OHL Priority Selection now underway

By pbadmin

OHL Press Release

Scarborough, ON – Steven Stamkos of the Markham Waxers was the first overall pick of the Sarnia Sting in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection, which kicked off at 9:00 a.m. this morning.

Stamkos racked up 105 goals and 92 assists for 197 points for the Waxers, who won the OHL Cup Minor Midget Showcase Tournament in March.

“That’s my strength – offensive skills and skating,” Stamkos said on Saturday. “With the new rules, that will definitely help my game. When they changed the rules, it really opened up the game to let the skilled players do what they do best.”

Stamkos is looking forward to making his debut with the Sting next fall.

“We have a good young team and will be a team to watch,” said Stamkos, a right-shooting centre. “I’ve just got to train hard and put on some weight. The OHL definitely has bigger and stronger guys. I’m going to have to work hard to get ready.”

The Oshawa Generals followed up by selecting defenceman Michael Del Zotto of the Waxers. It’s the first time in history that the first two picks in the OHL Priority Selection have come from the same team.

“I’m very excited,” Del Zotto said. “They have a great young team here and things are looking good. I’m really just here to do whatever I can to help them win. The team is very young and they look very good. I definitely need to train a lot – try to pick up a bit more foot speed. I’m sure I’ll do fine, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Dylan O’Neil was also selected from the Waxers in the first round. The Toronto St. Michael’s Majors selected the centre 10th overall.

“It’s exciting watching the draft and seeing a lot of my fiends getting picked,” said Stamkos, who followed the draft online. “I’m probably going to call them up after this to talk to them.”

The Mississauga IceDogs selected defenceman Alex Pietrangelo from the Jr. Canadiens third overall. The Erie Otters selected defenceman Mitch Gaulton from the Toronto Red Wings with the fourth overall pick and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rounded out the top five when they selected James Livingston from the York Simcoe Express.

The Sudbury Wolves selected Jared Staal with the 11th overall pick. Staal is the youngest of four brothers that were all first round picks in the OHL Priority Selection. Eric Staal, who is now a star with the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL, was the 13th overall pick of the Peterborough Petes in 2000. Marc was selected second overall by the Wolves in 2003 and Jordan was selected third overall in 2004.

Complete results of the OHL Priority Selection can be followed online.