EDITOR’S NOTE: In this Hockey News North special report, Dominic Hennig assists us as we take a look at the 15 players — 10 forwards and five defensemen — who were taken by the Flint Firebirds at the recent Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.
To be sure, Flint general manager Barclay Branch came away from the annual priority selections process in a positive state of mind.
“I couldn’t be happier for our organization and families involved,” relayed Branch. “All of the players we selected are capable of being a Flint Firebird. Our brand is growing, our team is growing and I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds. I cannot say enough about the job that our scouting staff did. The hard work and preparation that went into (the draft) was unbelievable.”
The Firebirds selected 5-foot-11, 158-pound forward Brennan Othmann (pronounced awth-min) as the second-overall pick in the first round. Othmann, a native of Pickering, Ont., recorded an impressive 66 goals, 80 assists, 146 points in 72 regular season games with the Don Mills Flyers of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. He played an integral role in helping the Flyers to an overall record of 77-0-7 record as Don Mills won the regular season and playoff titles in the GTHL. In 13 playoff games, Othmann led Don Mills in scoring with 7 goals, 15 assists, 22 points.
Flint then selected Braeden Kressler in the second round, 22nd overall. The Kitchener, Ont. native played his youth hockey for the Mississauga Senators of the GTHL. Kressler is a 5-foot-8, 148-pound center. He was a point-per-game player over the course of the 2018-2019 season.
In the third round, the Firebirds tabbed Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan native and defenseman Tyler Dunbar 44th overall. One of five Americans selected by Flint, Dunbar skated for the Soo Minor Thunderbirds of the Great North Midget Hockey League. By being selected in the third round, Dunbar became the highest-ever player from the Michigan Soo to be drafted into the OHL.
The Firebirds picked Zacharie Giroux in the third round, 57th overall. The 5-foot-4, 135-pound center had 28 goals, 77 assists, 55 points in just 24 regular-season games for the Sudbury Minor Wolves of the Great North loop. He is the younger brother of Damien Giroux, a third-year center with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit.
The Firebirds then took slick, smart, puck-moving defenseman Matthew Roy in the third round, 58th overall. The 6-foot, 166-pound defender skated with skill for the York Simcoe Express of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, Eastern Toronto Area.
Forward Jack Sillch was selected in the sixth round, 105th overall. A native of Long Grove, Illinois, Silich tallied 15 goals, 15 assists, 30 points in 20 games with the Chicago Mission of the High Performance Hockey League.
Clarkston, Michigan native Ty Gallagher was selected as a seventh-round pick, 125th overall as a right-handed-shooting defenseman from Detroit Compuware of the HPHL.
Right winger Jack Stolicker is a local area player who was drafted by the Firebirds in the eighth round from Detroit Compuware. Of note, Stolicker and his family are the billet home of current Firebirds Marcus Gretz, Ethan Keppen and Cody Morgan.
Flint selected center Patrick Saini in the ninth round from the North York Rangers of the GTHL. He put up 80 points in 67 games for North York this past season.
The Firebirds tapped left winger Eddie Moskowitz from the Don Mills Flyers in the 10th round. He notched 74 points in 73 games for the GTHL champs this past season.
Brighton, Michigan product Owen Carlile was Flint’s 11th-round selection from the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies of the HPHL. A center, he had 53 points in 63 outings for the Grizzlies in 2018-2019.
Center Kyle Maloney was selected by the Firebirds in the 12th round after collecting 43 points in 33 games for the Waterloo Wolves of the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario.
Flint took center Amadeus Lombardi from the Toronto Titans of the GTHL in the 13th round. He had 48 points in 58 games for the Titans.
Defenseman Joshua Vagenas was picked by Flint in the 14th round from Halton Hills Hurricanes from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association.