Spitfires to pick first overall

March 27, 2024

Windsor Spitfires have won the Ontario Hockey League draft lottery. The Spitfires will select first overall at the upcoming April 12 OHL priority selections draft.

The four teams that missed the OHL playoffs this season all participated in the draft lottery. 20th place Niagara IceDogs (40 per cent chance), 19th place Windsor (30 per cent chance), 18th place Peterborough Petes (20 per cent chance) and 17th place Sarnia Sting (10 per cent chance) had adjusted proportionate odds of drawing the first overall selection.

The final results were determined by a computerized random number generator, with the process overseen and certified by Robert Bayne, who is a partner with the law firm Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP.

Spitfires general manager Billy Bowler has not yet confirmed who Windsor will take with the first pick of the April 12 proceedings. However, three forwards have stood out among the 2008 birth year draft eligible prospects. Alphabetically, they are 6 foot 4, 210 pound Ethan Belchetz of the Oakville Rangers, 5 foot 9, 170 pound Adam Valentini from the Toronto Marlboros and 6 foot 2, 195 pound Braidy Wassilyn from the Markham Majors.

“Obviously, this is exciting for our franchise and our city,” Bowler told the Windsor Star. “It is going to be, we think, an immediate impact player who is going to excite our fans and help our team win games. We are going to get an elite talent.”

The Spitfires had a record of 18-42-8 this season following back to back Western Conference regular season titles. They were crowned Western Conference champions in 2022, coming within one win of the OHL championship that was won by the Hamilton Bulldogs.

This year’s OHL priority selections draft will be held over the course of two days, with Rounds 1-3 taking place beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12. Rounds 4-15 will take place on Saturday, April 13 beginning at 9 a.m.

“It is a real deep draft,” relayed OHL director of central scouting Darrell Woodley. “There are a lot of kids that are going to transition really well into our league next year.

“It is a really good draft class and there are going to be a lot impacting players come out of it this year,” Woodley continued. “You are going to get a franchise altering type player. You are going to get a player that comes in and makes a big impact right away next year and that is always an exciting thing.”

Following is the first round order of selection.

  1. Windsor Spitfires
  2. Sarnia Sting
  3. Peterborough Petes
  4. Niagara IceDogs
  5. Barrie Colts
  6. Flint Firebirds
  7. Owen Sound Attack
  8. Kingston Frontenacs
  9. Guelph Storm
  10. Erie Otters
  11. Ottawa 67’s
  12. Sudbury Wolves
  13. Mississauga Steelheads
  14. Brantford Bulldogs
  15. Kitchener Rangers
  16. North Bay Battalion
  17. Oshawa Generals
  18. Soo Greyhounds
  19. Saginaw Spirit
  20. London Knights
  21. Ottawa 67’s* (compensatory pick)

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