NORTH BAY, Ont. — The North Bay Battalion chose left winger Ryland Mosley in the first round of the inaugural Ontario Hockey League Under-18 Priority Selection on Wednesday night.
Mosley, who went third overall, was the first of five picks the Battalion made in the process, which drew on Canadians, as well as Americans from OHL-territory states, who played last season on midget AAA teams in the Ontario Hockey Federation, Hockey Eastern Ontario or Hockey Northwestern Ontario and who weren’t on the protected list of any Canadian Hockey League club, including those in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League.
The Battalion selected four forwards, numbering two left wingers, one centre and one right winger, and one goaltender in the process, conducted via the Internet.
Mosley, a five-foot-11 181-pounder from Arnprior, Ont., led the Carleton Place Canadians in scoring with 20 goals and 36 assists for 56 points in 45 games, while his 64 penalty minutes tied for second-highest on the team. He turned 17 on Feb. 15.
“He was the most valuable player in his league,” said Matt Rabideau, an assistant general manager who oversaw Battalion selections. “He’s got elite offensive skills, and his competitiveness is off the charts. He was one of the most dynamic players I saw this winter. He can contribute offensively and play centre or left wing. We’re looking for him to come in and challenge for a spot.”
The Troops went back to eastern Ontario in the second and third rounds, tabbing right-shot centre Jared Weber of the Canadian International Hockey Academy’s Green team with the 23rd overall pick and left winger Francois Drouin of the Cumberland Grads with the 43rd overall selection.
A resident of Pembroke, Ont., Weber scored 11 goals and added 24 assists for 35 points in 45 games to lead his team in scoring. He added three points, including one goal, in six playoff games. Weber, six-foot and 183 pounds, turns 17 on Sept. 8.
“He plays a 200-foot game,” said Rabideau. “He’s a great skater and very competitive. He’s a guy that can contribute offensively as well.”
Drouin, who hails from Casselman, Ont., scored 14 goals and added 25 assists for 39 points and a team-leading 89 penalty minutes in 42 games. He earned one assist in nine games with the Grads’ junior A entry in the Central Canada Hockey League. Drouin, six-foot-three and 184 pounds, turns 17 on Sept. 26.
“He plays an up-and-down game,” noted Rabideau. “He can bang and compete, and he plays very tough on the wall.”
In the fourth round, 63rd overall, the Battalion took goaltender Will Barber of the Oakville Rangers. A five-foot-10, 152-pound resident of Oakville, Ont., Barber also appeared in four games for the junior A Milton Icehawks of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He turned 17 on Jan. 28.
“He can steal games,” said Rabideau. “He has a great technical game. He’s an athletic goalie and was one of the backbones of that Oakville team.”
The Troops’ final pick, in the fifth round, 83rd overall, was North Bay resident Nick Davis, a right winger with the North Bay Trappers who scored 16 goals and added 26 assists for 42 points with 58 penalty minutes in 36 games. Davis, five-foot-nine and 136 pounds, turned 17 on Monday.
“He’s a bit slight, but he makes up for that with hard work,” said Rabideau. “He’s an offensive threat every time he’s on the ice.”
The four-round process was conducted in inverse order of the overall standings last season, with the stipulation that non-playoff clubs had the first four picks. If a team took one or more goaltenders, it had the option of making a fifth selection, which couldn’t be used on a goaltender. All clubs were required to make at least four picks, but none could make more than five.
With the first overall pick, the Barrie Colts selected defenceman Victor Hadfield of the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs. The 20 OHL clubs chose a total of 96 skaters and goaltenders.