All in all, it wasn't a terrible draft for US hockey fans, with few major surprises. Here are some of the notable picks in this year's OHL Draft though.
-As expected, Logan Brown went 6th overall to Niagara. It's not a slam dunk that Niagara can get Brown to sign and report, but Brown is reportedly interested in playing somewhere in the OHL next year, and if Niagara can't get him to sign, they can trade him for a healthy compensation package(Annual reminder that getting draft picks as compensation for not signing a draft pick is like getting a gift certificate from a restaurant that just gave you food poisoning). In any case, it looks like Brown will be in the OHL next year and not skating with the NTDP, which is a loss to be sure.
-The only other American to go in the first round of the draft was Honeybaked U18 F Max Jones to London at 18th. Jones is committed to playing at least next season at the NTDP. Mississauga was rumored to be the one Jones was very interested in. But London--and my legal team is choosing my words very carefully here--can be very persuasive when it comes to drawing in big name projects. If Jones does end up in the NCAA some day, it will be after turning down the full-court press from London both after his U17 team the the NTDP, and after he is drafted in the NHL Draft when he ages out of the NTDP.
-Three Americans went in the second round. Chicago Mission F Willie Knierim, Honeybaked D Ben Gleason, and BU commit Clayton Keller. Gleason is straight OHL all the way. Knierim is a big kid who may play a more physical, OHL style of play, and if he's going that early, perhaps Owen Sound, who selected him, feels they've got a really good shot at signing him.
Keller is an interesting one. He's arguably a top 5 talent, so going 40th overall is a drop. He was selected by Windsor though, which is a team that will always bring fear to NCAA fans given their aggressive pursuit of American prospects in recent years. If I had to pick, I still think Keller plays two years at the NTDP and then goes to Boston University, but going in the second round to Windsor introduces at least a tiny of bit of doubt into that.
-Northeastern commit Shaun Bily was selected 45th overall by Erie. Bily seemed pretty excited to be selected by Erie. Looks like he'll probably sign.
-Buffalo goalie Stephen Dhillon was selected 52nd by Niagara. I heard a lot of positive reports about Dhillon at the NTDP Evaluation camp a few weeks ago. It's being rumored that he's pretty likely to end up signing with Niagara.
-Miami commit Tyler Nother went 58th overall to London. That was when the rare cases where an NCAA team got a commit from a '98 from Ontario. It will be interesting to see if that commit holds. Miami has certainly had their troubles losing players to the OHL in recent years.
-For the most part, everybody else slipped to the 4th round or lower, which would seem to indicate the team selecting them just took a flier hoping circumstances change at some point in the future.