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 Ontario Hockey League

OHL Completes Opening Three Rounds of 2024 Priority Selection Presented by Real Canadian Superstore

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

Toronto, Ont. - The Ontario Hockey League completed the opening three rounds of the 2024 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore on Friday, with a total of 62 players hearing their names called to begin the proceedings that continue on Saturday morning, with Rounds 4-15 commencing at 9:00am.

The Priority Selection is being streamed live for free on OHL Live, and can also be viewed on YourTV, Rogers tv and Eastlink community stations.

Twenty-one players from across 11 different organizations were chosen in the first round of Friday's first round.

The Windsor Spitfires kicked-off the proceedings with the selection of OHL Cup champion and MVP Ethan Belchetz of the Oakville Rangers, making him the second player to be chosen first overall in franchise history. Following in the 6-foot-5, 233lb. power-forward's footsteps, Oakville teammates in Evan Headrick and Ryder Carey were swiftly picked back-to-back later in the first round, going 15th and 16th overall to the Kitchener Rangers and North Bay Battalion respectively.

Forwards in OHL Cup Finalist Alessandro Di Iorio of the Vaughan Kings (2nd overall, Sarnia) and hometown product Colin Fitzgerald (3rd overall, Peterborough) followed, while Braidy Wassilyn joined the Priority Selection's Top-4 as Niagara's 2024 first round choice.

The Sudbury Wolves claimed the first defenceman in this year's Priority Selection, with Pittsburgh Penguins Elite rearguard and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native Luca Blonda going 12th overall. Meanwhile, the Ottawa 67's made a notable move of their own by picking up Kohyn Eshkawkogan as the second blueliner off the board, selecting him 21st overall. He joined 11th overall selection Nathan Amidovski of the Barrie Jr. Colts to give the 67's a pair of first round selections.

The first round consisted of 11 players chosen from the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), seven players selected from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), one player selected from the ALLIANCE, one from another Canadian U18 AAA program and one from a U.S.-based program.

The OHL Cup champion Oakville Rangers joined the Barrie Jr. Colts and North York Rangers with three players selected in the opening round of the OHL Priority Selection. Barrie led all teams through Friday's opening three rounds, with a total of seven players selected followed closely by the Vaughan Kings, who had six.

A total of four players chosen in the first round were members of Team Canada's fourth-place finishing team at the 2024 Youth Olympics in Gangwon, South Korea this past January including Alessandro Di Iorio (2nd overall, Sarnia), Braidy Wassilyn (4th overall, Niagara), Adam Valentini (13th overall, Mississauga) and Aiden O'Donnell (14th overall, Brantford).

Of the 21 players selected in the first round, 18 will be eligible for the 2026 NHL Draft. 12th overall pick Luca Blonda (Pittsburgh Penguins Elite), 19th overall pick Dimian Zhilkin (Saginaw Spirit) and 21st overall pick Kohyn Eshkawkogan (Ottawa 67's) are late birthdays and won't be NHL Draft eligible until 2027.

The first round saw 19 forwards and two defencemen chosen by OHL clubs.

2024 OHL Priority Selection - First Round Selections:

1. Windsor Spitfires - Ethan Belchetz (Oakville Rangers) - 6.04.5, 233Ib., LW

2. Sarnia Sting - Alessandro Di Iorio (Vaughan Kings) - 5.11.75, 165Ib., C

3. Peterborough Petes - Colin Fitzgerald - 6.02, 178Ib., C

4. Niagara IceDogs - Braidy Wassilyn (Markham Majors) - 6.01, 195Ib., C

5. Barrie Colts - Parker Vaughan (Elgin-Middlesex Canucks) - 6.00.75, 173Ib., RW

6. Flint Firebirds - Cole Zurawski (Mississauga Rebels) - 5.11.5, 169Ib., RW

7. Owen Sound Attack - Pierce Mbuyi (Toronto Marlboros) - 5.10, 144Ib., LW

8. Kingston Frontenacs - Caleb Malhotra (Vaughan Kings) - 6.00.5, 154Ib., C

9. Guelph Storm - Alex McLean (Barrie Jr. Colts) - 5.09.5, 162Ib., C

10. Erie Otters - Tyler Challenger (North York Rangers) - 6.01.5, 192Ib., LW

11. Ottawa 67's - Nathan Amidovski (Barrie Jr. Colts) - 6.01.25, 160Ib., C

12. Sudbury Wolves - Luca Blonda (Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) - 5.10, 170Ib., RD

13. Mississauga Steelheads - Adam Valentini (Toronto Marlboros) - 5.09, 187Ib., C

14. Brantford Bulldogs - Aiden O'Donnell (Steele Subaru U18) - 6.00.5, 164Ib., C

15. Kitchener Rangers - Evan Headrick (Oakville Rangers) - 5.06.5, 145Ib., C

16. North Bay Battalion - Ryder Carey (Oakville Rangers) - 6.00.25, 174Ib., C

17. Oshawa Generals - Brady Smith (North York Rangers) - 6.00, 178Ib., RW

18. Soo Greyhounds - Ryder Cali (Markham Majors) - 6.01, 195Ib., C

19. Saginaw Spirit - Dimian Zhilkin (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) - 5.06.75, 145Ib., RW

20. London Knights - Logan Hawery (Barrie Jr. Colts) - 5.09, 168Ib., C

21. Ottawa 67's - Kohyn Eshkawkogan (North York Rangers) - 5.08.75, 159Ib., RD

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