Anaheim Ducks draft Peterborough Petes’ defenceman Konnor Smith in 4th round

Peterborough Petes' defenceman Konnor Smith was drafted by the NHL's Anaheim Ducks on June 29, 2023. He joined Petes' GM Mike Oke in Nashville, Tenn., for the draft. Peterborough Petes photo

Konnor Smith’s hockey career is heading to the west coast after the Peterborough Petes’ defenceman was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL Entry Draft on Thursday.

The Ducks selected the blue-liner with their first pick in the fourth round of the draft, 97th overall. The draft is being held in Nashville, Tenn.

“It feels amazing,” Smith said. “My OHL draft felt like it was just yesterday, and to be sitting here right now is surreal. I’m very fortunate to be selected by a team like the Ducks. I’m so grateful for my time in Peterborough that helped me get to this point.”

The six foot six inch native of Windsor, Ont., had three goals and 12 assists in 65 games with the Petes during the 2022-23 OHL season, helping the team capture the OHL championship — their first since 2006. In the OHL playoffs, he had two assists in 23 games.

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The championship advanced the Petes to the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup championship, where the Petes finished third. Smith had an assist in five games at the tournament in Kamloops, B.C.

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Smith’s OHL career began when the Petes selected him in the ninth round of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection after playing for the Windsor Jr. Spitfires AAA program. In his rookie OHL season, Smith had four goals and eight assists in 52 games.

“I speak on behalf of the entire Petes organization when I say I’m thrilled for Konnor,” said Petes’ general manager Mike Oke. “It’s an amazing accomplishment to hear your name called at the NHL Draft. We’re all very proud of him and look forward to being a part of his continued development.”

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Smith could rejoin former Petes’ teammate Mason MacTavish who the Ducks drafted in the first round, third overall in 2021. The Ducks sent MacTavish back to the Petes during the 2021-22 season where he played five games before being traded to the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2022.

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