The Ottawa 67’s bolstered their prospect ranks once again Wednesday night as the club added five new players in the first-ever OHL Under 18 Priority Selection Draft.
The new draft, which follows the main Priority Selection Draft, allows teams to reach into the Midget AAA talent pool to select players who have spent an additional year or two developing at that level. In the OHL’s primary draft, teams select players at the U-16 level.
On Wednesday, the Barber Poles kicked things off by selecting goaltender and Peterborough native Creed Jones with their first pick, sixth overall. The 16-year-old posted a 1.40 goals-against average in 20 games with the Central Ontario Wolves last season.
“He was a guy that we had our eye on,” said 67’s Head Coach and General Manager Jeff Brown. “This is a goalie that’s really matured over the year since his draft year and we feel really fortunate that we got him here.”
With their second round choice, the 67’s selected centre Rizvan Mansurov from the Richmond Hill Coyotes. Mansurov is from Kazan, Russia, the same hometown as 67’s goalie Leo Lazarev. Mansurov had 24 goals and 43 points in 31 games for the Coyotes last season.
The 67’s took another Russian-born player with their third pick on Wednesday, selecting Seva Losev from the CIHA Green, where the forward had 34 points in 43 games in 2016-17.
Ottawa went local with their fourth-round selection, taking Nepean’s Willem Larsen from the Kanata Lasers. The defenceman put up 20 points in 45 games last year.
Brown said the extra draft is a good opportunity to add more local players to the organization.
“This is the Claude Giroux draft, it gives a second chance (after their initial draft eligibility),” said Brown. “The more kids that get an opportunity, the better.”
With their fifth and final pick of the U18 draft, the 67’s took Petawawa native and Kemptville 73’s defenceman Jack Walsh. The 16-year-old had 20 points in 45 games last season.
Full list of 67’s picks in the OHL Under 18 Priority Selection Draft :
1st round :
Creed Jones, G
From : Peterborough, Ontario
2016-17 club: Central Ontario Wolves Midget AAA
Rizvan Mansurov, C
From: Kazan, Russia
2016-17 club: Richmond Hills Coyotes Midget AAA
Seva Losev, C/LW
From: Moskva, Russia
2016-17 club: CIHA Green Midget AAA
Willem Larsen, D
From: Ottawa (Nepean), Ontario
2016-17 club: Kanata Lasers Midget AAA
Jack Walsh, D
From : Petawawa, Ontario