Nine Oshawa General U16s, two Brady Smiths taken in OHL draft

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Published April 23, 2024 at 2:43 pm

Brady Smith: Oshawa Generals first round pick

It was a tale of two Brady Smiths and a Gaudet-Barton on OHL draft weekend, with the Oshawa Generals choosing the first Brady Smith, a North York Rangers right winger from Mississauga with their first pick, 17th overall, and Sudbury selecting Smith number two – a defenceman with the Oshawa Minor Generals – in the sixth round, 111th overall.

Noah Gaudet-Barton, the defensive anchor of a U16 Generals squad which reached the OHL Cup quarter-finals – in their final season before they merge with Clarington to form the North Shore Whitecaps – was the first Oshawa midget player to be drafted when he was chosen in the second round by Barrie.

Smith the winger scored 32 goals and added 27 assists for the Rangers this season and is touted as one of the purest goal scorers available.

According to his new club, Smith has an accurate shot that is “second to none” and his release is “at another level as he catches a lot of goalies off guard.” A good skater, the 6’1” winger has the ability to beat defenders wide and win races for loose pucks.

“He can find open ice in the offensive zone and is dangerous whenever he has the puck on his stick in the scoring areas.  His scoring abilities make him a very intriguing prospect as he will have no trouble scoring at the next level.”

The Oshawa AAA team, which had its best performance in years, had nine players selected in the draft, led by Gaudet-Barton at #28, with Neutral Zone Scouting calling him a “big, strong, physical, stay-at-home defenseman with long term upside” who plays with a long reach, a disruptive stick and likes to break up plays in front of his net.

“He’s made improvements this season in his stride mechanics and overall mobility and as a result is more confident standing up opponents in the neutral zone and carrying pucks up ice. He might take some time before he’s ready for OHL competition but he oozes upside with his defensive instincts, toughness, size and mobility.”

Oshawa U16 defenceman Noah Gaudet-Barton was chosen in the second round by Barrie

The next U16 Generals to earn a selection was the team’s top point producer, Layne Gallacher, who went at #73 to Brantford in the fourth round.

“Gallacher is a tall, long wingspan forward with soft hands and natural hockey sense,” noted Neutral Zone Scouting. “He surveys the whole sheet – makes smart reads and can moves pucks to open areas effortlessly and without hesitation.” Gallacher’s long reach also allows him to shield the puck from defenders and catch passes in a wide radius and his scouting report gives him top marks in the three S’s: ‘size, smarts and skill.’

Defenceman Tanner Nettleton was up next from Oshawa, drafted in the fourth round at #79 by Kingston.

“Like Burton, Nettleton is a player who showed great improvement from the beginning of the season to the end. He’s disciplined defensively; sticks in lanes to block passes and shooting options, keeps his head on a swivel to pick up traffic in front and has mature body positioning and gap control to take away the middle of the ice,” said Neutral Zone Scouting. “He uses his reach to his advantage to force opponents to the outside and has deceptive puck carrying ability to skate pucks out of jams in his own end and start a line rush. Versatile prospect with solid upside.”

Smith (the defenceman) went in the sixth round to Sudbury and was described as a “big-bodied, two-way defenseman who can kill penalties, box-out in front of his net but also break pucks out and quarterback the power play.” A heavy shot, a crisp and accurate first pass and “tough to play against” were a few other attributes given to Smith by the scouts.

Oshawa U16 defenceman Brady Smith was chosen in the sixth round by Sudbury

Chase Petrova, the team’s goalie was a “big reason” why Oshawa was able to make it to the OMHA finals this year, according to Neutral Zone.

Petrova, who was taken in the seventh round (#133 overall) by Ottawa, was described as “technically sound, smooth and fluid netminder with a high hockey IQ.” Petrova also has quick reflexes, is flexible enough to extend the pad to make difficult saves and has a “confident glove hand.”

Centreman Logan Bennett – “one of the hardest workers and toughest forwards in this draft class” (13th round, #246 overall to Sarnia); fellow centre Ethan MacLeish (9th round, #176 overall to Guelph); defenceman Teagan Hartnett (12th round, #223 overall to Niagara) and centre Colton Bain (14th round, #280 overall to SS Marie) were also selected from the Oshawa club.

Five Whitby Wildcats were also taken, including Arvin Jaswal (6th round, Barrie), Reggie Taylor (8th round, Guelph), Cody Wood (8th round, London), Rhys Huinink (11th round, Kingston), Max Weatherup (12th round, North Bay) and Jalon Carter (14th round, Kingston).

The Ajax-Pickering Raiders AAA team had one player selected: Colton Ashby (15th round, Owen Sound).

The other Oshawa Generals major junior club selections were led by Brooks Rogowski of Detroit Catholic Central High School, a “big, physical force and an intimidating body” at 6’4” who  collected 43 points in 25 games this season; and Brady Blaseg, a big defencemen and captain of the Ottawa Myers Auto club, who “plays the puck well and owns the ice with his presence.”

The rest of their selections included wingers Anthony Figliomeri in round 4 and Jalen Lobo in round six; defencemen Cooper Otterman in round 7 and Nick Voisey in round 9; winger Jonathan Herrington in round 10; goalie Owen MacLean in round 12; defencemen Zekun Zhang in round 13 and Michael Marelli in round 14; and winger Matthew Spencer in round 15.

Ethan Belchetz, a 6’4”, 233-lb winger with the OHL Cup champion Oakville Rangers (who brings back memories of former Oshawa General and NHL Hall-of-Famer Eric Lindros) was taken at #1 overall in the draft by the Windsor Spitfires.

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