20 players from across 11 different organizations were chosen in the first round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection on Saturday April 7.
The OMHA Champion York Simcoe Express provided the first two picks of the Priority Selection as Quinton Byfield led off the proceedings being chosen by the Sudbury Wolves before teammate Evan Vierling followed suit going to the Flint Firebirds. This marks the first time since 2012 when Connor McDavid (Erie Otters) and Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs) of the Toronto Marlboros went first and second overall. The scenario also presented itself back in 2006 when current-day NHL stars Steven Stamkos (Sarnia Sting) and Michael Del Zotto (Oshawa Generals) of the Markham Waxers were the first two picks of the OHL Priority Selection.
The GTHL Champion Toronto Marlboros led all teams with five players chosen in the first round including third and fourth overall picks Will Cuylle (Peterborough Petes) and Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters). Blueliner Lleyton Moore (12th, Niagara IceDogs), forward Riley Piercey (16th, Barrie Colts) and winger Reid Valade (17th, Kitchener Rangers) soon followed.
The GTHL’s Vaughan Kings produced three first round picks including fifth overall selection Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit), forward Tyler Tullio (11th, Oshawa Generals) and blueliner Ryan O’Rourke (20th, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) while the OMHA’s Oakville Rangers also boasted three including centreman Cameron Tolnai (6th, Ottawa 67’s) and back-to-back picks in defenceman Jake Murray (13th, Kingston Frontenacs) and forward Luke Evangelista (14th, London Knights).
The GTHL led the way with 10 first round selections followed closely by the OMHA with seven.
The NOHA and HEO circuits each produced one top-20 selection as the North Bay Battalion chose local rearguard Pacey Schlueting of the North Bay Minor Midget Trappers with the ninth overall pick while the Owen Sound Attack selected Ottawa-area defenceman Nolan Seed of the Smiths Falls Bears at 15th.
Sarnia Sting first choice Jacob Perreault of the Chicago Mission 16U program was the lone American chosen in the first round at 19th overall.
The first round saw 13 forwards and seven defencemen taken by OHL clubs.
Learn more about the 2018 first round draft class below with reports from OHL Central Scouting.
1. Sudbury Wolves – Quinton Byfield (York Simcoe Express) 6.03.5 202Ib. LC
“Quinton is the type of player that doesn’t come around very often. At nearly 6’4” and over 200lbs, he is an intimidating presence on the ice. He has an exceptionally high skill level and can do things with a puck that not many players his age or size can do. He is very creative with the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to try and beat any defender. He is a very hard to handle in open ice as he is agile on his skates and uses his edges effectively. Quinton has a cannon for a shot and can shoot in mid-stride.”
2. Flint Firebirds – Evan Vierling (York Simcoe Express) 5.11.5 148Ib. LC
“Evan is a smooth-skating center that has very good offensive instincts. He is one of the nicest skaters in the draft, plays a good 10-foot game, has a long, powerful stride and is very agile on his skates. He has a great skill set and can make plays at full speed. He is a smart player that understands the situations of a game and makes very few mistakes. He plays a simple but effective game. Evan was a big part of the success his team had in the second half.”
3. Peterborough Petes – Will Cuylle (Toronto Marlboros) 6.02 193Ib. LW
“Will is your prototypical power forward that combines size, skill and skating. He is a powerful skater that gets to top speed quickly and has deceiving speed as most defenders don’t expect such a big forward to move as effortlessly as he does. His puck skills are elite and he has turned nothing into something on numerous occasions this season. He shoots the puck better than most junior players already. He has a lightning quick release with a very accurate shot.”
4. Erie Otters – Jamie Drysdale (Toronto Marlboros) 5.10.25 158Ib. RD
“Jamie is one of the elite defencemen in this year’s Priority Selection. He is an elite skater that moves effortlessly around the ice and looks likes he could skate all day long. He has excellent edge work, an explosive 10-foot game and has game changing speed. He is an offensive minded defender that has great puck skills and can do everything at full speed. Jamie is very dynamic on the offensive blue line and is hard to handle because of his mobility, puck skills and decision making.”
5. Saginaw Spirit – Cole Perfetti (Vaughan Kings) 5.09.25 170Ib. LC
“Philip is a hard working, skilled centre that never gives up on a play. He has explosive speed with the ability to change gears in mid-stride and is always moving his feet and putting pressure on the opposition. He has very good one-on-one skills and is dangerous whenever he has the puck. Philip has a good shot with a quick release that catches some goalies by surprise. He plays a complete game and is reliable in every situation.”
6. Ottawa 67’s – Cameron Tolnai (Oakville Rangers) 6.00 167Ib. LC
“Cameron is a gifted playmaking center that makes the game look easy. He makes everyone around him better as he is so good at putting pucks in areas where his teammates will get good scoring chances. He has incredible vision and makes both the simple and very creative pass. He is a very good skater and jumps in and out of holes well to receive passes. Cameron is a pass first type of player, but possesses a good shot with a quick release. He is one of the smartest players in this age group.”
7. Guelph Storm – Daniil Chayka (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) 6.02.25 173Ib. LD
“Daniil is a big stud of a defenceman that does everything very well. He is a powerful skater that reaches top speed quickly. He has good mobility and is hard to beat off the rush because of his excellent feet. He is not afraid to jump into the rush or lead it if the opportunity is there. He is one of the best in the age group on the offensive blueline and has a knack for getting his cannon of a shot through traffic and on net. He is a strong penalty killer that gets his stick in the passing lanes.”
8. Mississauga Steelheads – James Hardie (Barrie Jr. Colts) 5.10.5 158Ib. LW
“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. He does a good job of finding open ice or those little quiet pockets in the offensive zone. He isn’t afraid to try and beat a defender in open ice when the chance is there. He plays for a well structured team that does all the little things well and he knows his responsibilities in his own end. James was a big reason why his team had success in the playoffs and at the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.”
9. North Bay Battalion – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Trappers) 6.00.5 170Ib. LD
“Pacey is a smooth skating defenceman that is fun to watch when he is at the top of his game. He has a very nice long stride that makes it look effortless for him when he is skating. He makes good breakout passes and when given the opportunity he is very effective at rushing the puck and creating offense off the rush. He is hard to beat due to his excellent mobility and reach. Pacey plays on the right side of the puck in his own end. He has the potential to be a very good player in the OHL.”
10. Windsor Spitfires – Jean-Luc Foudy (Toronto Titans) 5.10 153Ib. RC
“Jean-Luc is a skilled, playmaking type of centre that makes everyone around him better. He has elusive speed that catches defenders off guard at times. He is quick to jump into holes for loose pucks and wins the majority of races to pucks. He is crafty with the puck and can stickhandle in very tight areas. Jean-Luc is one of the smarter players in the age group. He is always in the right spot at the right time and the puck seems to follow him around the ice.”
11. Oshawa Generals – Tyler Tullio (Vaughan Kings) 5.08.5 150Ib. RC
“Tyler is a competitive player that would do almost anything to score a goal or win a hockey game. He is a good skater that can beat defenders wide and win loose puck battles all over the ice. He possesses a junior level shot already. It’s hard, accurate and he gets it on net very quickly. Tyler competes very hard each shift and isn’t shy to battle against the bigger defender and usually come out with the puck. He is a ‘gamer’ and the type of player you win with.”
12. Niagara IceDogs – Lleyton Moore (Toronto Marlboros) 5.07.25 160Ib. LD
“Lleyton is a mobile defenceman that loves to have the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to lead a rush. He is a strong skater in every direction, is explosive and has a very high top speed. His puck skills are elite as it seems like the puck is on a string at times. He sees the ice well and is very creative. Lleyton’s biggest attribute is his skating ability. It helps him defend, recover when he is up in the rush and create offence from the back end. He is one of his teams go-to players and plays in every situation.”
13. Kingston Frontenacs – Jake Murray (Oakville Rangers) 6.02.5 190Ib. RD
“Jake is a versatile two-way defenceman that you notice every time he is on the ice. He is a big presence and moves extremely well. He has great edge work and is a beautiful skater in open ice. He has the ability to join or lead a rush and then still recover and defend his position. He has good puck skills and is composed when he has the puck on his stick. He has a hard shot from the point and finds the shooting lanes well. Jake uses his mobility and long reach to his advantage.”
14. London Knights – Luke Evangelista (Oakville Rangers) 5.10 146Ib. RW
“Luke is a dynamic winger that never stops moving his feet and putting pressure on the opposition. He is a very good skater that is quick to jump to open holes and pounce on loose pucks. He is creative offensively and uses his high skill level to produce with the best in his league. He competes hard each and every shift and you always know what you are getting with this player. He shoots the puck well and is extremely accurate. He is used in every situation and thrives on the power play.
15. Owen Sound Attack – Nolan Seed (Smiths Falls Bears U18) 5.11.5 152Ib. LD
“Nolan is an offensive-minded defenceman that is always looking to join the rush and help contribute on offence. He is one of the smoothest skating defencemen in this age group and considering he hasn’t played defence for long he has great mobility which makes him hard to beat off the rush. He loves to have the puck on his stick and makes good distribution decisions as he isn’t always trying to go end-to-end with it. He sees the ice very well and runs the power play very efficiently.”
16. Barrie Colts – Riley Piercey (Toronto Marlboros) 6.02.5 186Ib. RW
“Riley is a big power forward that is very hard to play against as he is constantly moving and takes the body every chance that he can. He is a powerful skater that, when at full speed, is very quick. He is a player that makes the simple, effective play the majority of the time. He has a good shot which he gets off quickly. Riley plays hard in all three zones and rarely takes any short cuts. He is the type of player that coaches like to have on the bench because he can play up and down a lineup.”
17. Kitchener Rangers – Reid Valade (Toronto Marlboros) 5.10 160Ib. RW
“Reid is a speedy winger that is constantly moving and putting pressure on the other team. He has electric speed and is always challenging defencemen wide or jumping quickly in and out of holes for scoring chances. He has a good skill set which allows him to beat players one-on-one as well as finish off scoring chances when they arrive. He shoots the puck well and has a quick release. Reid is a smart player that can play any type of game or role on his team.”
18. Hamilton Bulldogs – Logan Morrison (Guelph Gryphons) 5.09.5 142Ib. RC
“Logan is one of the smartest offensive players in this year’s Priority Selection. He has a great understanding of the game and each situation. He is creative offensively but also makes the simple safe play which is usually the right one. He is a good skater and once he is in full stride he is deceivingly quick. He has great vision with the puck and scored numerous big goals for his team this season. Logan is one of those players that makes players around him better and he should continue to do so in the OHL.”
19. Sarnia Sting – Jacob Perreault (Chicago Mission 16U) 5.10 195Ib. RC
“The son of former NHL forward Yanic Perreault, Jacob hails from Hinsdale, Ill. and plays the game with intelligence and poise. A dynamic offensive talent, he led the HPHL’s 16U circuit in scoring this past season with 25 points over 20 games coming against players a year older than him. He is a player that makes a difference when he is on the ice and comes with the pro pedigree to further develop as he continues to grow.”
20. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Ryan O’Rourke (Vaughan Kings) 6.00 175Ib. LD
“Ryan is a tough to play against two-way defenceman. He has good mobility and is a powerful skater which allows him to close gaps and take away time and space. He has a good skill set that allows him to move the puck out of his zone. He can rush the puck when the opportunity is there and he is good on the offensive blue line at getting pucks on net or distributing it. Ryan is hard to beat defensively. He takes the body well and he has a good understanding of his position and what he has to do.