BULLDOGS ADD 3 IN 2023 U18 DRAFT
The Brantford Bulldogs were on the clock 3 times during the 2023 U18 Priority Selection Draft on Wednesday night, adding a pair of defensemen and a goaltender to the organization.
Holding the 7th overall pick in the U18 Draft twice before, the Bulldogs drifted from history, having selected goaltenders on both previous occasions, the team went for a towering blueliner in the 2023 edition.
From the Mississauga Rebels U18, the Bulldogs selected Daniel Chen. At 6’4”/185, the imposing Thornhill product bring a rare blend of size and mobility to along with a nasty physical edge making him a very intriguing prospect arriving in Brantford. Coming through the Don Mills Flyers system through his minor midget season, the right-hand shooting Chen moved to the Toronto Titans U18 & eventually settling with the Mississauga Rebels U18 for the majority of the 2022-23 season.
In Chen, the Bulldogs have strong reason to believe they’ve found a diamond, and it’s supported by history. Chen wouldn’t be the first defenseman to be selected 7th in the U18 Draft and become an OHL stalwart as in the 2017 U18 Draft the Sudbury Wolves selected Emmett Serensits. The Oakville Blades U18 defender went onto play 187 games over 3 seasons with the Wolves, success the Bulldogs hope Chen will replicate.
With the 27th overall selection, the Bulldogs went between the pipes selecting Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs netminder Gabriel Longo. Hailing from Mount Hope, Longo compiled an outstanding 2022-23 season posting a 2.34 GAA in 18 games with the Jr. Bulldogs but really broke out in a 5-game call-up to the GOJHL’s Hamilton Kilty B’s. Posting a 1.72 GAA & .947 SV%, Longo leapt past any expectations and earned the opportunity through the U18 Draft to compete for a deep position with the Bulldogs.
After drafting Gabriel Longo in the 2nd round, the Bulldogs had the opportunity to make a final selection at 46th overall and addressed the blueline once again with one of Brantford’s own, Jaivyn Stewart.
Playing with the Brantford 99ers through U16, Stewart joined the Hamilton Kilty B’s U18 for the 2022-23 season and the 5’11”/165 gifted offensive defender took his game to another level. With 11 goals & 13 assists for 24 points in 37 games, Stewart led all Kilty B’s defenders in scoring and finished 3rd overall on the team. Stewart’s impressive performances at the U18 level also earned the blueliner an opportunity to step up to the GOJHL Hamilton Kilty B’s, skating in 3 games at the Junior B level.
The Brantford Bulldogs are proud to add Daniel, Gabriel & Jaivyn to the organization and look forward to seeing them on the ice for the team’s development camp.