The Saginaw Spirit are preparing for the 2018 Ontario Hockey League priority selection draft, which kicks off at 9 am on Saturday April 7, online and fans can follow along on the Spirit website by clicking here.
The Spirit have a total of 13 draft picks tomorrow, however, unlike last year when the Spirit had four picks (1-first round, and 3-second round) within the top 27-picks, the Spirit will have one first round pick (fifth overall) and 2-second round (26-overall, and 33-overall) picks.
With the exception of Turcotte (who is committed to the University of Wisconsin) three of last years top four picks saw significant minutes this year; along with third round pick (41 overall) Ryan Stepien, who had a very successful year with 16-points (10-goals, 6-assists) in 50-games this year.
The most obvious need for the Spirit will be replacing veteran goal tender Evan Cormier, who aged out of the league after 3-1/2 years as Saginaw's top goalie.
Cormier (a fourth round pick of the New Jersey Devils in the 2016 NHL draft) was traded to Saginaw in the middle of the 2014-15 season, and finished his OHL career with a 3.34 goals against average, an .896 save percentage, along with 9-shutouts in 201-regular season games.
Saginaw's third round pick (53 overall) in the 2016 OHL priority selection draft, Cameron Lamour will take over as the top goal tender for the Spirit next year.
Lamour had a 4.16 goals against average and an .867 save percentage in 17-games with the Spirit this year.
Some other notable top prospects, who could be available when the Spirit pick early in tomorrow's draft are: defenseman Jamie Drysdale from the Toronto Marlboros of the GTHL, forward Cole Perfetti from the Vaughan Kings of the GTHL, and the top American in the draft, forward Antonio Stranges from the Little Caesars U16, of the T1EHL, along with defenseman Owen Power from the Mississauga Reps of the GTHL.
Saginaw's I-75 rival the Flint Firebirds pick second, followed by the Peterborough Petes with the third pick, and the Erie Otters with the fourth pick, before Saginaw picks at No. 5 tomorrow.
Saginaw native, Mitchell Smith, a highly touted defenseman from the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (who has verbally committed to play NCAA hockey at the University of Michigan) is one of the top American defense prospects eligible for tomorrow's draft, and should hear his name called at some point tomorrow.
Here are Saginaw's pick's tomorrow:
1 first round pick (5th overall)
2 second round picks (26th overall, 33rd overall)
1 fourth round pick (65th overall)
1 fifth round pick (84th overall)
1 sixth round pick (105th overall)
1 seventh round pick (136th overall)
1 eighth round pick (145th overall)
1 tenth round pick (185th overall)
1 eleventh round pick (205th overall)
1 twelfth round pick (225th overall)
1 thirteenth round pick (245th overall)
1 fourteenth round pick (265th overall)