New Jersey Devils, Ontario Hockey League, Steven Stamkos, Sudbury Wolves, Tampa Bay Lightning, Taylor Hall
Congratulations to Quinton Byfield for being the first overall pick Saturday in the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection draft.
The 15-year-old center from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, was chosen by the Sudbury Wolves after he put up monster numbers for the York Simco Express, a minor midget AAA team, in the 2017-18 season: 48 goals and 44 assists in 34 games.
Byfield will enter the OHL sporting gaudy minor midget numbers. He averaged 2.71 points per game, third-best in the Eastern AAA Minor Midget Hockey League’s recent history.
Only forwards Steven Stamkos (2.98) of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Taylor Hall (2.88) of the New Jersey Devils had better marks in their minor midget careers.
“He is an exceptional player with a great future and his potential is amazing and our coaching staff is eager to work with him,” Rob Papineau, the Wolves’ vice president of hockey operations and general manager said of the 6-foot-4, 203-pound Byfield. “Our scouting staff has been unanimous on Quinton as the best player in the draft all season and we know that the fans and people of Greater Sudbury are going to love the opportunity to watch such a special player in a Wolves uniform.”
The #Wolves are proud to announce that we will be selecting Quinton Byfield 1st overall in the 2018 #OHL Priority Selection presented by @RealCdnSS tomorrow at 9am! –> Read More: https://t.co/9Ciehy90eK #OHLDraft pic.twitter.com/DF9Gip8dUE
— Sudbury Wolves (@Sudbury_Wolves) April 6, 2018
Byfield said he’s ready to go out and prove that the Wolves made the right choice.
“I’ll do good with the pressure,” Byfield told reporters. “It will always be making me want to step up my game, face new challenges and I think it will be great for me.”
Saturday’s draft was merely a formality for Byfield. He knew that he’d be Sudbury’s pick and addressed the media about it on Friday.
“It feels really great, especially coming to Sudbury, it’s a great organization, great staff and everything, I feel like it will be a great fit for me playing with all the great players they have here,” he told reporters Friday.
The Wolves are a major junior team in the OHL, a 20-team league where young players showcase their talents in hopes of being drafted by a National Hockey League team once they turn 18 or older.
“We put in place a goal to be a Memorial Cup contender with our mission being to develop 15-year-old boys into professional gentlemen of character when they leave our program,” Wolves Owner and Governor Dario Zulich said in a statement. “Quinton represents a significant step forward.”
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