The 2018 OHL Priority Selection is in the books.
15 rounds, 300 players and countless hours of scouting later, the next wave of talent is ready to enter the OHL. That’s not even counting the U-18 Draft or the undrafted free agent class either.
While there are playmakers up-and-down the draft board, the biggest names go in the first round. That doesn’t mean you can’t become an impact OHL’er as a 15th rounder, of course. You just get a little more attention in round one.
So who heard their name called in the first 20 picks? We’ll recap the first round, as well as bring you what teams had to say about their newest names.
2018 OHL Priority Selection: Round 1 Recap
Round 1, Pick 1: Quinton Byfield, C, York Simcoe Express (GP: 34 / G: 48 / A: 44 / PTS: 92)
The Buzz: The Wolves add to an exciting, young forward group with Byfield. Coming in at a towering 6’4” and tipping the scales at over 200 pounds already, he brings a lot of strength and skill with him to Sudbury. He could form a very potent combination with last year’s first round pick Blake Murray.
What They’re Saying: “Our scouting staff has been unanimous on Quinton as the best player in the draft all season and we know that the fans and the people of Greater Sudbury are going to love the opportunity to watch such a special player in a Wolves uniform.” – Rob Papineau, GM, Sudbury Wolves
Round 1, Pick 2: Evan Vierling, C, York Simcoe Express (GP: 33 / G: 27 / A: 36 / PTS: 63)
The Buzz: The Firebirds struggled to score, finishing with the fewest goals-for in the league. Vierling should help with that. OHL Central Scouting raves about his skating, so he’ll bring an exciting presence to Flint. He should form an interesting pairing with last year’s first-round pick Ethan Keppen, even though they’re at opposite ends of the size spectrum.
What They’re Saying: “Evan is a skilled forward that possesses excellent speed, skill and plays a complete game. He’s an impactful player that is a significant addition to our program.” – Barclay Branch, GM, Flint Firebirds
Round 1, Pick 3: William Cuylle, LW, Toronto Marlboros (GP: 45 / G: 33 / A: 29 / PTS: 62)
The Buzz: Cuylle could be a monster once he grows into his frame. He’s already 6’2″ and 187 pounds, but he’s still got plenty of room left. This is an interesting gamble from Peterborough, as it sounds like Cuylle has been pretty steadfast in his intentions.
What They’re Saying: “Will is an exceptionally talented forward who we feel could make an immediate and lasting impact on the Petes organization.” – Mike Oke, GM, Peterborough Petes
Round 1, Pick 4: Jamie Drysdale, D, Toronto Marlboros (GP: 57 / G: 8 / A: 42 / PTS: 50)
The Buzz: The Otters have added plenty of talented forwards over the year, and now they’re adding a game-changing defenceman. Some of the scouts I talked to were enamored with Drysdale’s talent and definitely saw him as a threat for first overall. Erie’s rebuilding now, and Drysdale is a quality get.
Meet #OHLDraft Prospect Jamie Drysdale:@GTHLHockey Player of the Year is a dynamic defenceman with explosive skating ability and effortless edge work for @TorontoMarlboro: https://t.co/aJ9FgOdZqn pic.twitter.com/bYDyrtyYbn
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) April 6, 2018
Round 1, Pick 5: Cole Perfetti, C, Vaughan Kings (GP: 64 / G: 52 / A: 73 / PTS: 125)
The Buzz: This is another interesting pick as many think Saginaw is taking a gamble here. If Perfetti doesn’t suit up in the OHL, his rights will at least net the Spirit a hefty return. The super-skilled forward is currently committed to Michigan (NCAA).
The Saginaw Spirit drafted Michigan commit Cole Perfetti 5th overall. He isn’t going to Saginaw. Many think he isn’t going to UM either. The player definitely has his preferred destinations. There are two OHL teams to watch here – Oshawa and Windsor.
— Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) April 7, 2018
What They’re Saying: “Perfetti is an elite hockey player, a kid that actually played up last year (Whitby), and was elite then…His vision, his ability to make plays and his skill level are second to none…In this league he will be one of the top scorers as he gains experience.” – Dave Drinkill, GM, Saginaw Spirit
Round 1, Pick 6: Cam Tolnai, C, Oakville Rangers (GP: 38 / G: 31 / A: 53 / PTS: 84)
The Buzz: Despite the 31 goals, Tolnai is one of the best set-up men available in the OHL Draft. OHL Central Scouting has identified him as a player who elevates the game of those around him with his play-making ability. The 67’s will have to be sure to surround him with finishers to truly enjoy his talents.
What They’re Saying: “Cam is an extremely intelligent centre and play-maker who is a consistent point producer. He has a lot room to grow his game and he’s going to have a chance to develop with the 67’s into an elite offensive talent.” – James Boyd, GM, Ottawa 67’s
Round 1, Pick 7: Daniil Chayka, D, Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GP: 45 / G: 15 / A: 18 / PTS: 33)
The Buzz: While Ryan Merkley is the blueliner du jour in Guelph, the towering Chayka (6’2″) sets them up with another dynamic presence. He’s a big kid with a big shot, and OHL Central says that his skating won’t be a hindrance at the next level.
— Larry Mellott (@stormradioguy) April 7, 2018
Round 1, Pick 8: James Hardie, LW, Barrie Jr. Colts (GP: 34 / G: 41 / A: 29 / PTS: 70)
The Buzz: The McLeod’s aren’t long for Mississauga. Michael is gone, and you never know what can happen at the draft when Ryan’s name is called. The same can be said for Owen Tippett. Once Tippett graduates to the Panthers though, the goal-scoring will be in good hands for the Steelheads with Hardie.
What They’re Saying: “James is a goal scorer that loves to shoot the puck. He has a junior-level shot already. It has pace, accuracy and he can pull the trigger quickly.” –Mississauga Steelheads
North Bay Battalion
Round 1, Pick 9: Pacey Schlueting, D, North Bay Trappers (GP: 24 / G: 13 / A: 21 / PTS: 34)
The Buzz: The Battalion added another quality defenceman at the draft in Schlueting. A two-way presence that can skate, Stan Butler will love his new first-round pick in North Bay.
North Bay grab the local kid Pacey Schlueting with their 1st round selection. Was very impressive at the OHL Cup and will be a key piece in their franchise moving forward #OHLDraft
— Ryan Stacey (@ryan_stacey5) April 7, 2018
Round 1, Pick 10: Jean-Luc Foudy, C, Toronto Titans (GP: 52 / G: 25 / A: 35 / PTS: 60)
The Buzz: With smarts and skill, Foudy will be at the forefront of future efforts to bring the Memorial Cup back to Windsor. Foudy’s brother Liam, who plays for London, may have given us a glimpse into the family’s skill set this season.
Rivalry just got a lot more interesting as Windsor #Spitfires @SpitsHockey select RC Jean-Luc Foudy, the younger brother of London #Knights forward Liam Foudy, at pick No. 10 in the #OHL Draft from the Toronto #Titans
— Jim Parker (@winstarparker) April 7, 2018
Round 1, Pick 11: Tyler Tullio, C, Vaughan Kings (GP: 50 / G: 38 / A: 51 / PTS: 89)
The Buzz: Tullio has a ready-made shot, and that’s not all that scouts love about him. One of the words you always hear associated with him is ‘compete’, which should fit in just fine in Oshawa.
Rocco Tullio, owner of the Oshawa Generals, gave his thoughts on the team drafting his son 11th overall today in the #OHLDraft. His son Ty had 89 PTS with Vaughan, 2nd in GTHL scoring, last season.
— Nick Konarowski (@NKonarowski2) April 7, 2018
Round 1, Pick 12: Lleyton Moore, D, Toronto Marlboros (GP: 54 / G: 16 / A: 34 / PTS: 50)
The Buzz: With a dynamic play-maker upfront in Akil Thomas, the IceDogs added one on the blueline in Moore. High-end skating and puck-handling are a dangerous combination, so it should be fun to watch Moore ply his trade.
Lleyton Moore meets the media for the first time pic.twitter.com/yQqbQnqrJs
— Matt and DJ (@IceDogsThisWeek) April 7, 2018
Round 1, Pick 13: Jake Murray, D, Oakville Rangers (GP: 38 / G: 11 / A: 29 / PTS: 40)
The Buzz: Another excellent skater with a good two-way game, Murray will be the next building block on Kingston’s blueline. At 6’2″ already, the Frontenacs’ newest defender will give them a massive presence on defence for the next few years.
An extreme honour to have been selected by the Kingston Frontenacs with their first pick in the OHL Draft. Thank you to my family, friends, coaches, teammates and trainers who have helped me along the way. Looking forward to starting the next chapter of my journey in Kingston.
— Jake Murray (@jake_murray43) April 7, 2018
Round 1, Pick 14: Luke Evangelista, RW, Oakville Rangers (GP: 39 / G: 41 / A: 55 / PTS: 96)
The Buzz: If there’s one thing the Knights love, it’s speed and creativity. Luke Evangelista has both of those prerequisites according to OHL Central. He can set-up and finish, and adds to a Knights’ core that looks dangerous in the coming years.
The @GoLondonKnights select highly-skilled Luke Evangelista. Luke is very elusive on his edges and has elite pucks skills to protect the puck and weave through traffic. Can score with an accurate shot or hands. Great vision and playmaking to consistently generate scoring chances
— Zach Fraleigh (@ZachFraleigh) April 7, 2018
Owen Sound Attack
Round 1, Pick 15: Nolan Seed, D, Smiths Falls Bears (GP: 37 / G: 5 / A: 19 / PTS: 24)
The Buzz: The Attack have done a good job of preparing defenders for the next level, making this a good match. Seed brings a dynamic offensive mind to Owen Sound, where he’ll likely become a fan favourite.
What They’re Saying: “We’re ecstatic to be able to select Nolan at 15th overall. He’s a good sized, mobile defenseman that has tremendous hockey sense. He’s a player that will add depth to our blueline and be able to come in and contribute immediately.” – Dale DeGray, GM, Owen Sound Attack
Round 1, Pick 16: Riley Piercey, RW, Toronto Marlboros (GP: 59 / G: 26 / A: 30 / PTS: 56)
The Buzz: The Colts will likely have a hole on the wing to fill this off-season, as Andrei Svechnikov has little to prove in the OHL. It’s not fair to put that expectation on Piercey immediately, but he should still have an impact at both ends of the ice.
Couldn’t be more excited to start the next chapter of my hockey career with the @OHLBarrieColts! Thanks to my family, friends, teammates and coaches over my minor hockey career!
— Riley Piercey (@Piercey28) April 7, 2018
Round 1, Pick 17: Reid Valade, RW, Toronto Marlboros (GP: 55 / G: 31 / A: 38 / PTS: 69)
The Buzz: The Rangers have gotten faster and faster over the years, and Valade continues that trend. Kitchener has also started to favour players with a wider skill set rather than specialized areas, so Valade will fit in on East Ave.
What They’re Saying: “His speed, skill and compete level make him a threat every time he’s on the ice. He has the ability to be a dynamic offensive player for us in years to come.” – Mike McKenzie, GM, Kitchener Rangers
Round 1, Pick 18: Logan Morrison, C, Guelph Gryphons (GP: 36/ G: 38 / A: 48 / PTS: 86)
The Buzz: Morrison is going to fit in well with the Bulldogs. He has a straightforward approach to the game, which meshes well with what Hamilton is doing. That said, he has plenty of offensive potential, adding some pop to the Bulldogs.
What They’re Saying: “Logan is described as one of the smartest offensive players in this year’s Priority Selection. He is creative offensively but also makes the simple safe play which is usually the right one. He is a good skater that once in full stride he is deceivingly quick” – Hamilton Bulldogs
Round 1, Pick 19: Jacob Perreault, C, Chicago Mission (GP: 47 / G: 27 / A: 23 / PTS: 50)
The Buzz: The son of Yanic Perreault, Jacob adds depth down the middle for the Sting. He can think the game and has plenty of speed and skill to go along with it. One thing that’ll be fun to watch: If he becomes as proficient on faceoffs as his dad was.
Jacob Perreault is a very nice pick for Sarnia. 28th-ranked player on our board, and a guy who's improved immensely since 14U. Stocky frame, but a guy with a high-level IQ and ability to generate offense. #OHLDraft
— Priority Selection (@PrioritySelect) April 7, 2018
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Round 1, Pick 20: Ryan O’Rourke, D, Vaughan Kings (GP: 55 / G: 12 / A: 32 / PTS: 44)
The Buzz: The Greyhounds have a stacked defence right now, but it may not be the case for much longer. Noah Carroll is an overager, Jordan Sambrook and Conor Timmins could be off to the next level, and who knows how much the NHL will love Rasmus Sandin? O’Rourke will have an opportunity to grow into a key piece in the Soo.