Flint of the NHL Draft

July 1, 2024

Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League have continued their franchise streak of having at least one player drafted at the annual National Hockey League selections process.

Nathan Aspinall

Firebirds’ forwards Nathan Aspinall, Connor Clattenburg and Kaden Pitre were all picked at the recent 2024 NHL Draft. With that, Flint carried on its impressive succession of having at least one player chosen at every NHL Draft since the Firebirds first entered the OHL back in 2015.

Aspinall became the first Firebird selected during the fifth round of the ’24 NHL Draft when the New York Rangers took him with the 159th overall pick. The hulking 6 foot 7 winger tallied 18 goals, 16 assists, 34 points in 65 games during the 2023-2024 regular season and then scored once in four playoff outings as Flint gave the eventual OHL champion London Knights a tough go. Aspinall was originally selected by Flint in the second round of the 2022 OHL priority selections draft.

Connor Clattenburg

Meanwhile, one pick after the Rangers took Aspinall in the fifth round of the ’24 NHL Draft, the Edmonton Oilers chose Clattenburg with the 160th overall selection.

Clattenburg recorded 13 goals, 16 assists, 29 points in 60 games during the ’23-24 season, combined between the Firebirds and the Soo Greyhounds, from whom he was acquired at the OHL’s January 10 trade deadline.

In 30 games as a Firebird, Clattenburg clicked nine goals, eight assists, 17 points and then added a goal and an assist in four playoff contests. Clattenburg was in his second season of NHL draft eligibility after being bypassed in ’23. He was a 10th round OHL draft pick by the Greyhounds back in 2021.

Kaden Pitre

Pitre became the final Firebird selected when he was taken in the sixth round by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the 181st overall pick. Pitre’s ’23-24 season was hampered by injuries but he still came through with impressive totals of 10 goals, 20 assists, 30 points in just 35 games. He was Flint’s first round pick at the 2022 OHL priority selections draft.

The three draft picks of ’24 represent the second most that the Firebirds have had at a single NHL event, surpassed only by the franchise best four players that Flint had selected at the 2023 NHL Draft. The Firebirds have now had 18 players drafted to the NHL since their OHL debut season of 2015 when the franchise moved from Plymouth to Flint under new ownership.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *