The OHL champion Guelph Storm enter 2019-20 with a wide open depth chart and plenty of opportunity for young players looking to make an early impression. Remarkably, the Storm managed to make a pick in all 15 rounds of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, giving the franchise a firm foundation from which to build upon.
The new look squad will have a proven sniper entering the lineup this fall as 14th overall draft pick Danny Zhilkin turns in his Toronto Marlboros blue for Storm crimson. The versatile late 2003-born forward exemplified great hockey sense throughout his minor midget season, pairing that with solid puck skills and a great shot. In addition to recording 57 points (32-25–57) over 69 regular season games with the Marlies, Zhilkin represented Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games and was also an OHL Gold Cup champion as a member of Team GTHL Blue this past May.
Guelph used its second round (39th overall) pick on Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs centreman Jacob Maillet. Captain of his minor midget team, Maillet registered 37 points (14-23–37) over 32 regular season contests and also saw time with the Jr. Bulldogs Midget AAA team as well as the Hamilton Kilty B’s Jr. B club.
The Storm selected Kitchener Jr. Rangers captain Marko Sikic with their third round (55th overall) pick. Sikic was a go-to guy throughout the season for Kitchener, posting 49 points (19-30–49) over 33 regular season games before shining in the playoffs with 19 points (8-11–19) over 13 games. While Sikic was an offensive catalyst for the Jr. Rangers, he also proved capable playing on both sides of the puck.
Zhilkin, Maillet and Sikic have all committed to the Storm for the 2019-20 season. The first two names will attend Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp next week in Calgary.
After picking up New Jersey-based defenceman Dylan Gratton in the fourth round, the Storm added Sikic’s Kitchener teammate Braeden Bowman in the fifth round. They added Chicago Mission centreman Jack Devine (112th overall) and big Clarington Toros defender Owen Richer (116th overall) in the sixth round before picking 6-foot-5, 228Ib. Toronto Nationals defender Declan Ride in the seventh round.
Over 20 days in July ontariohockeyleague.com will take a look at the future of all 20 OHL clubs. See more from the OHL 20 in 20 series.