Hundreds of youngsters from Ontario will be glued to their computers today. No, not to play computer games, but to follow the Ontario Hockey League Draft which takes place live via the internet Saturday morning.
The OHL draft should have some interesting local content in it this spring. Two Skyhawks will probably see their names pop up on the screen fairly early. Yves Bastien has been projected to go in the top two rounds, but that could change if he has decided to opt for the U.S. college route which could mean a return to the Skyhawks next fall. The other Skyhawk who will garner attention today is Chris Pontes. The young defenceman could also see his name light up the internet in the top three rounds.
The West Ferris Trojans speedy defenceman Ken Peroff should also be drafted on this day as well as Trappers Adam Avison and Marc Senecal, but don't expect any of these names to be called until the middle or late rounds of the draft.
BayToday.ca will keep you posted on where and who snatches up North Bay players.
Top pick a no-brainer
There's no question who will be the first player officially taken in Saturday's draft. Well, that's because the Oshawa Generals who own first pick overall have already held a press conference to show off their new talent. John Tavares, who is only 14 years old, will be the first name to bounce onto the screen today. The Toronto midget star was granted his request for exceptional player status by the major junior hockey league on Wednesday, making him eligible for the draft a year before he would normally be allowed. The young forward had 158 points in 72 games with the Toronto Marlies minor midget's last season and also played some time with Milton of the Ontario Provincial Jr. A league.
Maple Leafs fans may notice a few familiar names that will be called today. Justin Vaive, son of Rick Vaive, and Sam Gagner, son of former Leaf and North Star Dave Gagner will be snatched up. Both played on Tavares' Marlie team this season. Gagner, who put up Crosby-like numbers with 173 points in 72 games, should go in the first three rounds and don't be surprised if he's scooped up by the Mississauga Ice Dogs. His Dad just happens to be the club's director of player development.