The OHL Priority Selection went down today, with it's usual mix of good news and bad news. Here's the stuff that caught my eye today.
1st Round Intrigue
Matia Marcuontoni was listed as the third best player available by many people before the draft, and he wound up going 18th to Kitchener, in probably the most obvious example of the fix being in prior to today. Some people wondered why he didn't go earlier, but look at the teams between 3rd and 18th in the draft. Sudbury, Niagara(twice, since they got a compensatory pick for not signing Lucas Lession), Kingston(they get a free pass since Gudbranson was such an obvious, natural pick), Erie, and Sault Ste. Marie. All teams that have a reputation of not being able to draw the top players.
Before the draft, Plymouth let it be known that they were pretty interested in American players, so taking Max Iafrate, an American, but a kid 100% set on the OHL, doesn't sting too much.
I'm surprised Grant Webermin will be going to the OHL, playing for Windsor, instead of taking the college route.
The big drama that everyone will be talking about is Barrie taking Kerby Rychel, son of Windsor GM Warren Rychel. The older Rychel thought he could hold off until the second round to take his son.
Intrigue in Subsequent Rounds
There was only one American in the second round, but then a run on them late in the late third round with Jacob Trouba, Brandon Hope, Cody Payne, and Dylan Blujus all going within five picks of each other. That seemed to be the tipping point for teams to start gambling a little.
Is Jacob Trouba going in the third round a concern?That's early, but he's a first round talent, so any drop has to be over concern about signing him. Really, a first round pick is bad because it means a deal is likely already worked out. Anything after that means he'll probably get the full court press from Kitchener to sign if he continues to develop.
BU commit Robert Polesello went in the 5th round. Around this time last year, he was being talked about as a high first round pick, though I didn't hear much leading up to the draft.
Kitchener continued to make life miserable for college hockey teams by taking Denver commit Scott Mayfield in the sixth round. Mayfield is a potential first round draft pick in 2011, and Kitchener may be able to sell him on playing his draft year in the OHL rather than the USHL.
Shayne Corson's son was also taken in the sixth round. This only interests me because Shayne Corson was such a good, very underrated video game character in early-to-mid 90's NHL video games.
I'm not sure why nobody took Notre Dame recruit Robbie Russo last year, but Peterborough took him in the 9th round this year.
Boo Nieves didn't get picked until the 10th round. It's tough to tell how much of the drop was talent, and how much was being serious about college. There were some very good players like Dakota Mermis and Zach Stepan picked as fliers after him, so going that late isn't necessarily bad.