Fresh off an exciting season that yielded their first West Division title since 2011 and a first-ever appearance in the Western Conference Final, the Saginaw Spirit are chomping at the bit to get back onto the ice for another run.
The Spirit have added one of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection’s most dependable two-way defencemen to their roster, picking up North Central Predators blueliner Connor Punnett with the 19th overall pick. The Powassan, Ont. native recorded 26 points (6-20–26) over 30 regular season games before tacking on nine points (4-5–9) in 10 playoff games, helping the Preds reach the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour. He also represented Team Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.
Saginaw added another Team Ontario representative in Toronto Nationals winger Josh Bloom at 30th overall. Bloom scored 42 goals while adding 41 assists for 83 points over 66 games with the Young Nats, forming a reputation as a player who isn’t afraid to battle in the corners and fight for loose pucks.
After adding Northville, Mich. native Dylan Duke in the third round, the Spirit made another local pick with the addition of Davis ‘T-Bone’ Codd of the Detroit Little Caesars 16U program in the fourth round (66th overall). Codd, Punnett and Bloom have all announced official commitments to the Spirit for the 2019-20 season.
Other prominent Spirit draft picks include fifth round selection Roberto Mancini, a 6-foot defencemen from the Mississauga Reps, sixth round pick Cole Hipkin, a solid defender from the ALLIANCE Minor Midget champion Brantford 99ers as well as Reps goaltender Robert Andreakos selected in the eighth round (161st overall).
Additionally, the Spirit selected Grey-Bruce Highlanders goaltender Carter Garvie in the 12th round (241st overall). He is currently joining Punnett and Bloom in attendance at Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp in Calgary.
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.