OHL draft has six appeal for 67's

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

The tradition continues.

Brian Kilrea will be searching for a lucky penny somewhere between his house and Lansdowne Park before taking part in this morning's OHL draft.

''I'll be out looking,'' said the Hall of Fame coach of the 67's. ''Always do, especially on draft day.''

Perhaps it's a good omen for the 67's that they'll be picking sixth for the first time in a long time.

With one notable exception -- in the sixth round, Kilrea won't have a sixth choice, as it was dealt to the Windsor Spitfires at the trade deadline last January to get defenceman Joe Grimaldi.

Even so, Ottawa heads into the draft in a good spot, finishing the regular season with just enough points to make the playoffs but low enough in the rankings to get an early selection.

The 67's have a great chance to strike it rich in the second round, having three choices -- the sixth, as well as the eighth and 19th acquired by trade.

''According to everybody, this is a good draft year,'' said Kilrea. ''There are an awful lot of good players that could play and help us out.''

Ottawa will be deep on the blue line next season with the likely return of Derek Joslin, Brodie Beard, Jakub Vojta, Elgin Reid, Sean Ryan and Grimaldi.

Robbie Lawrance could also come back as an overager.

So Kilrea and his draft crew are looking at forwards, but would take a defenceman if he was the best player available when the 67's get their first turn.

They're hoping for a repeat of last year's first-round performance when Kilrea scored the coup of the draft by taking Logan Couture with the 12th-overall pick.

This year's No. 1 pick will be no surprise, just as last year when Oshawa chose John Tavares.

The Sarnia Sting announced yesterday they will pick centre Steven Stamkos -- a 105-goal scorer with the Markham Waxers minor midgets -- with the first selection.

The Generals will then likely take defenceman Michael Del Zotto, a teammate of Stamkos, with the second pick.

Orleans native Shawn Beauchamp-Lalonde will likely be the highest Ottawa-area pick.

Last year in minor midget with the Cumberland Grads, Beauchamp-Lalonde collected 28 points in 30 games, and is considered an exceptional skater and passer.

Other top-rated players from this area are D Tim Billingsley (Grads), G Chris Carrozzi (Nepean Raiders), D Neil Clarke (Raiders), C Andrew Clouthier (Ottawa Valley Titans), D Stephen Farrell (Raiders), C Zach Hervato (Titans), G Patrick Killeen (Titans), D Rene Lamoureux (Grads), D Matt MacDougall (Titans), D Devon Montgomery (Titans), RW Thomas Nesbitt (Titans), D Cameron Odam (Titans), G Mavric Parks (Titans), LW Michael Rowbotham (Titans), D Brent Sullivan (Titans) and RW Nick Vidoni (Rideau-St. Lawrence Kings).

'WAIT AND SEE'

''There's at least a half-dozen kids from around here that will play in the league this year,'' said Kilrea. ''We'll wait and see where they fall and where we can get them.''

NOTABLE: The 67's could also be looking for a goalie, but the team is looking at its options. Brady Morrison is the incumbent top netminder ... One player who does not want to come to the 67's: LW Tye McGinn, the younger brother of Ottawa winger Jamie. ''Ottawa's cool, but I'd rather not be picked by them,'' he told the Gueph Mercury. ''I'd rather be my own person.''

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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