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London-area players at the forefront of OHL Draft

A handful of London-area players were selected in the OHL Draft.
A handful of London-area players were selected in the OHL Draft.

It was a busy day for young hockey prospects from the London area with a number of them selected in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection.

Bryce McConnell-Barker from the London Junior Knights was the first local player off the board. He didn’t last long as he was drafted by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds fourth overall.

McConnell-Barker says it was a moment he has looked forward to for a while.

“My family and I were all sitting in the basement and watching along with my family, and just to hear my name called by the Soo was a dream come true,” McConnell-Barker said.

Peterborough Petes’ season officially over as CHL cancels playoffs and Memorial Cup over coronavirus pandemic
Peterborough Petes’ season officially over as CHL cancels playoffs and Memorial Cup over coronavirus pandemic

Strathroy native Hunter Haight was selected shortly after at ninth overall by the Barrie Colts, marking the first time a player from both the London Junior Knights and Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs were selected in the first round since 2013.

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It was the start of what turned out to be a very big day for the Chiefs, as nine players were selected from the team that didn’t lose a regular-season game, including both goalies.

Forward Brady Stonehouse was the next Chiefs player to go, he went in the second round to the Ottawa 67s, while teammates Zander Veicca and Owen Van Steensel went to Mississauga and North Bay respectively.

READ MORE: OHL holds virtual draft amidst coronavirus pandemic

Dylan Roobroeck, and teammate of McConnell-Barker’s with the Junior Knights, went to the Niagara IceDogs in the third round. A

Rounding out the rest of the Chiefs players, Wyatt Adkins (Mississauga), Maddox Amaral (Ottawa) and Brock Beer (Guelph), both goalies Marcus Vandenberg (Kitchener) and Owen Willmore (London).

“It’s an exciting day for a lot of the guys on our team,” said Jason Williams, Stanley Cup champion and head coach of the Chiefs.

“These kids put in a lot of work, and it’s nice seeing some of the kids rewarded.”

As the Alliance champs, the Chiefs were set to play in the OHL Cup before Hockey Canada ended the season due to coronavirus concerns.