OHL orientation camps

May 5, 2024

There is little or no break from the game. As recent examples of that, there are multiple teams in the Ontario Hockey League who are hosting summer orientation camps for many of their younger drafted and free agent prospects ahead of future off season sessions.

James Elliott, at the recent Soo Greyhounds orientation camp. (Photo by Bob Davies)

Two teams that recently welcomed an assortment of 2007 and 2008 birth year players to their respective OHL training camps are the Soo Greyhounds and Windsor Spitfires.

Among others, Sault Ste. Marie product James Elliott looms as a potential plum of a draft pick by his hometown Greyhounds. To be sure, Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis is high on Elliott, a skilled, speedy, small size forward who the Soo snagged in the seventh round of the recent 2024 OHL priority selections draft.

“He is a skilled player who has a great motor,” Raftis relayed to Hockey News North in praise of Elliott. “He generates a lot of play because of his energy and the pace of his game. The way he creates opportunities for himself and line mates is on display every shift you watch him play.”

Elliott left home last fall to play for the Under 16 AAA Barrie Colts. Regular season, playoffs and OHL Cup included, the offensively skilled Elliott potted 31 goals, 33 assists, 64 points in 48 games for Barrie over the course of the 2023-2024 campaign.

Spitfires first overall pick Ethan Belchetz (right) with Windsor general manager Billy Bowler. (Photo by Windsor Star)

Meanwhile, in Windsor, the Spitfires welcomed an assortment of prospects to their recent orientation camp — including their top four picks from the 2024 OHL priority selections draft.

Of particular note, power forward Ethan Belchetz, who Windsor made the first overall pick at this year’s draft, officially signed with the Spitfires.

An imposing figure, the 6 foot 5, 230 pound Belchetz said he wanted to wait until he was in Windsor for the orientation camp to officially sign up with the Spitfires.

“As soon as I was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires organization, it was going to get done,” Belchetz relayed to Postmedia. “I wanted to do it in person. That was something that was really important to me and I wanted to do it in Windsor, at orientation camp, with everyone in attendance.”

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