IceDogs draft review
The Niagara IceDogs loaded up on forwards at the 2021 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
The IceDogs selected nine forwards, five defenceman and two goaltenders over the course of the 15-round draft.
“We really achieved the balance we were looking for,” Niagara general manager Joey Burke said. “To spread it out the way we did and get the depth of talent we did is absolutely outstanding.
“We could not be happier.”
The IceDogs selected forwards Juan Copeland and Declan Waddick and goalie Joey Costanzo in the second round of the draft Friday night before adding 5-foot-9, 150-pound defenceman Andrew Wycisk in the third round.
“He is a very high-end defenceman,” Burke said. “He defends well and really works hard. We had him as a first- or second-round kind of guy and are very delighted to be able to get him.”
Burke feels Waddick may be the steal of the draft.
“The big one (surprise) for sure is Declan Waddick at 39,” he said. “How this player got to 39 is beyond me. He’s a first-round pick on any list. We’re still scratching our heads on how he got to us there.”
The draft continued Saturday with rounds 4-15, where the IceDogs added 12 more selections.
With their first pick Saturday, Niagara picked up centre Connor Haynes from the Markham Waxers in the fourth round before adding defenceman Jax Wismer from the Barrie Junior Colts in the fifth round.
The IceDogs had two selections in the sixth round and picked winger Cole Bishop and defenceman Zach Schulz, both from Detroit Honeybaked, the same team for whom second-round selection Juan Copeland played.
Winger Giancomo Martino of the Vaughan Kings was Niagara’s selection in the seventh round while centre Anselemo Rego of the Toronto Marlboros was their eighth-round pick.
St. Catharines native Centre Matthew Lee, who played with the Bishop Kearney Selects in Rochester N.Y., was selected in the ninth round followed by defenceman Adamo Zingaro of the Toronto Titans in the 10th round.
In the 11th round, the IceDogs chose centre Alex Laurenza from the Toronto Jr. Canadians, then took defenceman Christian Mitsis in the 12th round.
The IceDogs, who did not have a pick in the 13th round, rounded out the draft by selecting goalie Matteo Porpornio of the Toronto Red Wings in the 14th round and St. Catharines native Dawson Lukey, who played at the Gilmour Academy in Ohio last season, in the 15th and final round.
“Everyone we got we felt were players who should have been in a higher round so it was absolutely thrilling that way,” Burke said.
Beside Lee and Lukey, other local players selected were goalie Nate Day (third round, 57) by Flint, forward Dylan Lariviere (ninth round, 166) by Flint, defenceman Jordan Schanbacher (11th round, 219) by Barrie and centre Sam Tonelli (14th round, 263) by London.
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