The Kitchener Rangers took a pair of big ticket names with their first two picks of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Now general manager Mike McKenzie and his staff are going about the work of getting Francesco Pinelli and Roman Schmidt into blue jerseys.
Selected with the 13th overall pick, Pinelli is the League’s lone first round choice that has yet to make an official OHL commitment ahead of the 2019-20 season. The Toronto Red Wings captain was the heart and soul of his team, recording 114 points (49-65–114) over 71 games while leading them to an appearance in the OHL Cup Championship Final. The Stoney Creek, Ont. native put up 14 points (7-7–14) in the annual showcase.
A 6-foot-5 defender who was a big part of the OHL Cup champion Don Mills Flyers, Schmidt burst onto the GTHL scene as an underage standout with the Mississauga Rebels Minor Midgets in 2017-18. Hailing from the Ottawa region, Schmidt recorded 71 points (18-53–71) over 73 games with the Flyers on a blue line that also included big names in Brandt Clarke (4th overall, Barrie) and Paul Christopoulos (38th overall, North Bay).
The Rangers owned a trio of fourth round selections, using them to pick up Chicago Mission 16U rearguard Simon Motew (75th overall) who has officially committed to the club. Hard-working Mississauga Rebels centre Jesse Fishman was taken with the 79th overall pick before Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves winger Mitchell Martin was the 81st choice.
The Blueshirts addressed the crease in the sixth round, picking up OHL Cup standout Justin Wu of the Mississauga Rebels. They added local scorer Matthew Sop of the Kitchener Jr. Rangers in the seventh round and Caden Brown, the younger brother of former Ranger Logan Brown in the eight round.
Over 20 days in July ontariohockeyleague.com will take a look at the future of all 20 OHL clubs. See more from the OHL 20 in 20 series.