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

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 U16

Sonny 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)





  1. Hey Bob,

    This is a great story. Thanks

    I think Kevin Kerr is committed to Penn State

    Given that Godbout was not at the USNTDP camp, does that mean he is likely to go OHL instead of college?


    • Thanks for the kind words. You are right about Kerr and I’ve updated the story to include that. The fact that Godbout wasn’t invited to the NTDP is not an indication of his being an OHL “lean” that I am aware.

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