Barrie Colts corral Schanbacher
Jordan Schanbacher picked a bad time to take a lunch break.
He and a few of his friends, who he has been bubbling with during the pandemic because they are taking driving school together, had been following the OHL Draft Saturday waiting to hear the Niagara North Stars defenceman’s name called.
“We were on lunch break when I actually got the notification,” the 16-year-old St. Catharines native said.
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound, left shot defenceman, who had received pre-draft interest from two or three OHL clubs, ended up being selected in the 11th round, 219th overall by the Barrie Colts.
“It was a great feeling and I was in shock because I was just waiting there to see if my name was going to be called,” the Grade 10 student at Eden said. “Then I saw my name getting announced by the Barrie Colts and it was probably, if not the greatest, one of the best moments in my life.”
The North Stars team captain admitted he was getting a little concerned as the draft rolled along and he was not being chosen.
“I was starting to get a little bit nervous, of course, because it was getting into the higher rounds, but I was waiting to see what happens. Even if I didn’t get drafted, it wouldn’t affect me. I would still keep going as hard as I could.”
Playing AAA hockey since age eight with the North Stars, Schanbacher took his selection as validation that all his hard work had paid off. He knows where he was selected means nothing if he is able to show what he can do at training camp.
“I was looking at the other guys who have been drafted and Barrie has obviously drafted some defencemen much, much higher than I went so that is something to think about,” he said. “I am ready to compete at camp.”
Schanbacher will have plenty of motivation when he arrives at his first major junior A training camp.
“I am looking forward to being able to play with guys my age and at that compete level and trying to make the roster. For a 16-year-old, it will be very hard especially from the place where I have been drafted. Making it as a 17-year-old would be amazing and I am going to keep putting in the effort and the hard work.”
He is working his butt off to get ready for camp.
“I have been working out three times a week for the last three months, trying to put on muscle and gain weight. I am eating a lot so I can try and compete with the bigger guys.”
He is looking forward to hitting the ice with the Colts.
“I can’t wait to compete and experience it, knowing that I got drafted to a very good organization and they have a really good coaching staff.”
In his last season with the North Stars before the pandemic iced hockey for a season, Schanbacher had six goals and 11 points in 37 games for the North Stars in the 2019-20 season.
Niagara North Stars head coach Matt Miller is a huge fan of Schanbacher.
“Schamer’s explosive speed and high hockey IQ are evident the second the puck drops. His powerful stride and ability to make a great first pass, or skate the puck out of trouble make him not only a threat off the rush offensively, but allow him the ability to recover and get back in position with ease,” Miller said in an earlier interview with BPSN. “Good luck trying to get the puck off him. His awareness, evasiveness, and all around puck possession abilities are off the charts.”
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