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LONDON KNIGHTS COMPLETE 2020 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION

On Saturday, April 4th, the OHL and its member teams participated in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore and locally presented by Downtown London.

With the world of sports at a halt and the 2019-20 OHL season officially cancelled, the event offered some much-needed entertainment for hockey fans, as well as a look at where some of the sport’s budding stars will be spending their junior years.

The Knights had 16 picks in the draft, including the 19th, 22nd and 25th overall selections. The class was comprised of 10 forwards, four defencemen and two goaltenders.

ROUND 1 // 19TH OVERALL
Ben Bujold
Position: Center Shoots: Left
Born: March 3, 2004 Hometown: Richmond, ON
Height: 6’0” Weight: 165 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Kanata Lasers MAAA HEOMAAA 43 18 37 55 18

 

For the second year in a row, the Knights looked to the Kanata Lasers program for their first-round selection. Last year they picked winger Stuart Rolofs, who played 31 OHL games before the season ended prematurely. This year they picked Bujold, a smart, pass-first centre who possesses elusive speed. The Richmond, Ontario native participated in the Hockey Eastern Ontario’s Midget AAA All-Star game and finished second in league scoring.

 

ROUND 2 // 22nd OVERALL
Jackson Edward
Position: Defence Shoots: L
Born: February 27, 2004 Hometown: Newmarket, ON
Height: 6’2” Weight: 194 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
York-Simcoe Express MMAAA ETAMMHL 33 12 18 30 74

 

An imposing frame and a powerful stride make Edward a presence on the blueline. His size does not restrict him – he is a very mobile defender who is not afraid to join the attack. In the offensive zone, he is a threat, with an eye for a pass and a powerful shot. The Newmarket native graduated from the York Simcoe Express program which produced former Knights captain, Robert Thomas.

 

ROUND 2 // 25TH OVERALL
Colton Smith
Position: Left Wing Shoots: Left
Born: February 9, 2004 Hometown: Hershey, PA
Height: 6’1” Weight: 196 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Kanata Lasers MAAA HEOMAAA 41 25 22 47 76

 

Son of Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith, the winger is another prospect with impressive size. Smith was tough to play against at the midget level. He leverages his body to get into positions to set up and finish plays. When his dad took the job in Ottawa, Colton joined the Lasers. Playing alongside Bujold, he also earned an All-Star game appearance. Of note – D.J. coached and captained London’s rivals down highway 401, the Windsor Spitfires.

 

ROUND 3 // 46TH OVERALL
Landon Sim
Position: Center Shoots: Left
Born: July 17, 2004 Hometown: New Glasgow, NS
Height: 5’6” Weight: 126 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Weeks Major Midget MAAA NSMMHL 35 15 26 41 30

 

Knights GM Mark Hunter will look to send another Sim to the NHL – he coached Landon’s father Jon with Sarnia in the nineties. Although he was born in Nova Scotia, the speedy centreman was eligible due to his dad’s OHL alumni status. He tore up the minor hockey scene out East, leading his team in scoring despite being the smallest player in the league.

 

ROUND 4 // 62nd OVERALL
Brody Crane
Position: Left Wing Shoots: Left
Born: May 29, 2004 Hometown: Penfield, NY
Height: 5’8” Weight: 156 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Buffalo Jr. Sabres U16 Youth (USA) 49 21 22 43 19

 

A magician with the puck on his stick, Crane is able to create offence using his soft hands and excellent skating ability. In January, he committed to Penn. State from the NCAA’s Big Ten for the 2022-23 season. He was described by his coach in Buffalo as “one of the most sought-after players in North America.” The Union, ON native joined the Jr. Sabres after playing for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs. Brody’s father, Derrick, played for the Knights from 1990 to 1993.

 

ROUND 4 // 68TH OVERALL
Isaiah George
Position: Defence Shoots: Left
Born: February 15, 2004 Hometown: Oakville, ON
Height: 6’0” Weight: 175 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Toronto Marlboros MMAAA GTMMHL 29 5 6 11 6

 

George is a two-way pivot with smooth skating ability. The Oakville native reads the game exceptionally well and has the skill set to put up more numbers offensively. The 16-year-old hails from the prestigious Toronto Marlboros program that produced Connor McDavid, John Tavares, as well as Quinn and Jack Hughes.

 

ROUND 5 // 97TH OVERALL
Frank Nazar
Position: Right Wing Shoots: Right
Born: January 14, 2004 Hometown: Chesterfield, MI
Height: 5’10” Weight: 165 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Detroit HoneyBaked 15’s Youth (USA) 55 49 78 127

 

The Michigan native was one of the most talented players available in this year’s draft. He put up an incredible 49 goals and 78 assists in 55 games with the Detroit Honeybaked 15’s. This convinced the US National Development Program to selected Nazar to its U17 Team for next season. Nazar has deadly speed and the ability to beat anyone one-on-one.

 

ROUND 5 // 99TH OVERALL
Mason Chitaroni
Position: Defence Shoots: Left
Born: October 2, 2004 Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Height: 5’9.5” Weight: 150 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Soo Jr. Greyhounds MAAA GNML 39 6 13 19 46

 

One of the top players coming out of Northern Ontario, Chitaroni is an explosive skater with a lot of raw skill. The Jr. Greyhound rose up draft boards after an impressive second half of the season. According to his coach, he played with more confidence as the season progressed.

 

ROUND 6 // 114TH OVERALL
Owen Flores
Position: Goalie Catches: Left
Born: May 9, 2004 Hometown: Antioch, IL
Height: 6’00” Weight: 153 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP GAA SAV MIN  
Chicago Young Americans U15 HPHL U15 9 4.06 0.894 414  

Playing in the U15 High-Performance Hockey League, Flores faced off against Nazar and 3rd overall pick Max Namestnikov. Despite his team finishing with a 3-11 record, the Illinois-born netminder finished with a league-best .894 save percentage.

 

ROUND 7 // 139TH OVERALL
Jonah Aegerter
Position: Center Shoots: Right
Born: January 21, 2004 Hometown: Janesville, WI
Height: 5’8” Weight: 156 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U15 Youth (USA) 69 23 52 75

 

The centreman was a member of the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies team that won the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament that took place in London in October. On a team that boasted top forward prospects Rutger McGroarty and Hunter Brzustewicz, the Janesville, MI local was able to finish second in team scoring in the U15 HPHL.

 

ROUND 9 // 179TH OVERALL
Andy Reist
Position: Center Shoots: Left
Born: May 15, 2004 Hometown: Waterloo, ON
Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Waterloo Wolves MMAAA AHMMPL 32 18 20 38 4

 

Born in Waterloo, the centerman captained a talented Wolves team. The 15-year-old is a tireless worker and efficient in the faceoff circle. He finished eleventh in league scoring.

 

ROUND 11 // 219TH OVERALL
Aiden Dubinsky
Position: Defence Shoots: Right
Born: April 28, 2004 Hometown: Highland Park, IL
Height: 5’10” Weight: 160 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Florida Alliance U16 Youth (USA) 12 1 6 7 0

 

Another selection whose father played in the NHL, Dubinsky played on a Florida Alliance team that lost just one game all season long. He lined up alongside Seamus Casey, who was recently announced to the U17 USNDP team.

 

ROUND 12 // 239TH OVERALL
Jack Pineau
Position: Center Shoots: Right
Born: August 29, 2004 Hometown: Thunder Bay, ON
Height: 6’0” Weight: 150 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Thunder Bay Kings U16 NAPHL 48 15 21 48  –

 

Brother of Sudbury Wolves prospect Alex Pineau, Jack is a multi-sport athlete. He is also a pitcher and represented Team Ontario at this summer’s 2019 15U Boys Ray Carter Championships.

 

ROUND 13 // 259TH OVERALL
Nate Dowling
Position: Right Wing Shoots: Right
Born: January 5, 2004 Hometown: Riverside, ON
Height: 6’0” Weight: 162 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
Windsor Jr. Spitfires MAAA AHMPL 29 8 21 29 26

 

Possessing considerable size for a 16-year-old, the winger plays a physical game. Dowling’s work ethic impressed scouts. He finished third in scoring on his team.

 

ROUND 14 // 279TH OVERALL
Owen Willmore
Position: Goalie Catches: Left
Born: December 14, 2004 Hometown: Dutton, ON
Height: 6’0.5” Weight: 147 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP GAA SAV    
Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs MMAAA AHMMPL 17 1.53 N/A    

 

The second goaltender named Owen selected by the Knights this year, Wilmore played for Jason Williams, the London-born ex-NHLer and Danny Syvret, who captained the Knights to a 2005 Memorial Cup championship. He split the net with 177th overall pick Marcus Vendenberg as the Chiefs won the U16 Alliance championship.

 

ROUND 15 // 299TH OVERALL
Nicholas Yearwood
Position: Center Shoots: Left
Born: July 15, 2004 Hometown: Thornhill, ON
Height: 5’10” Weight: 184 lbs
2019-2020 Team League GP G A P PIM
North York Rangers MMAAA GTHL 40 10 8 18 70

 

Although Yearwood’s North York Rangers struggled to find success this past season, he led the team in scoring. The Thornhill local is a big-bodied centreman who can score goals.

The full results from the 2020 OHL Priority Selection can be found at ontariohockeyleague.com/draft

Contributed by Kyle Watson

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