Guelph Storm selects five in first under-18 draft

GUELPH – The Guelph Storm selected a goaltender, two defencemen and two forwards Wednesday in the OHL’s inaugural under-18 priority selection.

The draft was for players who played midget AAA hockey this season, but were not on an OHL team’s protected list.

The Storm selected second each round due to their finish in the 2016-17 season’s regular season.

The Barrie Colts had the top pick and they selected defenceman Victor Hadfield from the Hamilton Junior Bulldogs.

The Storm took goaltender James Walker from the Windsor Junior Spitfires in the first round, second overall. That pick gave the Storm a fifth-round pick. He had a 1.87 goals-against average, two shutouts and a 15-2 record in 18 games with the Jr. Spitfires.

The draft was to be a four-round affair, but any team that selected a goaltender in those four rounds was also given a fifth-round pick in order to promote the selection of goaltenders.

The Storm also took defenceman Bradon Caruso of the Soo Midget Greyhounds in the second round, 22nd overall, right winger Dimello Smith of the North York Rangers in the third round, 42nd overall, left winger Alex Hotchkiss of the Clarington Toros in the fourth round, 62nd overall, and defenceman Devon Driscoll, a Guelph native, of the Huron-Perth Lakers in the fifth round, 82nd overall.

Caruso had six goals, 21 assists and 40 penalty minutes in 31 games with the Soo midgets.

Smith had three goals, five assists and 37 penalty minutes in 40 games with the North York midgets.

Hotchkiss had 11 goals and 11 assists in 32 games with Clarington. He’s the brother of Storm forward Matt Hotchkiss.

Driscoll had a goal and eight assists in 35 games with Huron-Perth and also played six games with the junior B St. Marys Lincolns.

Goaltender Reagan Gies of the Guelph Junior Gryphons was taken by the Sarnia Sting in the third round, 48th overall. Gies, from Waterloo, had a 1.70 goals-against average and six shutouts for the Jr. Gryphs.

Defenceman Noah Romeo, a Guelph native, was taken in the fifth round, 92nd overall, by the Mississauga Steelheads. He had six goals and three assists with the Toronto Marlboro midgets last winter.

  • Guelph Sports Journal