The next wave of Canadian Hockey League talent is coming and begins with the Saturday’s Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore.
All 20 OHL teams hold a pick in the first round of the draft process which provides the opportunity to find a difference maker in any of those positions.
With that in mind, here’s a look back at a collection of the most notable selections made in every spot from one to 20 across the span of 2010-19.
1. Connor McDavid (Erie Otters) 2012
The third player to be granted exceptional status, McDavid is without a doubt one of the CHL’s best all-time talents scoring 97 goals and 285 points over 166 career games with the Otters transforming the franchise and carving a path for a CHL record four straight seasons of 50 or more wins. The 2015 CHL Player of the Year also won World Junior gold and was then selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers where he’s already achieved superstar acclaim at the highest level with 469 points in 351 career NHL games to date.
Honourable mention: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs) 2019
The sixth CHL player to be given exceptional status, Wright led all 2019-20 rookies with 66 points in 58 games which ties McDavid’s first year figures in five fewer games while scoring 14 more goals.
The North Bay Battalion will select first overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
2. Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) 2013
The aforementioned CHL record four straight seasons of 50 or more wins achieved by the Otters included Strome from start to finish including two where he served as captain ending his OHL tenure with a 2017 title and a franchise record 354 points over 219 career games.
Honourable mention: Nick Ritchie (Peterborough Petes) 2011
Ritchie can be regarded as one of the league’s top power forwards of the last decade scoring 210 points in 212 career games and winning World Junior gold before transitioning his skillset to the next level.
The Niagara IceDogs will select second overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
3. Darnell Nurse (Soo Greyhounds) 2011
Nurse was a rock while patrolling the blue line over four seasons with the Greyhounds with a tough defensive mindset and offensive abilities contributing 134 points in 221 career games. The former Soo captain and World Junior gold medalist has asserted himself as a staple on the Oilers defence corps with 350 career games to his credit.
Honourable mention: Scott Laughton (Oshawa Generals) 2010
A fearless leader and competitor, Laughton served as both captain of the Generals and Canada’s National Junior Team producing 219 points in 230 games and has since played 321 career NHL contests.
The Sarnia Sting will select third overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
4. Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) 2018
In just two seasons the smooth skating Drysdale has established himself as one of the league’s best all-around defencemen solidified by his presence on Canada’s gold medal winning team at World Juniors at age 17. He could become the first blue liner off the board at the 2020 NHL Draft which hasn’t happened for an OHL drafted rearguard since Aaron Ekblad went first overall in 2014.
Honourable mention: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads) 2015
Tippett became one of the league’s most prolific goal scorers accumulating 128 tallies in 213 games and was the OHL’s highest pick in the 2017 NHL Draft going tenth overall to the Florida Panthers.
The Soo Greyhounds will select fourth overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
5. Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit) 2018
Much like Drysdale, Perfetti’s wasted little time in the way he’s impacted the league in just two seasons. He’s another name projected for early first round NHL Draft selection with elite scoring and playmaking ability as evidenced by his 185 points in just 124 career games and set a Spirit record with 111 points in 2019-20.
Honourable mention: Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds) 2016
Dellandrea became the face of the Firebirds helping build the franchise with leadership and production that made him worthy of wearing a letter for Canada and made him a 13th overall pick by the Dallas Stars in 2018.
The Kingston Frontenacs will select fifth overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
6. Robby Fabbri (Guelph Storm) 2012
Fabbri played just three seasons for the Storm but recorded 171 points in 147 career games while winning World Junior gold and earning MVP honours in the club’s 2014 championship title.
Honourable mention: Logan Brown (Niagara IceDogs) 2014
While Brown never reported to the IceDogs, his OHL career included 205 points in 182 games spent mostly as a member of the Windsor Spitfires where he won a Memorial Cup title in 2017.
The Hamilton Bulldogs will select sixth overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
7. Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting) 2019
Gaudreau became the highest goaltender selected in the OHL Draft since 2002 and despite high expectations delivered a 49-save performance to win his Sting debut on October 17.
Honourable mention: Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa Generals) 2012
Few players carry a better OHL resume than Dal Colle who produced 316 points over 246 games and was a key component in the Generals’ 2015 Memorial Cup championship.
The Mississauga Steelheads will select seventh overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
8. Max Domi (Kingston Frontenacs) 2011
The Frontenacs got their value in Domi by way of future picks including a compensatory selection the following year that translated into Sam Bennett at ninth overall. Domi meanwhile became a star for the London Knights accumulating 331 points in 244 career games while winning two OHL titles and World Junior gold.
Honourable mention: Victor Mete (Owen Sound Attack) 2014
Mete also made his impact with the Knights winning a Memorial Cup title in 2016 after his immediate trade from the Attack who received compensation the following year with a pick used to select fellow defenceman Markus Phillips.
The Erie Otters will select eighth overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
9. Bo Horvat (London Knights) 2011
Horvat helped the Knights win back-to-back OHL titles earning playoff MVP honours in 2013 producing 165 points in 185 games over three seasons before embarking on his NHL career where he currently serves as captain for the Vancouver Canucks.
Honourable mention: Sam Bennett (Kingston Frontenacs) 2012
Bennett’s time in Kingston was unfortunately cut short due to injury and early NHL promotion but that compensatory pick the Fronts’ used at number nine delivered in the form of 155 points in 128 games.
The Barrie Colts will select ninth overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
10. Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) 2016
The Attack found a gem in Dudas who developed into a gritty two-way player and team captain beloved by the country for his versatility and work ethic during World Junior triumph who finishes his four years with 201 points in 240 career games.
Honourable mention: Jean-Luc Foudy (Windsor Spitfires) 2018
A projected first round NHL pick in 2020, Foudy might just be scratching the surface of his potential with 92 points in 122 games through two seasons with the surging Spitfires.
The Owen Sound Attack will select tenth overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
11. Connor McMichael (Hamilton Bulldogs) 2017
McMichael was traded midway through his rookie campaign as part of a deal that saw Robert Thomas return for the Bulldogs championship run. As a Knight, he developed into a Washington Capitals first round pick and exploded offensively scoring 102 in 52 games with World Junior gold this season.
Honourable mention: Blake Speers (Soo Greyhounds) 2013
Speers was selected by his hometown team where he would serve as captain and contribute nearly a point-per-game over four seasons totaling 215 points in 217 games.
The Sudbury Wolves will select 11th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
12. Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs) 2016
Thomas will forever be known as Canada’s World Junior hero but his consistency over four OHL seasons paints a complete picture accumulating 315 points in 241 games and serving as IceDogs captain before his midseason trade to Peterborough.
Honourable mention: Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires) 2014
One of the league’s biggest and toughest defencemen of the decade, Stanley was a brute force on the Spitfires blue line winning a Memorial Cup then capping his career in Kitchener with a memorable run to the Western Conference Final.
The Guelph Storm will select 12th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
13. Givani Smith (Barrie Colts) 2014
Smith’s speed and physicality made him a forward feared by the opposition over four years producing 135 points and countless body checks in 236 games split between Barrie, Guelph, and Kitchener.
Honourable mention: Francesco Pinelli (Kitchener Rangers) 2019
Fourth in rookie scoring with 41 points including 18 goals in 59 games, Pinelli provided a glimpse into the future for what could be looked upon as a steal for the Rangers at lucky number 13.
The Oshawa Generals will select 13th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
14. Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) 2015
Suzuki may have won an OHL title in Guelph, but the former Attack captain will always be endeared by Owen Sound fans who saw most of his 328 points in a 251 game career that included three-straight most sportsmanlike awards preluding an impressive NHL rookie season in Montreal.
Honourable mention: Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads) 2017
Harley’s ability to control the game in both ends made him the first OHL player off the board at the 2019 NHL Draft and a key piece to the future Dallas defence.
The Windsor Spitfires will select 14th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
15. Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm) 2015
A four-year fixture in the Royal City, Ratcliffe endured rebuilding days as a rookie and later captained his club to a 2019 championship as part of a 50-goal season to bring his career totals to 217 points in 245 games.
Honourable mention: Nick Moutrey (Saginaw Spirit) 2011
A power forward who got better with time and experience using his big body to his advantage during his final season split between the Spirit and North Bay Battalion producing just over a point-per-game.
The Peterborough Petes will select 15th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
16. Sean Monahan (Ottawa 67’s) 2010
Monahan has scored 20 or more goals in every season since his selection by the 67’s a decade ago including three years in the nation’s capital and the last seven since making the immediate jump to the NHL as the Flames sixth overall pick in 2013.
Honourable mention: Nick Robertson (Peterborough Petes) 2017
A CHL high 55 goals in 46 games for Robertson is also among the best single seasons in Petes history and the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs second round pick will ever be underestimated.
The Flint Firebirds will select 16th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
17. Evan Bouchard (London Knights) 2015
Bouchard began his career with an OHL championship and Memorial Cup title his rookie season then built his personal resume over four years to include captain and second best all-time scorer among Knights defencemen with 201 points in 223 games earning league defenceman of the year honours.
Honourable mention: Anthony Salinitri (Soo Greyhounds) 2014
A short stint in the Soo but a long and successful OHL story for Salinitri with stops in Sarnia and Oshawa collecting 253 points over 313 career games along the way.
The Kitchener Rangers will select 17th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
18. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 2016
Knights co-captain and World Junior gold medalist developed into a first round pick by Columbus in 2018 and has already shown pro appeal with his speed shining over the course of two emergency call ups.
Honourable mention: Max Jones (London Knights) 2014
Jones was worth the wait for the Knights who didn’t see him until a year after his selection but scored 52 points in 63 games on arrival as part of the team’s Memorial Cup championship season.
The Saginaw Spirit will select 18th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
19. Mitch Marner (London Knights) 2013
One of the greatest CHL players of the decade, Marner scored an incredible 301 points over 184 games including two straight seasons with a point-per-game average of 2.0 or more before and after his fourth overall selection by the Leafs. He co-captained the Knights to their 2016 Memorial Cup championship with CHL Player of the Year honours before turning pro.
Honourable mention: Chris Tierney (London Knights) 2010
Another former Knights captain, Tierney won back-to-back OHL titles before wearing the ‘C’ and has since played in 436 career NHL games which leads all players chosen in 2012’s second round or later.
The London Knights will select 19th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
20. Ryan O’Rourke (Soo Greyhounds) 2018
The appointment of O’Rourke as Greyhounds captain at age 17 speaks volumes for the defenceman eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft whose best is yet to come.
Honourable mention: Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters) 2015
Lodnia played three seasons in Erie including the 2017 OHL championship campaign before two years in Niagara most recently serving as captain and finishing a five-year tenure with 262 points in 272 games.
The Ottawa 67’s will select 20th overall in the 2020 OHL Draft.
The 2020 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore takes place on Saturday, April 4th commencing at 9:00am and will include 300 picks across 15 rounds. Watch the first three rounds live on the OHL’s YouTube channel and follow live results at https://ontariohockeyleague.com/draft.