April 9, 2018 2:24 pm

Petes’ top pick doesn’t want to play hockey in Peterborough

The OHL draft was held Saturday and with the third overall pick the Petes selected Will Cuylle from Toronto. But the left winger doesn't want to play for the Petes.


The Peterborough Petes went into the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection looking to get bigger.

The team succeeded by taking six-foot-two left winger Will Cuylle with its third overall pick. The only problem is Cuylle’s adviser had told the Petes prior to the draft that the player would not come to Peterborough should he be drafted by the team. But general manager Mike Oke said Cuylle was just too good to pass up.

“We felt at this point in time there was a big discrepancy in Cuylle and the next best available player,” Oke said.

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Oke admitted this isn’t new. In the past, there have been other players who requested not to be drafted by the Petes and the team honoured their request.

But this time around, the organization went into the 2018 draft with the intention of getting the best player available and Oke said he was willing to take the risk on Cuylle.

“Our option is to sign Will Cuylle and have him be a solid member of the Peterborough Petes,” Oke said.

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Oke said there were a few reasons given to him by Cuylle’s camp as to why he didn’t want to play for the Petes, but Oke kept the reasons private. Oke would only say he believes he can answer some of their concerns and hopefully convince the forward to come play in Peterborough.

“I think that some of their questions I understand and respect, but I think we can provide answers as to why Peterborough is a great place to come and play,” Oke said.

Should Cuylle not report to the Petes prior to the start of the 2018 -2019 season, he could then play in a lower-tier league. Or if the Petes trade his rights to another OHL club, Peterborough would receive the fifth-overall pick in the 2019 draft.

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