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Good Foresight, In Hindsight? 2005 OHL Draft – Where Are They Now?

 Some rights reserved by Saginaw Future via Flickrr CC

Some rights reserved by Saginaw Future via Flickrr CC

What Does Getting Drafted In the First Round ReallyMean?

When a player gets selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, chances are high he will spend some time in the big league. Their hockey skill and ability to handle the gruelling strain of a long season and the media attention that comes along with it are well documented by this time. NHL GM’s and scouts have a good idea of what they’re getting.

When a 15 or 16 year gets drafted by an Ontario Hockey League club, it’s a bit of a different story. Physical growth could come to a complete halt. The pressure of leaving home could prove too great. The love of the game might prove to have belonged to the parents and not the player. The product is certainly no guarantee.

Or is it? Let’s take a look at the first round of the 2005 OHL Priority Selection. These 20 players were all born in 1989, with exception of John Tavares who came into this world in September of 1990. This means they’re all roughly 24 and if they were going to blossom into NHL regulars, they’d have done it by now.

Breakdown By The Numbers

Of the 20 players drafted in the first round in 2005, 18 played in the OHL and two chose the NCAA route. All went the distance in their junior/college stage. 14 of the 20 went on to be drafted by an NHL club. Of the 14, six (John Tavares, Drew Doughty, Brendan Smith, Nick Petrecki, Logan Couture, Josh Bailey) went in the first round. Of course, Tavares was a first overall pick and Doughty a second overall. The two that went the NCAA route were both included in that group of six with Brendan Smith going 27th and Nick Petrecki going 28th.

However, the odds get a little longer when it comes to actually playing in the NHL. Just eight of the 20 have played at least one regular season game in the NHL. Just four have played over 100 games to date. John Tavares, Drew Doughty, Logan Couture and Josh Bailey are the only four that became regulars in the NHL and are now on the verge of being coined as ‘veterans’.

But, the NHL is not the only professional hockey league in the world where a player can make a decent living. 17 of the original 20 are playing pro somewhere in the world for the 2012-13 season. One player, Zach Harnden, is still taking advantage of the CHL scholarship program and is playing for the University of Western Ontario Mustangs in the OUA.

That leaves just two players from the first round of the 2005 OHL Draft (Priority Selection) that have left the game. Matt Smyth was the 14th overall pick by the Brampton Battalion. After playing for the Battalion, Sarnia Sting and Barrie Colts, Smyth last played pro in the SPHL for the Fayetteville FireAntz in 2010-11. Jordan Skellett was the 17th overall pick by the London Knights. Skellett played a full five year career in the OHL with the Mississauga IceDogs, Erie Otters and Saginaw Spirit, topping out with an 88 point season with Saginaw in 2009-10. Jordan played one year with Dalhousie University in 2010-11 before hanging them up.

Where Are The Top 2005 OHL Draft Picks Now?

 

Pos.

OHL Club

Name

Current Team

League

1

Oshawa Generals

John Tavares

New York Islanders

NHL

2

Sarnia Sting

Marc Katic

Eisbaren Berlin

DEL

3

Saginaw Spirit

Zack Torquato

Wheeling Nailers

ECHL

4

Kingston Frontenacs

Luke Pither

Adirondack Phantoms

AHL

5

Guelph Storm

Drew Doughty

Los Angeles Kings

NHL

6

Windsor Spitfires

Akim Aliu

Abbotsford Heat

AHL

7

St. Michael’s Majors

Brendan Smith

Grand Rapids Griffins

AHL

8

Belleville Bulls

Bryan Cameron

Utah Grizzlies

ECHL

9

Plymouth Whalers

Nick Petrecki

Worcester Sharks

AHL

10

Erie Otters

Anthony Peluso

Peoria Rivermen

AHL

11

S.S. Marie Greyhounds

Jacob Muzzin

Manchester Monarchs

AHL

12

Ottawa 67’s

Logan Couture

San Jose Sharks

NHL

13

Sudbury Wolves

Brett Parnham

Sary-Arka Karaganda

VHL

14

Brampton Battalion

Matt Smyth

15

Barrie Colts

Blake Parlett

Connecticut Whale

AHL

16

Peterborough Petes

Zach Harnden

UWO Mustangs

OUA

17

Mississauga IceDogs

Jordan Skellett

18

Kitchener Rangers

Michael Pelech

Cincinnati Cylcones

ECHL

19

Owen Sound Attack

Joshua Bailey

New York Islanders

NHL

20

London Knights

Cory Syvret

Alaska Aces

ECHL

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Tom is an avid OHL fan and runs OHL Alumni Central dedicated to keeping tabs on where former OHL players are currently playing. Its a great resource for current recruits considering their options after juniors. OHL Alumni Central tracks players across North America, Europe Australia and even Asia.

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