The 2019 OHL priority selection draft is underway, and the Peterborough Petes had two picks in the first round.
With the team’s first pick, fifth overall, General Manager Mike Oke selected centre Mason McTavish.
The five-foot-11 forward played for the Pembroke Lumber Kings during the 2018-19 season. In 41 games, he recorded 47 goals, 32 assists, 79 points and 109 penalty minutes.
The Carp, Ont., native was named the HEO Midget AAA Most Valuable Player and earned the league’s Top Prospect Award after leading all players in goals and points. He was also a member of Team Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, where he registered two goals, two assists, four points and 16 penalty minutes in six games.
“Mason is one of the purest goal scorers and has one of the best shots in this year’s age group,” reported OHL Central Scouting. “He protects the puck extremely well and is very hard to knock off it.”
According to league sources, McTavish’s agent had expressed to the Petes prior to the draft that he would not report to Peterborough.
McTavish didn’t now show up to a press conference introducing the draft picks held Saturday at the Memorial Centre.
That’s two years in a row the Petes first overall pick has not come to Peterborough on draft day.
Will Cullye was the team’s first pick in 2018 and chose not to come to Peterborough and in the end was traded to Windsor.
“This is not unique to Peterborough,” GM Mike Oke said.
“Each and every year players have an opportunity to make the decisions they feel is in their best interest for their hockey development, and also their academic development,” he added.
“We will continue to showcase why the Petes and Peterborough are a great opportunity for young players to come.”
Peterborough also selected a local player with the team’s 11th overall pick — centre Jon-Randall Avon laced up for the minor midget Peterborough Petes during the 2018-19 season and had 24 goals, 25 assists, and 49 points.
Avon becomes the highest-drafted minor Petes product since Corey Perry in 2001.
“It’s a dream come true” said the Selwyn native. “It’s an honour to play in my hometown.”
The Petes also beefed up their blue line by adding Artem Guryev from the Toronto Marlboros. The six-foot-two defenceman is known for his big hits.
Guryev moved to Canada three years ago from Russia for hockey opportunities. When asked what Petes fans can expect from the d-man, “Hitting,” he said.
“Definitely hitting and shooting and I play an aggressive game.”