Brady Stonehouse and Thomas Sirman both know what it’s like to win, so you can imagine their excitement when the reigning two-time first place Ottawa 67’s came calling.
Drafted 26th and 60th overall respectively at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, the two skaters are hoping to carry over that winning attitude when they finally make the jump to junior for the upcoming 2021-22 OHL season.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” said Stonehouse, reflecting back on last April’s draft. “[Looking at] all the players that have come out of this organization, I’m just happy to be here. It’s going to be exciting, the next years to come. I can’t wait.”
A left-shot winger who impressed with 54 regular season points and a league-leading 16 points in the 2019-20 postseason with the Elgin Middlesex-Chiefs, Stonehouse was welcomed to the Barber Poles organization on the heels of an Alliance Hockey championship.
“I just wanted to work as hard as I could, get to the dirty areas, make my teammates around me better and just see where I end up,” he recalls of his standout minor midget season.
A speedy forward who plays with an edge, he models his game after Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand.
“Not a lot of people like him so I think that’s what I like about him,” continued Stonehouse. “He gets to the dirty areas, he’s fast, he’s tiny, he has good edges, he has a good shot and he’ll take a hit to make a play.”
A two-way defenceman set to fit in nicely with Ottawa’s younger defensive core, Sirman was a member of the 2019-20 GTHL champion Toronto Jr. Canadiens.
#OHL Futures Watch 👀:
2020 #OHLDraft picks Brady Stonehouse (@bstoney1717) and Thomas Sirman (@tsirms) joined @sarahjeanmaher to relive their excitement upon being selected by the back-to-back first place @Ottawa67sHockey 🎥 pic.twitter.com/yg0JuXf93q
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) May 24, 2021
“I think I can be super hard to play against in my own zone and can play really hard defence, lock people down when I need to, but also think I have a lot of patience and make a lot of good plays in the offensive zone,” said the Aurora native of his game.
A self-described reliable player, he hones in on the skills of Toronto Maple Leafs defender Morgan Rielly.
“I’ve always grown up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan,” he continued. “He plays a lot of minutes every night, he plays on the PP, he plays on the PK, and he’s just always relied upon. That’s someone I look up to.”
With top-tier talent including reigning OHL Player of the Year Marco Rossi, Defenceman of the Year Noel Hoefenmayer and 6-foot-6 blueliner Kevin Bahl moving on, the stage is set for young players like Stonehouse and Sirman to step in and make an impact. After the year that’s been, both are eager to get going.
“I came to Ottawa on my own and figured out living arrangements on my own and was training with our trainer Sean Young and then skating with a couple guys like Merrick Rippon, Cedrick Andree and Mitch Hoelscher. It was good to get a feeling of what they do and get a year under my trainer,” said Stonehouse.
“I’m just excited to get to Ottawa and play there and be part of that organization. They have a lot of history and have been super successful,” added Sirman. “To be able to learn from all the amazing coaches and the returning players who have played so well there.”
And along with the opportunity to join a club with recent success, the opportunity to live in the capital city appears to be a nice bonus.
“I’m just so excited to be able to move to Ottawa,” continued Sirman. “I’ve been able to visit a couple times and it just looks awesome, down by Parliament and downtown by Lansdowne and by the rink. I’m really excited to be in that atmosphere.”