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OHL Opens Doors for Midget Players with New Draft

By Iain Colpitts on January 28, 2017

Could the next Anthony Cirelli be picked up in the upcoming OHL midget draft? (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

The recent announcement of a new OHL major midget draft has been met with mixed emotions and time will tell how beneficial it will be.

In an effort to bring more prominence to midget hockey, the OHL has instituted an under-18 draft that’s separate from its annual Priority Selection Draft for players who have just graduated minor midget.

It will be four rounds in duration (five if a team opts to add a goalie) and the order in which teams draft will be the same order as the Priority Selection, based on the regular season standings from last place to first.

Perhaps it will bring more hidden gems like Anthony Cirelli and Andrew Mangiapane to the surface. 

They were passed over in each of their two years of OHL Draft priority, played a year of midget hockey in the GTHL and made it to the OHL as free agents before they were drafted into the NHL.

However, critics point out that players of that calibre who aren’t drafted out of minor midget in the first place are few and far between, which begs the question of whether a four-round draft is necessary.

On the other side of the coin, top tier teams that may have relinquished a lot of Priority Selection picks in pursuit of star power for a championship push can perhaps put more of an emphasis on scouting the major midget loop than they would have in the past.

Midget leagues face a lot of competition from teams that are recruiting out of the Junior A, B or C circuit and this draft will give midget some more legitimacy with players knowing there still could be a future for them if they stick with midget.

It could prove more advantageous for goalies since most of them develop later. As well, OHL clubs may end up using this draft to fill any holes they feel they haven’t been able to fill through the Priority Selection, which will be four days earlier in April.

At the very least, the draft will give midget players some praise and recognition for their efforts, whether they end up cracking an OHL roster or not.

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By Iain Colpitts| January 28, 2017
Categories:  Major Junior
Keywords:  OHL

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