2019 OHL Priority Selection: First-Round Mock Draft

With the 2019 OHL Priority Selection officially on the horizon, we’ve taken the time to put together a first-round mock draft.

In our top-21 mock draft, we’ve taken into account team needs and trends in order to arrive at the most accurate selection possible. However, despite this being said, prospects committed to various NCAA programs always find a way to throw a kink in OHL mock drafts, so be sure to keep wildcards such as Danil Zhilkin, Sasha Pastujov, and Dylan Duke in mind as the big day approaches.

PASTUJOV, Sasha IMG_8664 Tim Cornett

Whether or not Sasha Pastujov — a highly touted 2019 OHL Draft eligible forward — will opt for the major-junior route remains unknown. (Photo Credit: Tim Cornett/CHL Images)

Outside of these committed prospects, the field which comprises our first-round mock draft will be extremely familiar to most. To no ones surprise, we’re expecting Shane Wright to fall at first overall to the Kingston Frontenacs — a selection which should kickstart a substantial resurgence in the “Limestone City”.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

However, following the selection of Wright, nothing is set in stone. Although there seems to be a consensus with respect to the top-five prospects in the 2019 OHL Draft, the choices made outside of fifth-overall are incredibly difficult to predict and will undoubtedly boil down to the strengths and weaknesses of each specific team as they are placed on the clock.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Profiles

So, taking into account the information and perspectives unveiled above, here is our first-round mock draft ahead of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. While we’re not expecting this to be 100% accurate, we’d be surprised if a number of our selections below aren’t solidified come draft day.

First-Round Mock Draft

Here it is, our top-21 mock draft with respect to the 2019 OHL Draft.

One reality to keep in mind is that fact that the Peterborough Petes hold two first-round choices this year — a result of the trade which saw Will Cuylle traded to the Windsor Spitfires this past offseason. Hence, there are 21 picks in the first-round as opposed to the usual 20.

Lastly, be sure to read our Final OHL Draft Ranking of the 2018-19 season, as it highlights the top-300 prospects available and will afford you with an idea of which players your favourite team could be pondering.

1st Overall: Kingston Frontenacs

Prospect Selected: Shane Wright – C

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

Shane Wright of the Don Mills Flyers is an exceptional talent, and a virtual lock to be selected first overall by the Kingston Frontenacs in the 2019 OHL Draft. Earning the right to select Wright was a painful ordeal for the Frontenacs, as the team struggled mightily in the second half of their season and concluded the 2018-19 OHL campaign with a league-worst 30 points and 14-52-2 record. 

Shane Wright

Wright was our top-ranked prospect all season long, and will be the driving force behind Kingston’s resurgence. (Photo Credit: Max Lewis)

Kingston’s pain will likely be worth it, however, as Wright stands as the NHL’s next elite prospect and boasts the skill-set and drive necessary to lead his team at both ends of the ice regardless of the level. As mature as they come both on and off of the ice, Wright will stand as a pillar within the Frontenacs’ lineup and undoubtedly lead the team to substantial success in the years to come.

2nd Overall: Flint Firebirds

Prospect Selected: Brennan Othmann – RW

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

Commitment issues have seemingly plagued the Flint Firebirds in the past, however, it appears as though sniper Brennan Othmann is ready to take his talents to Michigan. A stellar two-way player who is a capable playmaker as well as goal-scorer, Othmann boasts solid size and the skating abilities necessary to make the jump to the OHL-level in 2019-20.

Nabbing Othmann would be a significant addition for the Firebirds, as the team scored the second-fewest goals in the OHL this past season and could see its top player in Ty Dellandrea turn pro with the Dallas Stars next season. Alongside the likes of Evan Vierling, Ethan Keppan, and Cody Morgan, Othmann could be able to transition the Firebirds from a fringe contender into a legitimate competitor.

3rd Overall: Erie Otters

Prospect Selected: Brandt Clarke – D

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

Unquestionably the best defenceman eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, the Erie Otters will not hesitate to select Brandt Clarke. A smooth skating defender who is as capable in his defensive zone as he is lethal in the attacking zone, Clarke is a dynamic presence who can be utilized and thrive in virtually any situation on the ice. Further, given his impressive size and strength, Clarke is difficult to knock off of the puck and is not intimidated by his competition by any means.

Brandt Clarke

Alongside Jamie Drysdale, Clarke and the Otters will have a devastating one-two punch on their blue line. (Photo Credit: Max Lewis)

Selecting Clarke would be a massive addition for the Otters, who would boast both Jamie Drysdale and the aforementioned Clarke on their blue line for years to come. Both dynamic two-way defenders, the duo of Drysdale and Clarke would afford Erie with two pillars of power on their back-end capable of influencing and driving the team’s offence with relative ease as well as consistency.

4th Overall: Barrie Colts

Prospect Selected: Connor Lockhart – C

2018-19 Team: Kanata Lasers (HEO)

While the Barrie Colts would do well to add an elite young defenceman to their roster, the skill-set which Connor Lockhart possesses is far too valuable to pass up. A purposeful and electrifying skater, Lockhart has the ability to drive his team’s attacking game and is remarkably consistent in his ability to do so. Blessed with soft hands, an accurate shot and a high-level hockey IQ, Lockhart features a professional approach to the game and plays a mature yet productive style on a nightly basis.

With all of Ryan Suzuki, Riley Piercey, and Nathan Allensen set to lead the Colts into the future, nabbing Lockhart would add an extra dimension of depth to a young yet steadily developing Barrie roster. Sure, Lockhart would do well to add greater strength to his frame ahead of the 2019-20 season, however, the youngster’s raw skill set should allow him to overcome any physical adversity he faces as a rookie.

5th Overall: Peterborough Petes

Prospect Selected: Mason McTavish – C

2018-19 Team: Pembroke Lumber Kings (HEO)

The Peterborough Petes finished in the bottom-10 in goal scoring during the 2018-19 OHL season, an outcome which arose primarily due to the team’s lack of depth. However, with Nick Robertson and Cameron Butler poised to explode next season, adding Mason McTavish to the cause certainly won’t hurt one bit. A 47-goal scorer for the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the HEO this past campaign, McTavish is a natural sniper who also features impressive size and strength to boot.

The money maker for McTavish is his lethal shot. Whether he is staring down a tough angle, standing outside of the dots, or is battling for a loose rebound in front of the net, McTavish has the innate ability to bulge the twine and is extremely consistent in his ability to light the lamp. Sure, McTavish’s all-round game and play in his defensive end could use improvement before logging major minutes at the OHL-level, however, the youngster’s goal-scoring abilities will be too valuable for the Petes to pass upon at fifth-overall.

6th Overall: Windsor Spitfires

Prospect Selected: Francesco Pinelli – C

2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)

The Windsor Spitfires are one of the youngest — yet most promising — teams competing within the OHL. No, the Spitfires didn’t enjoy a spectacular season in 2018-19, however, the franchise has put itself in a position to add a dynamic young player by the name of Francesco Pinelli. A leader both on and off of the ice who plays a sound two-way game, Pinelli approaches the game with a mature attitude and is always willing to learn in order to improve his game.

Pinelli

Pinelli is a lethal offensive player and natural leader who will fit nicely with the Spitfires’ current core of young stars. (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/OHL Images)

As a sturdy skater who can traverse the ice with ease, Pinelli will assess all of his options when in possession of the puck and regularly executes plays which result in high-danger scoring chances for his team. Remarkably consistent and tireless in his work ethic, Pinelli has all the makings of a minute-munching player at the OHL-level, and one who can contribute more than his fair share of offence too.

7th Overall: Sarnia Sting

Prospect Selected: Francesco Arcuri – LW

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

Although a team who could stand to add either a forward or defenceman with their first round pick in the 2019 OHL Draft, expect the Sarnia Sting to target Francesco Arcuri of the Don Mills Flyers. While overshadowed at times throughout the 2018-19 GTHL campaign, Arcuri exploded in the second-half of the season and became a go-to player for the Flyers.

Arcuri

Expect Arcuri to provide Sarnia with offensive firepower as soon as the 2019-20 season, he is simply that good. (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/OHL Images)

A dynamic and shifty skater who navigates the ice with both speed and purpose, Arcuri can force opposing defenders onto their heels owing to his wheels and can create significant time and space as a direct result. Once established in his attacking zone, Arcuri stands as a threat to pass and can shoot the puck as well — a versatile skill-set which makes the youngster as unpredictable as he is deadly. In short, Arcuri will be a solid addition to a very young incredibly promising Sting roster.

8th Overall: Hamilton Bulldogs

Prospect Selected: Brenden Sirizzotti – RW

2018-19 Team: Whitby Wildcats (ETA)

During the 2017-18 season, Quinton Byfield recorded 92 points in 34 regular season ETA games played. In 2018-19, Whitby Wildcats forward Brenden Sirizzotti recorded 93 points in 36 regular season ETA contests — a major reason why the highly skilled and potent forward will catch the eye of the Hamilton Bulldogs with the eighth-overall selection.

SIRIZZOTTI, Brenden IMG_9654 Tim Cornett

Sirizzotti is an explosive offensive player whose game should translate well to the OHL-level with the Bulldogs. (Tim Cornett/CHL Images)

As a tireless skater who can single-handedly drive the pace of play for his team, Sirizzotti stands as a shifty yet creative player who can produce offence in a variety of ways. Regarded as a pass-first player given his 61 assists this past season, Sirizzotti is also a threat to shoot the puck and will not hesitate to take advantage of any time and space provided by his opposition. Although poised to join a young Bulldogs roster, Sirizzotti’s competitiveness and skating abilities should allow him to transition seamlessly to the OHL-level in 2019-20.

9th Overall: North Bay Battalion

Prospect Selected: Liam Arnsby – C

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

At ninth-overall, the North Bay Battalion are quick to select the fifth Don Mills Flyers star of the 2019 OHL Draft thus far in Liam Arnsby. A hard-working forward who is unrelenting on the forecheck and not afraid to play a physical game, Arnsby will be able to step into North Bay’s lineup next season and showcase the style of play which the Battalion have become widely known for over the years.

Consistently one of the fiercest players on the ice, Arnsby is well-regarded for his exceptional two-way play and has the ability to secure his own zone before dashing up the ice to create dangerous scoring chances for his team. A solid passer who also features a heavy shot, Arnsby can create and finish scoring plays with relative ease and isn’t afraid to battle hard in front of the net for loose pucks or rebounds. As a youngster who plays with both maturity and professionalism, expect Arnsby to be a key component of the Battalion’s roster in the years ahead.

10th Overall: Owen Sound Attack

Prospect Selected: Brett Harrison – C

2018-19 Team: London Jr. Knights (Alliance)

The Owen Sound Attack finished 15th overall in OHL goal-scoring during the 2018-19 season, an underwhelming total which should lead them to select one of the 2019 OHL Draft’s top snipers. Standing well over 6-feet tall and an intimidating sight on the ice, Brett Harrison is a natural goal-scorer who presence in Owen Sound would bode well for the Attack in the years ahead.

Blessed with a fantastic shot and quick yet decisive hands, Harrison can fire the puck on-goal in the blink-of-an-eye and is surprisingly accurate in doing so. In fact, Harrison netted 42 goals in his 33 regular season Alliance contests this past season — an output which led the league by a wide margin and established Harrison as one of the 2019 OHL Draft class’ most lethal shooters. Come the 2019-20 OHL season, Harrison should be able to translate to the OHL-level with relative ease given he is a smooth and agile skater of solid size and ever-increasing skill.

11th Overall: Peterborough Petes

Prospect Selected: Ethan Del Mastro – D

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

After allowing 3.76 goals against per game during the 2018-19 season, the time has come for the Peterborough Petes to add a wildly talented young defender to its roster. So, with the 11th overall selection, the Petes will add Toronto Marlboros star defender Ethan Del Mastro to the fold — a sizeable yet fluid skating defender who is consistently strong, stable, and composed at both ends of the ice.

Although his offensive game continues to grow, Del Mastro stands as a poised defenceman who consistently makes the right play in a safe and effective manner. Within his own zone, Del Mastro can smother attacking players owing to his quick feet and strength. Once in possession, Del Mastro has the ability to fire crisp breakout passes to his teammates or lead the rush himself as a result of his high-level of hockey intelligence.

12th Overall: Mississauga Steelheads

Prospect Selected: Logan Mailloux – D

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

The Mississauga Steelheads’ blue line continues to age, and with Thomas Harley’s time at the major-junior-level surely limited, the team would do well to nab a promising young defender capable of stepping into the lineup next season. In Logan Mailloux, the Steelheads will receive exactly that — a strong and sizeable defender who skates extremely well and brings an offensive edge to the ice.

Weighing in at 215-pounds and standing 6-foot-3 tall, Mailloux is an intimidating presence on the blue line given his young age who will only grow into his massive frame in the years ahead. However, Mailloux is far more than a big body, as the emerging defender features remarkable agility in all three zones of the ice and a heavy shot which can generate all sorts of rebounds for his teammates to take advantage of. Significantly improved since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, Mailloux could prove to be the steal of the first round considering his current trajectory.

13th Overall: Kitchener Rangers

Prospect Selected: Stuart Rolofs – LW

2018-19 Team: Kanata Lasers (HEO)

Boasting a roster flooded with highly skilled young players, adding Stuart Rolofs to the mix will afford the Kitchener Rangers with considerable scoring depth in the years ahead. Sure to skate with the likes of Reid Valade and Isaac Langdon, Rolofs brings size, strength, and innate offensive abilities each and every time he graces the ice. Widely known for his heavy shot, Rolofs can devise and execute scoring plays to boot and stands as a versatile yet lethal threat with each passing shift.

Further, given his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame, Rolofs will have little trouble adjusting to the OHL-level in 2019-20, as the youngster skates remarkably well for his size and is incredibly difficult to knock off of the puck once in possession. A 33 goal-scorer for the Kanata Lasers of the HEO this past season, Rolofs will be able to jump into the Rangers’ lineup without issue and play a commanding and intimidating role for Kitchener in the years ahead.

14th Overall: Guelph Storm

Prospect Selected: Artem Guryev – D

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

The Guelph Storm enjoyed an incredibly successful draft last season, and will look to continue their winning ways through the selection of defenceman Artem Guryev. A highly energetic defender who thrives at both ends of the ice, Guryev is arguably the best open-ice hitter available in the 2019 OHL Draft and loves to make his presence felt physically regardless of the situation.

Joining the Storm should prove to be a seamless transition for the Russian native, as Guryev will join his fellow countrymen in Daniil Chayka and Dmitri Samorukov on Guelph’s blue line — a familiar and welcoming atmosphere which will bode well for the youngster in his rookie season. If able to play a more disciplined game and stay out of the penalty box, Guryev should be able to create positive influence for the Storm in all three zones of the ice.

15th Overall: Sudbury Wolves

Prospect Selected: Wyatt Johnston – C

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GHTL)

The Sudbury Wolves iced just one 2002-born forward and one 2001-born forward during the 2018-19 OHL season, a reality which does not bode well for the future depth of the team. With this being said, adding a capable and competent 2003-born forward in the 2019 OHL Draft will be paramount to the Wolves’ future success. And, at this point in the first round, that player is Wyatt Johnston — a creative and shifty centre who is one of the most intelligent players eligible in this year’s Priority Selection.

Johnston

Johnston’s competitive and intelligent nature will make him a fixture within a dynamic Wolves roster. (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/OHL Images)

A star for the Toronto Marlboros this past season, Johnston routinely centred his team’s top line and could be counted upon to be double-shifted when the situation required. A creative playmaker who rarely makes mistakes and has the ability to drive his team’s offence, Johnston can shoot the puck to boot and stands as a versatile threat in the attacking zone. However, Johnston is far more than simply a threat to score, as he prioritizes the well-being of his own zone before thinking about offence — a well-rounded approach which displays his on-ice maturity.

16th Overall: Oshawa Generals

Prospect Selected: Josh Bloom – LW

2018-19 Team: Toronto Nationals (GTHL)

Josh Bloom was crucial to the immense success enjoyed by the Toronto Nationals in the GTHL this season, and he will surely come to play a substantial role for the Oshawa Generals over time. Once selected, Bloom will be added to a promising young core of Oshawa players which is currently being led by the likes of Lleyton Moore and Ty Tullio, amongst others.

Bloom

Josh Bloom’s tireless skating and natural offensive instincts will serve Oshawa well in the years ahead. (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/OHL Images)

Defined by his work-ethic and tireless skating on the ice, Bloom is a well-rounded two-way player who values the well-being of his own zone. However, once he and his team have broken out of their defensive zone, Bloom transitions into a lethal offensive threat owing to his ability to pass and shoot the puck with authority. As a puck-hound who isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas in order to generate offence, Bloom should fit in nicely with the Generals’ current complement of players.

17th Overall: Niagara IceDogs

Prospect Selected: Paul Christopoulos – D

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

Having iced one of the most experienced — and oldest — blue lines in the OHL during the 2018-19 season, the time has come for the Niagara IceDogs to add an incredibly promising young defender to their current roster. And, perhaps no one fits this description better than Paul Christopoulos — a key member of the Don Mills Flyers’ success this past season whose play improved drastically over the course of the GTHL season.

Boasting size, smarts, and skill, Christopoulos is a tremendous two-way defenceman who can influence the outcome of any given game at both ends of the ice. Defensively, Christopoulos is sound and composed in his efforts and routinely diffuses high-percentage plays devised by his opposition. Once in control of the puck, Christopoulos can fire crisp outlet passes to his teammates and loves in on the attack from his perch on the blue line. Owing to his excellent vision, Christopoulos can play-make in the attacking zone with ease before firing his hard and heavy shot on-goal. In short, nabbing Christopoulos would insert a stellar minute-munching defender into the IceDogs’ lineup for years to come.

18th Overall: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Prospect Selected: Braeden Kressler – C

2018-19 Team: Mississauga Senators (GTHL)

While there were mixed opinions regarding Braeden Kressler throughout the 2018-19 GTHL season, we view the youngster as an extremely capable and confident player who is only beginning to scratch the surface of his ultimate potential. With this being said, expect the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to go somewhat off of the board and select Kressler with their first round pick in the 2019 OHL Draft.

Photo by Dan Hickling/OHL Images

Kressler is one of the most undervalued prospects eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, a reality which should make him a star for the Greyhounds. (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/OHL Images)

A shifty and creative skater, Kressler is one of the hardest-working players eligible for selection and features the ability to create offence single-handedly. Although there will be some concerns regarding his size, Kressler has proven time and time again that his stature is of no concern — consistently producing offence owing to his crisp shot and high-level hockey IQ. Extremely well-rounded and a persistent two-way threat, Kressler could very well be the steal of the 2019 OHL Draft.

19th Overall: Saginaw Spirit

Prospect Selected: Colby Saganiuk – C

2018-19 Team: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite (T1EHL)

Colby Saganiuk was one of the top players competing in the T1EHL this past season, as the youngster led the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U16 offensively on a nightly basis. However, as an American-born player, questions have continued to circle as to whether or not Saganiuk will opt for the CHL developmental route. With the 19th overall selection, the Saginaw Spirit are hoping that Saganiuk will commit himself to the OHL and one of its few U.S.A.- based franchises.

If Saganiuk does, in fact, choose to report to the Spirit, Saginaw will be receiving an incredibly dynamic offensive player with speed and agility to burn. Although he is somewhat under-sized given his short stature, Saganiuk is a bulldog on the ice who competes with a high-level of energy and pace with each passing shift. Well-known for his quick shot release and dynamic playmaking abilities, Saganiuk has all the makings of a star player at the OHL-level.

20th Overall: London Knights

Prospect Selected: Roman Schmidt – D

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

Although holding a commitment to Boston University, the London Knights don’t hesitate to select defenceman Roman Schmidt of the Don Mills Flyers. Immensely improved following his second season of GTHL play, the 6-foot-5 defender now features quick and agile feet and the ability to traverse both the blue line and his defensive zone with little issue. Moreover, Schmidt is stronger than ever — a reality which will allow the 210-pounder to transition to the OHL-level with greater ease than other defenders within this year’s class.

Roman Schmidt

Schmidt’s size, strength, and smarts will allow him to ascend to the OHL-level without issue next season. (Photo Credit: Max Lewis)

Ultimately, adding Schmidt to the fold will allow the Knights to address their aging and thinning blue line — a back-end which will likely be without both Evan Bouchard and Adam Boqvist come the 2019-20 OHL season. Fortunately, Schmidt’s heavy shot from the point and his ability to fire off crisp outlet passes will reduce the Knights’ pain of losing their two star blueliners.

21st Overall: Ottawa 67’s

Prospect Selected: Deni Goure – C

2018-19 Team: Chatham-Kent Cyclones (Alliance)

To cap off the first round of the 2019 OHL Draft, the Ottawa 67’s add to their promising young core of players through the addition of Deni Goure — the Alliance hockey player of the year this past season. A strong and sturdy skater who approaches each shift with a purpose, Goure is an endlessly determined and competitive player who strives to generate considerable offence for his team every game. Boasting a strong and accurate shot defined by its lightning-quick release, Goure can give his team an advantage on the scoreboard with remarkable consistency.

In fact, Goure fired home 22 goals alongside his 31 assists in Alliance during the 2018-19 season — a 53-point output which stood as the third-best total in the entire league. Sure, he — like most — would do well to add greater strength to his frame ahead of his inaugural OHL campaign, however, Goure’s raw skill-set and poise with the puck will allow him to enjoy immediate success upon his ascension to the major-junior level.

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