Dallas, TX – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that seven OHL players were selected in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft held Friday night at the American Airlines Center, home of the NHL’s Dallas Stars.
The seven OHL players were among the 13 CHL players that represented nearly 42% of all players chosen in the draft’s opening round.
Second overall pick Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts led the way for the CHL, being selected by the Carolina Hurricanes before Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Barrett Hayton followed at fifth overall to the Arizona Coyotes and Halifax Mooseheads winger Filip Zadina went off the board sixth to the Detroit Red Wings.
“It feels great and I’m super happy,” said an elated Svechnikov following the announcement. “It was my dream and it came true and just the best moment of my life.
“I think I will have a good summer and just prepare for the next season,” added the OHL Rookie of the Year who put up 40 goals in 44 games in Barrie. “I will improve everything, my skate, my shot, my stick.”
Following in the footsteps of other OHL developed Coyotes first round picks in Dylan Strome (3rd Overall, 2015/Erie Otters) and Jakob Chychrun (16th Overall, 2016/Sarnia Sting) before him, Hayton anticipated being chosen by Arizona after positive interactions in the lead-up to Friday’s selection.
“It was something I got a great feel from Arizona through the interview process, so I knew there was a chance,” said the OHL Scholastic Player of the Year. “When I heard my name called, it was unbelievable.”
A record 14 defencemen where chosen in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft, seven of which were CHL products. London Knights rearguard Evan Bouchard was the first CHL blueliner chosen, going to the Edmonton Oilers at 10th overall. Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Noah Dobson of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan soon followed at 12th overall to the New York Islanders before Spokane Chiefs defenceman Ty Smith gave the WHL its first selection, going to the New Jersey Devils at 17th.
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and London Knights both had two players chosen in the first round.
Fifth overall pick Hayton joined Greyhounds teammate Rasmus Sandin who was selected by former Hounds general manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs at 29th overall. It marks the first time since 1982 when Ron Francis (4th overall, Hartford) and Steve Smith (16th overall, Philadelphia) were selected that Sault Ste. Marie has produced a pair of first round NHL Draft picks. The Hounds have now developed a first round pick in five of the past six years.
Bouchard and teammate Liam Foudy who was chosen 18th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets give the London Knights a first round selection for the fourth straight year, marking the CHL’s longest active streak. Continuing their record streak of players chosen annually since 1969, the Knights have also developed a first round pick in seven of the past eight drafts.
The Ontario Hockey League led all amateur leagues with seven players selected in the first round with Svechnikov, Hayton and Bouchard before the host Dallas Stars brought captain Jamie Benn out to the stage to announce Flint Firebirds forward Ty Dellandrea as the 13th overall pick. Foudy was chosen 18th overall before Guelph Storm defenceman Ryan Merkley went to the San Jose Sharks at 21st overall and Sandin rounded things out being selected by Toronto at 29th.
History was made by Dellandrea who becomes the first member of the Firebirds to be chosen in the draft’s opening round.
OHL Players Selected in the First Round of the 2018 NHL Draft:
Click on a name below to watch post-draft interview
2. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) – Carolina Hurricanes
5. Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Arizona Coyotes
10. Evan Bouchard (London Knights) – Edmonton Oilers
13. Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds) – Dallas Stars
18. Liam Foudy (London Knights) – Columbus Blue Jackets
21. Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm) – San Jose Sharks
29. Rasmus Sandin (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Toronto Maple Leafs
For more information on the 2018 NHL Draft including full results visit www.nhl.com.