IceDogs lose out on first overall pick, Memorial Cup bid
It was a disappointing day off the ice for the Niagara IceDogs Wednesday.
The IceDogs first learned their bid to the host the 2024 Memorial Cup was rejected with the announcement Saginaw would host the championship of the Canadian Hockey League, followed by the news the Erie Otters were awarded the first overall pick in this year’s OHL Priority Selection Draft.
The IceDogs, who finished last overall, will select second.
“We are very excited to get the second overall pick,” IceDogs owner/general manager Darren DeBobbelear said. “We are sure this will be a franchise player.”
The IceDogs, Otters, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Kingston Frontenacs were involved in the lottery, one that saw the introduction of a weighted system that provided a 40 per cent opportunity for the last-place team (IceDogs) to garner the first overall selection. The three other participating teams had adjusted proportionate odds, with the 19th-place Otters (30 per cent), 18th-place Greyhounds (20 per cent) and 17th-place Frontencacs (10 per cent) also in the mix.
The IceDogs will now have picks two and five in the first round. The fifth pick is compensation from the Sam Dickinson selection in last year’s draft. Dickinson did not sign and was ultimately traded to the London Knights.
Overall, Niagara will have 17 picks in this year’s draft.
The draft will begin on Friday, April 21 with rounds 1-3 starting at 7 p.m. and continuing Saturday, April 22 beginning at 9 a.m. with rounds 4-15.
The lottery also determined the order of selection for the OHL U-18 Priority Selection (held April 26) and the 2023 CHL Import Draft.
The Spirit become the first American team in 26 years to host the Memorial Cup and first American team from the OHL to have the honour.
“We will be back in three years bidding again,” DeBobbelear said on the Dog Pound Podcast. “We’re not stopping till we host the Memorial Cup in Niagara.”
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