Knights looking to lock up top pick

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

The Oshawa Generals signed OHL fourth-overall selection Boone Jenner of Dorchester.

The Guelph Storm already inked their latest first pick -- Londoner Carter Sandlak -- and the Sarnia Sting welcomed young 2009 top gun Brett Ritchie into the fold.

The London Knights are up next with their No. 1.

The Knights have called a press conference for this afternoon at which they're expected to announce the most recent signings from their current crop of draft picks. The headliner is highly rated Kingston defenceman Scott Harrington, who GM Mark Hunter took 19th overall last month.

Harrington's advisor, Darren Ferris of the Bobby Orr Group, wouldn't confirm the signing. But he said it's looking "very promising" after the 16-year-old blue-liner visited London and took part in the team's mini-camp three weeks ago.

Before the draft, Harrington scared off many OHL teams by saying he was focused on pursuing the U.S. college route.

"(Of the 2009 OHL picks) he's definitely the most ready to step in and play at that level," Ferris said. "He's grown in leaps and bounds over the past few months. He has played against older players already."

After his midget season ended this spring, Harrington was called up by the Kingston Kimco Voyageurs and helped the club advance to the RBC Cup national Tier II junior A championship in British Columbia. The Vees bowed out in the semifinal but the six-foot, 175-pounder was selected as a game MVP during the tournament.

"If everything ends up working out (with the OHL) and without putting too much pressure on him, we think Scott could have the kind of impact that (ex-Knight) John Carlson did at the same age," Ferris said.

"Johnny is one of our clients and we're going to try to arrange for them to get on the ice together this summer."

The Knights took Harrington and Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs defenceman Jake Worrad with their first two picks in hopes they could quickly shore up a defensive corps rife with graduates. They will still have to wait until the fall to see if Michael Del Zotto, the recently signed New York Rangers first-rounder, is returned to the club after training camp.

"If Michael Del Zotto comes back, it would be a great thing for London's younger defencemen to have a player like him to learn from," Ferris said.

The NHL draft is in Montreal next week. Harrington, who isn't eligible yet, will be in Ottawa for Ontario's under-17 camp.

"If he doesn't make the under-17 team, I'll come to London and dress up as the Knights mascot at the season opener (against Windsor)," joked Ferris, who also represents Spitfires star and Memorial Cup MVP Taylor Hall.


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