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 Erie Otters

Erie Otters Take Two Top 25 Picks on Day One

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

Erie, Pennsylvania - For the 29th time in team history, the Erie Otters would begin the process of welcoming in the next class of prospective players by way of the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection Draft (pres. by Real Canadian Superstore). Draft Weekend is always one full of hope, anticipation, and excitement to see talented young men develop into future stars and leaders - especially on day one.

Erie, who held two picks on day one of the Priority Selection - both in the top 25 - would utilize the draft to fill gaps and continue to bring talent into a team with high expectation under head coach Stan Butler, who led the Otters to a 30+ win season, top five finish in the Western Conference, and a trip to the OHL playoffs in the 2023-24 season. With thousands of prospective high-level players available to choose from from the 2008-born draft class, General Manager Dave Brown and scouting staff had a particular focus on what they were looking for from prospects: Size, skating, skill, hockey IQ, compete level, leadership, and character on and off the ice.

Let's review the first two picks of Erie's 2024 OHL Draft - Tyler Challenger (#10) and Lucas Ambrosio (#25).


Round 1, Pick #10 - Tyler Challenger

RD OV Team Player Name Pos Height Weight DOB Last Team Source 1 10 Erie Tyler Challenger LW 6.01.5 192 Apr 13, 2008 North York Rangers U16 AAA GTHL

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.

Coming off a tremendous 2023-24 season with the esteemed North York Rangers U16 AAA program, 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.

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.


"We've seen Tyler this year play a very power forward style of game. That was something we're looking to build on. We're looking to make sure the guys that we play against know they have to play a hard, heavy game against us that won't go in their favor." - Erie Otters General Manager Dave Brown

"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. 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." - Erie Otters Director of Scouting Devin Brown

"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 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

Round 2, Pick #25 [from SAR] - Lucas Ambrosio

RD OV Team Player Name Pos Height Weight DOB Last Team Source 2


From Sarnia

Erie Lucas Ambrosio LD 6.03 176 Jan 06, 2008 Toronto Jr. Canadiens U16 AAA GTHL

Losing a big-bodied, physical defenseman with the graduation of Owain Johnston after his overage season, the Erie Otters wasted no time in finding a replacement for him - selecting Lucas Ambrosio from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens with the 25th overall pick.

Standing in at 6'3" and 176 lbs. as a left-shot defenseman, Ambrosio put together a solid season in the GTHL, finding 20 points (3G+17A) while being regarded as a versatile defenseman.

Looking to bulk up on the blue line ahead of a season that will see a mix of offensive-defensemen and stay-at-home defensemen, Ambrosio will be an immediate mix in the defensive corps. of assistant coach Ken Peroff.


"We're going to be patient with Lucas, but he's going to be more appreciated at this next level than he was at the minor hockey level. He was a shutdown guy for his team, he made it real hard on opponents. We had a great interview with him, and one of the things that stuck out with him was his preparation and how he walked us through his game day prep. We're real excited to have him part of our group going forward." - Erie Otters General Manager Dave Brown

"Lucas is a big, strong, shutdown defenseman who plays physical and makes the game hard on opponents. Lucas takes great pride in his defensive game, and we are very excited to add him to our defensive core for years to come." - Erie Otters Director of Hockey Operations Scott Grieve

Erie did not have a third round pick in the 2024 OHL Priority Selection Draft.

The Erie Otters are excited to welcome Tyler Challenger (F, 10th Overall) and Lucas Ambrosio (D, 25th Overall) to the Flagship City, and look forward to having them join the team in the Fall.

"Both guys skate real well for big-bodied guys, and they both have elements of their game that are a little different from each other, but both very hard to play against. We're continuing to build on that." said General Manager Dave Brown, "As you saw through this year and through the first round of the playoffs, we want to play a big, heavy game and we want to play a pro-style; both these guys fit what we're looking for."

Erie looks forward to adding an additional 10 prospects on day two of the OHL Priority Selection Draft, starting at 9:00 A.M. on Saturday, April 13.


Erie has 12 total picks in the 2024 Priority Selection Draft, with 10 on day two (4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th [MISS], 11th, 12th, 13th, two in round 14 [FLNT]). Draft Picks are subject to change leading up to the end of the Draft. Erie's 2024 Draft Coverage is presented by Voodoo Brewing Company.

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