weis (C) 5-10 180 Green Bay (USHL) Cody Gibson (G) 5-10 180 Detroit Belle Tire U16 Logan Halladay (G) 6-1 175 Carolina Hurricanes U16 Brandon Halverson (G) 6-1 160 Detroit Little Caesars Mark Loveday (G) 6-0 175 Shattuck St. Mary’s Edwin Minney (G) 6-4 195 DC Capitals U16 Alex Nedeljkovic (G) 5-11 190 Detroit Belle Tire U16 Anthony Stolarz (G) Corpus Christi (NAHL) (committed to Nebraska-Omaha)