67's sweet talkin' No. 1 pick

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

LONDON -- Logan Couture wore a shirt and tie for his meeting with 67's coach/GM Brian Kilrea yesterday at the John Labatt Centre.

The 67's can only hope that means their No. 1 draft choice in Saturday's OHL draft is ready to do business with them ... and play his junior hockey in Ottawa.

Kilrea met with the Couture family after the 67's knocked off the London Knights 6-3, just outside the team bus before it departed for the trip back to Ottawa.

"I like him, and we've liked him from Day 1. You know he's a quiet young fella," said the 67's coach.

"I just wanted to let him know that we want (the family) in Ottawa. We welcome them and we're going to do everything in our power to make it happen."

The 15-year-old Couture, a centre, was slated to be the first overall pick of the draft until the league allowed 14-year-old John Tavares to be eligible as an "exceptional player."

EXPLORING OTHER OPTIONS

The Oshawa Generals took Tavares first overall. After the league ruling, Couture's agent, John Thornton, sent all OHL teams a letter that said the player would not report to training camp, and that he was exploring other options.

The 67's decided to gamble with their first pick, 12th overall, and take Couture. The family will be in Ottawa on Thursday for Game 4 of the OHL final, and will meet with 67's owner Jeff Hunt and Kilrea.

"We're going there with an open mind," said Chet Couture, Logan's father, after meeting Kilrea yesterday. But he quickly added that the family is still considering options for Logan that don't involve the OHL.

The Coutures, who will drive to Ottawa, were invited to spend the weekend here.

But the father is a referee in the National Lacrosse League and will work this weekend in the championship series in Toronto.

NO GOAL: With the score 3-3 in the third period yesterday, Jeremy Akeson appeared to give Ottawa a 4-3 lead when his shot trickled past goalie Adam Dennis. Referee Terry Hobor blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line. A video review backed up the ref and the goal was disallowed. Lukas Kaspar scored a few moments later. "That was huge for us," said Kilrea. "Instead of some of the guys moaning and thinking that it might have been a goal, to get that (other) goal quick, they forgot all about the one that got away."

IN THE CREASE: Ottawa LW Jamie McGinn injured his left wrist in the third period and missed the rest of the game. He'll have the injury checked in Ottawa today ... Akeson lined up with Julian Talbot and Chris Hulit after McGinn's injury.

KNIGHT TIME: The Knights know they're in a fight. "People think we are going to blow by these guys, it's the OHL championship," said Danny Fritsche. "We're a good character team. I don't think we should have a problem facing this adversity. They know how to beat us, they are going to have to come out and play 150% every game."


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