As BayToday.ca first told you, the North Bay Battalion selected Toronto Junior Canadiens defenceman Ty Nelson with the first overall pick in the OHL Priority Selection.
The announcement was made during a very well organized Zoom meeting by Charles Abbott, the North Bay Battalion's Director of Scouting.
"We can't wait to show Ty around our city and introduce him to our fans but we are fortunate to have him via video link," said Charles Abbott, Director of Scouting for the North Bay Battalion.
Abbott was joined by GM Adam Dennis, while Nelson was on the call from his home in the GTA.
"I want to thank my mother, father and sister for all their dedication, love and hard work they have put into me," Nelson stated on the conference call.
"I would not be here today without them. I also want to thank all my coaches, teachers and trainers I have had over the years that have definitely helped me be the person that I am today and help me become the player that I am today. It is an honour to be drafted by an amazing organization like North Bay. To the city of North Bay and Battalion fans, I just cannot wait to get started."
Abbott says Nelson has all the tools a team would want in a top selection.
"The way he skates, the way he shoots the puck, the way he processes the game - he can play in all situations but what kind of really attracted us what his X-factors; his leadership qualities and we really loved the way he played the game," said Abbott.
Dennis noted that Nelson will fit into the culture they are building in the Battalion dressing room.
"Just getting to know Ty and his family we know we are bringing in a top-class person into our dressing room and somebody that can really add to our young corps," he said.
Nelson describes himself as a solid, two-way defender.
"I love playing in the offensive zone and can really strap down into the defensive zone when needed," said Nelson.
"I love to push and control the pace of the game, I love making a good outlet first passes and I love quarterbacking the power play and playing penalty kill."
Nelson is the second member of the Battalion franchise to receive the award following defenceman Jay Harrison, who was the Brampton Battalion’s first-ever draft pick back in 1998. He’s the first defenceman selected first overall since another Jr. Canadiens rearguard in Ryan Merkley was selected first by the Guelph Storm in 2016. Prior to that, another Jr. Canadiens blue line standout in Jakob Chychrun was selected first overall by the Sarnia Sting in 2014.
“Ty was one of the leaders on his team this year and a big force behind their GTHL championship,” said OHL Director of Central Scouting Darrell Woodley in an OHL release.
“He never stops competing and is a bulldog on the ice. He also finishes all his checks which makes him very hard to play against. He is an offensive threat whenever he is on the ice, especially with the puck on his stick, and averaged over a point-per-game this season. He possesses a very good and accurate shot from the point and also finds lanes well to get the puck on net in order to either create rebounds or score. There isn’t much he doesn’t do well and he will be a very impactful player at the next level.”
The rest of the draft will resume at 9 a.m. online at www.ontariohockeyleague.com
The Battalion still have 15 choices on a busy Saturday with picks 30, 41, 63, 70, 101, 116, 141, 161, 181, 190, 201, 221, 241, 261, and 281,