67's will take 'best player' at draft table

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:09 PM ET

LONDON -- So much for drama surrounding the first pick of today's OHL draft.

The league decided earlier this week that 14-year-old John Tavares of Oakville would be eligible for today's event as an "exceptional player."

And the Oshawa Generals held a press conference to announce they'll take Tavares, who turns 15 in September, with their first pick when the draft begins this morning by conference call.

12TH CHOICE OVERALL

The 67's have the 12th overall selection and could go for a defenceman, although coach and GM Brian Kilrea wouldn't tip his hand.

"The best player," said Kilrea when asked what the team would be searching for in the opening round. "We're going to need everything, so it doesn't matter the position of the player."

The 67's also have the 12th pick of the second round, and will make two picks in the third round -- in the 12th and 20th spots.

Last year, Ottawa had the 10th overall pick and chose right winger Matt Lahey, who hasn't played since suffering a concussion halfway through the regular season.

The 67's also got Aaron Alphonso in the second round, and stole Jamie McGinn in the third round (50th overall).

A number of players with Ottawa connections could be selected in the top four rounds:

- D Daniel Kelly, a 6-foot-2, 195-lb. American who played for the CJHL's Pembroke Lumber Kings this year.

- D Kyle Atkins from Jr. B in Brockville.

- C Jamie Arniel from Kingston minor midget, nephew of former NHLer Scott Arniel.

- C Kyle Fletcher of Kanata.

- D Brad Albert from Nepean.

- RW Corey Cowick of Gloucester who scored 23 goals.

- D Simon Lacroix of the CJHL's Cumberland Grads who recovered from a ruptured spleen.

- C Stephen Blunden of Gloucester, whose brother Michael plays for the OHL's Erie Otters.

- G Adam Courchaine who posted a 2.42 GAA with the Kanata Blazers minor midgets.

London native Logan Couture was expected to be taken first overall by Oshawa until the league ruled Tavares could be taken.

Couture could go to the Sarnia Sting, which has the second pick.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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