Kingston Frontenacs' 2012 Priority Selections
Finishing 19th in the 20 team OHL, meant that the Kingston Frontenacs chose 2nd in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection on Saturday. The Fronts had a number of holes to fill, for sure, and I believe that they made many good choices that should pay dividends.
Shortly after being given Exceptional Status by Hockey Canada, Connor McDavid was destined for Erie, Pennsylvania. Several of Connor's teammates from the Toronto Marlboros were also highly rated, and as it turned out, 5 were chosen in the first 12 picks, including two chosen by the Frontenacs.
1st Round - 2nd Overall - Roland McKeown - RD Toronto Marlboros
Roland is described as "without a doubt the top d-man available." He is described as an elite skater with excellent mobility and agility, who loves to rush the puck. He quarterbacked the powerplay for the Marlboros, something which Kingston will really appreciate down the road, as their powerplay was close to last in the OHL most of the season. Roland has good size, at 6'1 and 180 lbs, although he wasn't overly physical in Minor Midget. He draws comparisons to Drew Doughty. Gilmour described McKeown as a "right handed Scott Niedermayer." Roland actually visited Kingston prior to Ryan Spooner's departure, as they share the same agent - Murray Kuntz. McKeown set a goal to be drafted 2nd overall, and "couldn't be happier to be here."
1st Round - 9th Overall. - Samuel Bennett LW Toronto Marlboros
This pick was awarded to Kingston in compensation, when Max Domi (who was chosen 8th overall in 2011) refused to report to the Frontenacs for training camp last season. Sam was a linemate of first overall pick, McDavid. He was described as having elite puck skills, with a quick release. He is a strong skater, with explosive speed, and can generate offense off the rush. Even though he is listed at 5'10 and 160 lbs, he works hard, and isn't afraid to go into the corners or stand in front of the net. He was described as having a "great hockey IQ" and he reads the play well. McKeown explained that Kingston will be impressed with Sam's "sniping abilities." Sam is excited about joining his buddy in Kingston. Word is when Sam's usual #9 wasn't available when he joined the Marlboros, he chose #93, in honour of Doug Gilmour. Expect him to continue to wear it in Kingston, too.
2nd Round - 23rd Overall. - Dylan DiPerna - RD Mississauga Rebels
This pick was originally Erie's, and was traded to Kingston in the Max Domi trade. Listed at 6'1 and 170 lbs, Dylan is described as a big, physical defenseman, with good offensive potential. He is a strong skater, who likes to lead the rush, and makes good decisions, when distributing the puck. Many feel Dylan has one of the hardest shots in the draft, and he quarterbacked the powerplay on his team, as well. He is strong positionally, and uses his body well to leverage opponents off the puck.
2nd Round - 24th Overall - Spencer Watson - RC London Jr Knights -Gold
Spencer Watson is one of the purest goal scorers in the draft, with excellent hands. He scored 74 goals (most in the province), and had 40 assists in 59 league games. He is 5'10 and 155 lbs, and is a smooth skater. He is very elusive with the puck, has strong puck handling skills, and is very difficult to defend one-on-one, as he possesses very quick outside speed. Watson makes good decisions in all three zones of the ice, but needs to improve his strength to win one on one battles in the OHL.
3rd Round - 54th Overall - Joel Howard - G Ottawa Jr. 67's
Joel was described by Kingston's scouts earlier in the season as "one of the top goalies in the draft" even though he was the backup to Brett Moran, chosen by the Niagara Ice Dogs in the 2nd round. Joel played in 16 games in the regular season, and had a 2.88 GAA. The Frontenacs' scouts liked that he moved well, for a relatively big goalie, and covered a lot of the net. They felt that he has great potential. It is likely that Joel will play for Nepean (Tier 2) next season, but could be part of the Fronts' future in goal.
5th Round - 98th Overall - Matthew Watson - RD - London Knights - Gold
Matthew is the twin brother of Spencer, who was chosen by the Frontenacs in the 3rd round. He is listed as 5'10, 157 lbs. In 41 games he had 11 goals, and 20 assists this season in London. Matthew and his twin brother had season tickets to the London Knights and watched the Rupert brothers perform all season. They call it a "dream" to be able to play together and look forward to doing it in the OHL some day. Matthew says that there is a "connection between the two on the ice". Matthew says that "you can see your twin brother and hear his voice, without looking." With only four 96 birthdays allowed on an OHL roster, the "dream" may be on hold for a year, or so, however.
6th Round - 111th Overall - Stuart Ilekys - LC - Don Mills Flyers
Listed at 5' 9" 155 lbs, Thayne Hallyburton of ITO projected that Stuart would be selected in the 4th round. When Thayne ranked him 21st in his article entitled Top 50 Prospects at the OHL Cup, he described him as a "little spark plug, great skater, stalky, just needs to grow." Thayne ranked Sam Bennett 12th in that tournament.
7th Round - 125th Overall - Owen Gill - LC Upper Canada Cyclones
Head Coach Todd Gill's son. Recent picks from this team include Clarke Seymour, now with the Petes, and current Frontenac, Warren Steele.
8th Round - 154th Overall - Jake Gilmour RW Jr Canadiens
GM Doug Gilmour's son. 6'1" 182 lbs. Doug is "looking forward to having Jake at training camp" in the Fall, and says they "will find a place for him to play next season."
9th Round - 165th Overall - Marcel Godbut RC Shattuck St. Mary's U16
A quick Michigan native described as having good hands. He will need to grow stronger to play in the OHL. Listed at 5'9" and 175 lbs.
10th Round - 185th Overall - Mark Sinclair G Hamilton Jr Bulldogs
Kingston's second goalie selected. 5'10". 140 lbs.
11th Round - 205th Overall - Zachary Emelifeonwu LW Greater Kingston
Big physical forward, described by several scouts as a bit of a project. He was projected to go much higher in the draft, but will probably join the Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL) for this season.
12th Round - 225th Overall - Slater Dogget LW Burlington Cougars OJHL
Slater played Jr A this season, as he was born in 1994, and will compete for a roster spot this Fall. He recorded 17 goals and 15 assists in 47 games this season with Burlington.
13th Round - 245th Overall - Robert Michaelis LC. Cambridge Hawks
The third of five players drafted from his team.
14th Round - 265th Overall - Devon Paliani RC Sun County Panthers
Son of former Windsor Spitfire, and Windsor Lancer goalie Richard Paliani. Devon scored 14 goals and had 30 points in 30 league games this season. At 5'8" and 145 lbs, Devon is very slight. Realistic about his chances about making the Frontenacs this season, Devon has explored playing for a number of Jr.B and Jr.C teams, and is exploring the USHL route, as well.
15th Round - 285th Overall - Nicholas Petropoulos LD Don Mills Flyers
Listed at 5'11" and 135 lbs, Nicholas is a very small defenseman drafted from a very good Flyers team.