Nineteen players from across 13 different organizations were chosen in the first round of the 2021 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore on Friday, June 4.
While American talent Quentin Musty of the U.S. Youth Tier-1 U16 National champion North Jersey Avalanche was tabbed by the Sudbury Wolves with the first overall pick, it was the Oakville Rangers U16 program that drew considerable attention on Day 1 of the annual Priority Selection.
The Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) powerhouse Rangers produced five of the first 11 picks on Day 1, an instance not before seen in the history of the OHL Priority Selection. Captain Calum Ritchie led the way going second overall to the Oshawa Generals, marking the first time Oshawa has picked second since taking defenceman Michael Del Zotto back in 2006. Right-winger Matthew Soto followed him at fifth overall to the Kingston Frontenacs before teammate Nick Lardis went sixth to the Peterborough Petes. The Mississauga Steelheads selected centreman Luke Misa with the ninth pick before 6-foot-3 forward Owen Outwater joined the North Bay Battalion at 11th overall. Windsor Spitfires fourth overall pick Ethan Miedema of the Quinte Red Devils gave the OMHA a total of six first rounders.
While one team producing five of the first 11 picks is a new benchmark, the 2020-21 Oakville Rangers put themselves in good company with four other teams that have produced four of the first 10 picks in the Priority Selection. Those include the 2019-20 Don Mills Flyers (Wright, Othmann, Clarke, Arnsby), the 2011-12 Toronto Marlboros (McDavid, McKeown, Ho-Sang, Bennett), the 2007-08 Toronto Jr. Canadiens (McFarland, O’Connor, Toffoli, Smith-Pelly) and the 2004-05 Toronto Marlboros (Tavares, Aliu, Smith, Cameron).
The Greater Toronto Hockey League’s (GTHL) Toronto Marlboros produced three first round picks in seventh choice Tristan Bertucci joining the Flint Firebirds’ blue line at seventh overall, teammate Colby Barlow being selected by the Owen Sound Attack at eighth overall and captain Angus MacDonell hearing his name called by the Sarnia Sting with the 13th pick.
The three Marlboros joined Guelph Storm third overall choice Cameron Allen of the Toronto Nationals, London Knights 16th pick Denver Barkey of the Toronto Titans and Kitchener Rangers 17th overall addition Carson Rehkopf of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens to give the GTHL six selections.
Hockey Eastern Ontario produced three first rounders as swift-skating Kemptville 73’s U18 forward Carey Terrance joined the Erie Otters at 10th overall. Navan Grads U18 centreman Chris Barlas stayed close to home, being selected by the Ottawa 67’s with the 12th overall pick while the Soo Greyhounds scooped up Ottawa Jr. Senators winger Justin Cloutier at 18th.
Saginaw Spirit 15th overall pick Luke McNamara from the Bishop Kearney Selects joined Musty as the second player chosen from an American-based source. Hamilton Bulldogs 14th pick Alex Pharand of the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves and Barrie Colts 19th selection Beau Akey of the Waterloo Wolves gave the Northern Ontario Hockey Association and Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario each one first round pick respectively.
Of the 19 first round selections, 18 will be eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft with the exception of Misa, who won’t be eligible until 2024.
The first round saw 16 forwards and three defencemen chosen by OHL clubs.
2021 OHL Priority Selection – First Round Selections:
1. Sudbury Wolves – Quentin Musty (North Jersey Avalanche 16U) 6.02 190Ib LW
2. Oshawa Generals – Calum Ritchie (Oakville Rangers) 6.01 175Ib RC
3. Guelph Storm – Cameron Allen (Toronto Nationals) 6.00 185Ib. RD
4. Windsor Spitfires – Ethan Miedema (Quinte Red Devils) 6.03.5 180Ib LW
5. Kingston Frontenacs – Matthew Soto (Oakville Rangers) 5.11 160Ib RW
6. Peterborough Petes – Nick Lardis (Oakville Rangers) 5.10 155Ib RW
7. Flint Firebirds – Tristan Bertucci (Toronto Marlboros) 6.02 178Ib LD
8. Owen Sound Attack – Colby Barlow (Toronto Marlboros) 6.01 190Ib RW
9. Mississauga Steelheads – Luke Misa (Oakville Rangers) 5.10.5 160Ib LC
10. Erie Otters – Carey Terrance (Kemptville 73’s U18) 6.00 170Ib LC
11. North Bay Battalion – Owen Outwater (Oakville Rangers) 6.03 170Ib LC
12. Ottawa 67’s – Christopher Barlas (Navan Grads U18) 5.10.5 180Ib LC
13. Sarnia Sting – Angus MacDonell (Toronto Marlboros) 5.10 173Ib LC
14. Hamilton Bulldogs – Alex Pharand (Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves U18) 6.02 188Ib RC
15. Saginaw Spirit – Luke McNamara (Bishop Kearney Selects 15’s) 6.02 170Ib LC
16. London Knights – Denver Barkey (Toronto Titans) 5.07.5 135Ib LC
17. Kitchener Rangers – Carson Rehkopf (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) 6.00.75 171Ib C/LW
18. Soo Greyhounds – Justin Cloutier (Ottawa Jr. Senators U18) 5.07 165Ib RW
19. Barrie Colts – Beau Akey (Waterloo Wolves) 6.00 170Ib RD