Troops land 10th U18 choice

NORTH BAY, Ont. — The North Bay Battalion will select 10th overall in the first round of the 2021 Ontario Hockey League Under-18 Priority Selection, it was announced Thursday.

With the 2020-21 season cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the order of selection was established in a lottery identical to that used for the opening round of the OHL Priority Selection, in which the Battalion will pick 11th.

The London Knights will select first in the U18 process scheduled to start at noon June 9, followed by the Saginaw Spirit and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Dating to 2017, the OHL U18 Priority Selection consists of two rounds. A club may exercise a third pick if it has chosen a goaltender with either of its first two. Eligible are 2003- and 2004-born U18 AAA players not on a Canadian Hockey League club’s protected list who were registered within the Ontario Hockey Federation, Hockey Northwestern Ontario or Hockey Eastern Ontario in 2020-21.

The 2021 process will be conducted via the internet in a snake format, with the selection order in the second round reversed from that of the first. If a third round is required, it will be in inverse order of the second. North Bay will pick 11th in the second round.

The U18 proceedings will be streamed live on the OHL’s YouTube channel, with coverage across the league’s social media platforms and website.

The first-ever OHL Priority Selection Draft Lottery, held Wednesday, saw each of the 20 member clubs have an equal opportunity to draw the first overall pick. Results, with the Sudbury Wolves landing the No. 1 spot in the June 4-5 exercise, were determined by a computerized random-number generator, with the process overseen by Robert Bayne of the law firm Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti.

In addition, the OHL is slated to select third among the CHL’s constituent leagues, which include the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League, in the 2021 CHL Import Draft, a two-round proceeding, on June 30.

OHL members will select in the first round in reverse order of the opening round of the OHL Priority Selection, with the Barrie Colts leading the way followed by Sault Ste. Marie and the Kitchener Rangers.

The Battalion holds the 10th OHL selection at No. 30 overall. OHL clubs again will use a snake format, with the order of selection in the first round reversed for the second. The Battalion owns the 11th OHL pick in the second round, No. 93 overall.

North Bay selected Russian forward Matvey Petrov with the first overall pick in the 2020 CHL Import Draft. With the 2020-21 season cancelled, Petrov has yet to make his Battalion debut.

The order of selection for OHL clubs in all three proceedings usually consists of the inverse of the preceding seasons overall standings, with the four non-playoff teams guaranteed the top four picks.

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