Another building block is in place. Flint Firebirds have a commitment from their third round pick at the 2018 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.
Defenseman Michael Bianconi tallied 31 points in 57 games for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the Greater Toronto Hockey League over the course of the 2017-2018 season.
Firebirds general manager Barclay Branch confirmed the commitment to Flint of the speedy, 5-foot-11, 152-pound Bianconi.
Branch noted that besides speed, Bianconi “plays the game with skill and competitiveness. He will be a big part of our success moving forward.”
With third-year head coach Ryan Oulahen at the helm, Flint will be looking to return to the playoffs in 2018-2019 after finishing in last place in the Western Conference in 2017-2018.
The rebuilding Firebirds were able to provide major minutes to rookie players with 2001 birth dates last season, including hulking left winger Ethan Keppen, big defenseman Marcus Gretz and goalie Luke Cavallin.
At the center of the planned rebound in Flint is 2000 birth-year forward Ty Dellandrea, who has scored 40 goals over two full seasons with the Firebirds. Dellandrea was a first round pick, 13th overall, of the Dallas Stars at the 2018 National Hockey League draft.