67's draft British Farmer

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:56 AM ET

The 67’s have drafted a lot of kids from small rural Canadian towns in the past, but they’ve never before selected a Farmer from England.

That changed Tuesday on a tip from Jon Zion.

A steady defenceman with the 67’s from 1997-2002, Zion now skates in the British Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) with the Nottingham Panthers. Before that, he was a member of the Sheffield Steelers, where he played with a strapping young left winger by the name of Robert Farmer.

Zion recommended Farmer, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder — and — after GM Brian Kilrea and coach/assistant GM Chris Byrne watched the 19-year-old participate in an on-ice workout  — Ottawa selected him with the 44th pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft.

The 67’s took only one player in the draft, which saw 6-foot-4 defenceman Martin Marincin, an Edmonton Oilers’ second-rounder, selected first by the WHL’s Prince George Cougars. The Gatineau Olympiques drafted Russian left winger Igor Levitsky with the 21st pick. Kilrea said he took the “safe route” after hearing Russians would be difficult to bring over.

While former 67’s star Peter Lee was born in Ellesmere, England, he grew up in North America. It’s believed Farmer will be the first Brit to play in the CHL after developing as a player in his homeland.


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