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 Saginaw Spirit

Spirit Sign First Rounder Zhilkin to Scholarship and Development Agreement

April 14, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Saginaw Spirit News Release

Spirit Sign first round pick Dimian Zhilkin
Spirit Sign first round pick Dimian Zhilkin
(Saginaw Spirit)

Saginaw, Mich. - The Saginaw Spirit are pleased to announce the signing of first round 2024 OHL Priority Selection pick Dimian Zhilkin to an OHL Scholarship and Development Agreement. Zhilkin, a right-shot winger from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the GTHL, was selected 19th overall in Friday's draft.

"We're thrilled to receive such a rapid commitment from Dima and his family," said Spirit GM Dave Drinkill. "It was an exciting moment to be able to call his name on Friday evening, and we believe he's going to be key piece of our hockey team in the coming years."

In 60 games with the Jr. Canadiens, Zhilkin notched 73 points (26G, 47A) from the right wing. The Oakville, Ontario native stands 5'9" and weighs in at 150lbs.

"I was speechless," said Zhilkin. "It's obviously been a dream of mine, and to see my older brother go through it just made me more impatient."

Zhilkin's older brother Danny, a 3rd round pick of the Winnipeg Jets currently with AHL Manitoba, played 186 games between the Guelph Storm and Kitchener Rangers.

Dimian Zhilkin is just the third player to be picked 19th overall by the Spirit. He joins Zayne Parekh (2022) and Connor Punnett (2019) on the list of 19th overall selections in Saginaw.

Prior to Saginaw's game against the Soo Greyhounds on Saturday night, Zhilkin and his family were welcomed into the Dow Event Center for the first time for a tour, media availability, and the signing of his OHL Scholarship and Development Agreement.

"It's amazing, everyone's been so welcoming so far, and I can't wait to see this place absolutely packed," said Zhilkin. "I'm just super thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way, especially my parents. They've sacrificed so much for me, and I can't wait to pay them back."

Zhilkin will wear #71 with the Spirit, a reverse of his older brother's #17.

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Spirit Sign first round pick Dimian Zhilkin
Spirit Sign first round pick Dimian Zhilkin


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