On Friday night April 21st the OHL Priority Selection will commence at 7:00pm and the Bulldogs are preparing to welcome a large haul of selections. Beginning with the #8 selection in 1st Round, the Bulldogs will have 5 selections in the first four rounds, with a pair in the 3rd.

To understand the value the organization puts on the draft only takes a brief look back to the 2022 OHL Championship team. Of the 27 players listed on the 2022 Hamilton Bulldogs playoff roster; 16 forwards, 9 defencemen & 2 goaltenders, 20 of them were drafted by the Bulldogs between 2018, during the Bulldogs first OHL Championship run, & 2021.

Though the Bulldogs success in the first round is clear, it has been in the middle to late rounds where the Bulldogs scouting staff has really shone.

Going back to the Bulldogs inaugural 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft, the team’s scouting staff set the table for success over the years to come in the middle to late rounds when Issac Nurse was selected with the 208th overall pick in the 11th round. A part of the 2018 OHL Championship team, Nurse went on to serve as the 4th captain in Bulldogs history while skating in 221 games over 4 seasons and 27 total playoff games.


The 2017 OHL Priority Selection Draft uncovered a freight train who became an instant fan favourite in Hamilton when the Bulldogs selected Navrin Mutter in the 5th round, 83rd overall. Going on to play 217 games over 4 OHL seasons, Mutter became one of the most feared forwards across the league for his intense physical style, playing a part as a rookie in the 2018 OHL Championship and helping teach the players who would eventually lead the 2022 OHL Championship team.


As the Bulldogs were on the road to the 2018 OHL Championship, the 2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft set the table for the 2022 OHL Championship team. Though Logan Morrison captured the headlines as the 18th overall selection, four more players were uncovered by Bulldogs scouts that played major parts in the team’s success. With the 95th overall pick in the 5th round, the Bulldogs found their Championship goaltender in Marco Costantini. Leading the league in Goals Against Average, Save Percentage & Shutouts through the 2021-22 season & 2022 playoffs, Costantini left no doubt that he was an incredible steal where the Bulldogs scouts were able to draft him. In the 6th round, the Bulldogs managed to find a pair of electric talents up front, selecting George Diaco 101st overall & Avery Hayes 118th overall. Diaco & Hayes had very similar and extremely productive OHL careers with Diaco posting 164 points in 189 games while Hayes 203 points in 237 games with both playing key offensive roles in the 2022 OHL Championship. Three years after the Bulldogs stole Isaac Nurse from the Hamilton Huskies system 208th overall, they did it again selecting Mark Duarte in the 14th round, 278th overall. A leader through & through, Duarte carved himself out a big role with the Bulldogs, skating in 145 games over his OHL career, recording 77 points, and at one time forming a dynamic line on the opposite wing of fellow 2018 draftee George Diaco.

2018 Draft Group

At the 2019 OHL Priority Selection Draft, the Bulldogs struck gold again. In the 6th round with the 110th overall pick, goaltender Matteo Drobac was selected. Going on to be half of the OHL’s top tandem in the 2021-22 season, partnering with Marco Costantini, Drobac continued on in the 2022-23 season helping the Bulldogs return to the playoffs once again. With Logan Morrison & Avery Hayes already established as Bulldogs, their future linemate was next. Selected 150th overall in the 8th round, Ryan Humphrey, like Navrin Mutter before him became an instant fan favourite. Playing a “shift-disturbing” style, Humphrey had an immediate gift for getting under his opposition’s skin while endearing himself to his teammates for his willingness to do whatever it takes to win. Finishing his 3rd full season in the OHL, Humphrey has skated 171 regular season games between the Bulldogs & London Knights recording 96 points and has consistently elevated his game in the post-season.

2019 Draft Pair


Though the global pandemic put a damper on the 2020 OHL Priority Selection Draft, the Bulldogs still managed hit a pair of late round home runs. In the 10th round with the 189th overall selection the Bulldogs added hometown kid Adrian Rebelo. Reminiscent of Mark Duarte’s journey, Rebelo worked his way through the junior ranks, earning a spot with the Bulldogs and made himself into a fan favourite with his blue-collar style. A fierce forechecker & dangerous penalty killer, Rebelo took another step during the 2023 OHL Playoffs, scoring goals in three straight games while earning a look with Patrick Thomas & Nick Lardis on the Bulldogs top line. With the 290th overall selection in the 15th round, the Bulldogs selected goaltender Tristan Malboeuf. Starting his OHL career behind Marco Costantini & Matteo Drobac, Malboeuf gained plenty of experience and stepped into the spotlight when called upon with a shutout in his 1st career start. Wearing the #29 as a personal reminder of how many goaltenders were selected ahead of him, Malboeuf finished the 2022-23 regular season with a remarkable .915 save percentage over his last 12 appearances.

2020 Draft Pair

Though still early in his OHL career the returns have been strong on the 266th overall selection in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Braeden O’Keefe. The St. Catharines product, drafted from the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs, O’Keefe has lined up at all forward positions for the Bulldogs after signing early in the 2021-22 season. Having skated in 83 regular season games, O’Keefe will be looking to be the next to walk the blazed trail for the Bulldogs and breakout, defying his selection position.


Though eyes will inevitably be on the Bulldogs holding the 8th overall selection and 5 total picks through the first 4 rounds of the 2023 OHL Priority Selection Draft, keep your eyes on the entire list as the Bulldogs scouting staff continues to prove they can weave a bit of magic in the draft.

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