Jean-Michel Rizk was the first ever draft pick of the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL two years ago and had a decent first season, earning his way onto the second team All-Rookie OHL team for right wing with his 33 points in 63 games.
Outside of the OHL it was a good year for Rizk as well as he was named to the Under-17 Ontario team, and he helped them to a bronze medal in the Canada Games in early 2003. His just completed season in the OHL saw his point total drop a little instead of increasing as would be hoped with any sophomore, and that might be the main reason teams were not too interested in him at the Entry Draft.
However, internationally he began to show encouraging signs even before the 2003-04 OHL season began as he was one of the Canada Games alumni who were invited to compete in the Under-18 World Cup in the Czech Republic in August, 2003. Although the team missed out on its eighth consecutive Gold medal, finishing fourth, Rizk was next invited to play as an alternate captain for the Canadian Under-18 team competing at the World Junior Championships in late April. There he played a vital role on the checking line and impressed scouts with his play, and he also contributed 2 goals and 1 assist in 7 games. In both cases Marek Schwarz and the Czech Republic ended Rizk’s Canadian team’s tournaments with a loss.