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 Erie Otters

Erie Otters Select Tyler Challenger with 10th Overall Pick

April 12, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Erie Otters News Release


Erie, Pennsylvania - A top-10 selection means the opportunity to bring a game-changing player onto the roster.

For the first time since drafting Carey Terrance in 2021, the Erie Otters would hold the 10th overall pick in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection Draft. With their first pick in the 2024 edition of the Draft, the Otters would select forward Tyler Challenger.

Owner Jim Waters, General Manager Dave Brown, Director of Hockey Operations Scott Grieve and the Otters' scouting staff made the selection official on Friday evening, using the 10th overall pick to select the 15-year-old Mississauga native.

Coming off a tremendous 2023-24 season with the esteemed North York Rangers U16 AAA program - where Otters' prospect Georgy Toroptsev skated during his minor hockey career - Challenger was everywhere offensively. In 68 games played, Challenger found 83 points (38G+45A) for a +44 season as a top-five scorer on his team. The offensive success continued for Challenger in the OHL Cup, where he found seven points (4G+3A) and a +4 in six games played.

"Tyler is a 200 foot player that plays the game the right way. He checks a lot of the boxes that we're looking for in a player. He takes pucks to the scoring areas, which we like." said Director of Scouting Devin Brown, "The coaching staff will be very happy; he'll play in all three zones, and I think [Head Coach] Stan [Butler] will like coaching this guy. He's someone we've had our eyes on for a long time."

Challenger is the fifth player in Otters team history to be drafted 10th overall, joining teammate Carey Terrance (2021) and following in the footsteps of David Broll (2009), Anthony Peluso (2005), and Brian Lee (2000). As it currently stands, Challenger will join fellow first round draftees Matthew Schaefer (2023), Malcolm Spence (2022), Carey Terrance (2021), Pano Fimis & Spencer Sova (2019) on a roster loaded with high-end talent.

The 2023-24 Erie Otters became the first Erie team in seven years to win 30+ games and to play in the OHL post-season, playing a very competitive first round series with the Kitchener Rangers and winning a pair of games. Erie will look to build upon a top-five finish in the OHL's Western Conference at the conclusion of 2023-24, and battle to be qualified as one of the OHL's top teams in the 2024-25 season with the addition of Tyler Challenger.

The Erie Otters organization is thrilled to welcome Tyler to the Flagship City, and see what the dynamic Forward can bring in the Fall.

What They're Saying About Tyler Challenger:

"Tyler is a big presence on the ice. He's a big body that gets a lot of respect. He plays hard, he's got sneaky skill - scored a lot of real nice goals this season. Better known for his work ethic, leadership, and how hard he competes. Everyone knows when he's on the ice every shift. He drives the net hard, goes to those dirty areas that a lot of players don't go. His game is going to project very well in the OHL." - Darrell Woodley, OHL Central Scouting

"Challenger plays a very mature game, and he is one of few natural centers in this draft class. He's physically mature at 6'2" and 190 lbs., but his methods of offensive creation around the net and his ability to drive the puck also translate to the OHL level right now. He generates a lot of his offense around the net, whether he is creating chaos out front, making plays down low, or driving to the middle with his strength, Challenger knows how to play his role in the offensive zone." - OHLProspects.com

"When Tyler Challenger is on his 'A game' there are few players better in his age group. One of the highest upside players in the Ontario 2008 age group." - The Scouting News

"[Tyler is] an incredibly explosive and powerful skater who is dominant off the rush, protects the puck from defenders to the exterior and uses his size advantage to cut in toward the net shift after shift. Adding to the skating and physical tools, Challenger's play in small areas, made possible by his high-end puck skills, is fantastic." - PuckPreps.net

"Tyler is a tenacious player that is extremely hard to play against. He always has his feet moving and is constantly putting pressure on the opposition. His compete and work ethic are two things that stand out when you watch him and that make him so effective as a complete 200-foot player." - OHL Central Scouting

Pre-Draft Rankings for Tyler Challenger from around Hockey:

Ranked #6 OHL Draft Prospect by PuckPreps.net

Ranked #10 OHL Draft Prospect by the Toronto Star

Ranked #13 OHL Draft Prospect by OHLProspects.com


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