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OHL holds virtual draft amidst coronavirus pandemic

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 OHL Draft is being held entirely online.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 OHL Draft is being held entirely online. Ontario Hockey League

The Ontario Hockey League‘s 2020 draft began Saturday morning like no other, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

League officials, team owners and general managers have been forced to conduct the entire draft online as they adhere to government and public health recommendations to practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With the first overall pick in the 2020 OHL draft, the North Bay Battalion selected defenceman Ty Nelson from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens.

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The Hamilton Bulldogs selected defenceman Jorian Donovan from the Kanata Lasers with the sixth overall selection.

Donovan, who celebrates his 16th birthday on Sunday, scored eight goals and added 19 assists in 38 games with Kanata in 2019-20.

The native of Richmond, Ontario, located just south of Ottawa, is a left shot defenceman who is listed at 6’0″, 158 lbs.

Donovan’s father, Shean Donovan, played 951 games over 15 years in the National Hockey League with San Jose, Colorado, Atlanta, Calgary, Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Boston.

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Top prospect Adam Fantilli, who scared away many teams after committing to play alongside his older brother Luca with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, was selected 18th overall by the Saginaw Spirit.

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In Round 3, with the 57th overall pick, Hamilton selected Patrick Thomas of Oakville, a center who registered 56 points in 33 games with the Hamilton Huskies in 2019-20.

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The Bulldogs chose Toronto Jr. Canadiens defenceman Noah Van Vliet in Round 4, 66th overall, and followed that up by taking Vaughan Kings center Ben Armstrong in the fifth round, 98th overall.

Hamilton took its fifth center of Saturday’s draft when they selected Memphis, TN native Luke Devlin of the Toronto Marlboros in the seventh round, 126th overall.

Hamilton Huskies goalie Riley George of Hamilton was selected by the Bulldogs in the eighth round, 146th overall, and in the ninth round the Dogs took London Jr. Knights defenceman Owen Kindree.

With two picks in the tenth round, Hamilton grabbed Andrew DelleDonna, a center with the South Kent Selects Academy, 186th overall and followed that by taking Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs winger Adrian Rebelo.

NHL players pick the best of the best in annual poll
NHL players pick the best of the best in annual poll

The Hamilton Bulldogs selected center Logan Cooley (11th round, 206th overall) from the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite Under 16 team, defenceman Callum Craft (12th round, 226th overall) from the North Bay Trappers, blueliner Ethan Sullivan (13th round, 246th overall) from the Oakville Rangers, center Thomas Sinclair (14th round, 266th overall) from the St. Michael’s Buzzers, and used their final pick (15th round, 290th overall) on Oakville Rangers goalie Tristan Malboeuf.

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In total, Hamilton took seven centers, five defencemen, one winger and two goaltenders.