Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today concluded the 2021 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore for North American players born predominantly in 2005.
The annual Priority Selection was held entirely online, adhering to all government and public health COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines at both the League and member team levels. This year’s unique approach to a very special day was conducted in the interest of ensuring the health and safety of prospects, their families as well as OHL member team and League personnel.
A total of 299 players were selected in the 15-round process from 83 different teams across Ontario and parts of the United States. The selected players included 177 forwards, 94 defencemen and 28 goaltenders. While 296 of the players chosen were 2005-born athletes, an additional three from U.S.-based programs were born in 2004.
“Congratulations to all 299 players selected in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection and for the perseverance you’ve shown throughout a very challenging season,” said Darrell Woodley, Director of OHL Central Scouting. “We’ve had a year like no other, and this year’s Priority Selection has brought a lot of joy to players, their families, friends, coaches and teammates that helped support along the way. I know I speak for a lot of people when I express my excitement about the months ahead as we prepare for a new season. Best of luck to all players in your continued efforts on the ice and in the classroom.”
The Priority Selection was held over a span of two days for the first time since first being conducted online in 2001, with the order of selection determined through the League’s first-ever Priority Selection Lottery held on May 5. History was made when the Sarnia Sting selected Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs goaltender Taya Currie in the 14th round (267th overall), making her the first female player ever chosen in the OHL Priority Selection.
The Oakville Rangers also made their mark on Priority Selection history, matching a record set by the Richmond Hill Stars in 2004 for the most players selected from one team with 16. The Rangers set a new benchmark, developing five of the first 11 players chosen in the first round.
The Greater Toronto Hockey League led the way with 83 players selected from across 12 different organizations. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens and Toronto Marlboros each produced 14 selections while the Vaughan Kings trailed with 10. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association produced 80 selections from across 19 different teams. The Oakville Rangers led all clubs with the aforementioned 16 players chosen while the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs featured the OMHA’s next-highest total of eight. The Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario produced a total of 45 selections from across 12 different teams led by the Waterloo Wolves with nine. The Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs trailed with a total of six. Hockey Eastern Ontario featured a total of 29 players chosen from across 12 different programs, with the Navan Grads producing six picks followed by the Kemptville 73’s developing five. The Northern Ontario Hockey Association produced three players from two different clubs while an additional four players were selected out of other Canadian prep or varsity programs. A total of 55 players were chosen from across 27 different American-based teams led by the Detroit Honeybaked 15’s squad that produced eight selections. The Buffalo Jr. Sabres, Chicago Mission, Detroit Compuware and Florida Alliance 15’s programs each produced four selections.
This season marked the 21st straight year the Priority Selection was conducted by way of the internet, carried out in partnership with Rinknet. The event was streamed in its entirety on the OHL’s YouTube channel.