2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore takes place on Saturday April 7, 2018, at 9:00 am at www.ontariohockeyleague.com
Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Sudbury Wolves Hockey Club today announced that 15-year-old forward Quinton Byfield of the OMHA champion York Simcoe Express will be the first overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore.
The announcement was made at a news conference held today in Sudbury where Byfield was introduced to local media.
“I am thrilled to be selected first overall and honoured to be the recipient of the Jack Ferguson award,” said Byfield, a native of Newmarket, Ont. “I have to thank my family for all of their support in getting me to this position today. I would also like to thank all my past coaches and my teammates for all the help they have given me. Finally, I would like to thank the Sudbury Wolves for the honour of selecting me with the first pick of this year’s OHL Draft. I’m very excited to join the Wolves and can’t wait to get started.”
The Wolves are pleased to confirm that Byfield has committed to join the Wolves and the OHL to develop in pursuit of his dream of playing in the NHL. He will join the other 2018 Wolves Priority Selection picks as well as 2017 selections including standout rookies Blake Murray, Anthony Tabak, and Liam Ross at the Wolves Orientation Camp April 14-15 at Sudbury Arena.
“We are very excited to have Quinton join the Sudbury Wolves,” said VP of Hockey Operations and GM, Rob Papineau. “He is an exceptional player with a great future and his potential is amazing and our coaching staff is eager to work with him. Our scouting staff has been unanimous on Quinton as the best player in the draft all season and we know that the fans and the people of Greater Sudbury are going to love the opportunity to watch such a special player in a Wolves uniform.”
Byfield earned OMHA ETA Minor Midget Player of the Year honours with a league-high 92 points in 34 games scoring 48 goals and 44 assists captaining the Express to gold at the OMHA championship. He also added four goals and three assists for seven points in six games at the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour helping York-Simcoe reach the tournament’s Semi-Finals. His regular season points-per-game mark in the OMHA ranks third all-time behind current NHL stars Steven Stamkos and Taylor Hall. A left shot centre that is 6’4” tall and 202 lbs, Byfield was born August 19, 2002, making him eligible for the NHL Draft in 2020.
“As the Owner and Governor of the Wolves, I am so proud to see that the program we are developing has players that want to play and develop here in the north,” said Dario Zulich. “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. This is happening with the continued development and support our players are receiving. I am confident that our community will share the excitement the team is working so hard at achieving. Quinton represents a significant step forward.”
Byfield is the 2018 recipient of the Jack Ferguson Award presented annually to the player selected first overall in the OHL Priority Selection. The “Fergie” recognizes the dedication and contributions made by Jack Ferguson during his 25 year association with the OHL, first as a scout with the Ottawa 67’s and followed by his appointment as head of the OHL’s Central Scouting Bureau in 1981 as its Director of Central Scouting. Byfield is the fifth member of the Wolves to receive the award following Dave Moylan in 1984, John Uniac in 1987, John McFarland in 2008, and David Levin in 2015.
“Quinton is the type of player that doesn’t come around very often,” said OHL Director of Central Scouting, Darrell Woodley. “At nearly 6’4” and over 200lbs, he is an intimidating presence on the ice with an exceptionally high skill level and can do things with a puck that not many players his age or size can do. He has a cannon for a shot and is very creative with the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to try and beat any defender. He is very hard to handle in open ice as he is agile on his skates and uses his edges effectively.”
Byfield will be a feature guest on the live 2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show presented by Real Canadian Superstore beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday April 7, 2018. The draft show along with live results feed will be available at www.ontariohockeyleague.com.
For the eleventh straight year, media and fans can watch the first three rounds live online with host Terry Doyle who will be joined on set by Darrell Woodley and Tim Cherry of OHL Central Scouting to provide analysis, interviews, and video footage of the next wave of OHL stars.
Former winners of the Jack Ferguson Award Include:
1981 Dan Quinn, Belleville Bulls
1982 Kirk Muller, Guelph Platers
1983 Trevor Stienburg, Guelph Platers
1984 Dave Moylan, Sudbury Wolves
1985 Bryan Fogarty, Kingston Canadians
1986 Troy Mallette, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
1987 John Uniac, Sudbury Wolves
1988 Drake Berehowsky, Kingston Raiders
1989 Eric Lindros, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
1990 Pat Peake, Detroit Ambassadors
1991 Todd Harvey, Detroit Ambassadors
1992 Jeff O’Neill, Guelph Storm
1993 Alyn McCauley, Ottawa 67’s
1994 Jeff Brown, Sarnia Sting
1995 Daniel Tkaczuk, Barrie Colts
1996 Rico Fata, London Knights
1997 Charlie Stephens, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors
1998 Jay Harrison, Brampton Battalion
1999 Jason Spezza, Mississauga IceDogs
2000 Patrick Jarrett, Mississauga IceDogs
2001 Patrick O’Sullivan,Mississauga IceDogs
2002 Robbie Schremp, Mississauga IceDogs
2003 Patrick McNeill, Saginaw Spirit
2004 John Hughes, Belleville Bulls
2005 John Tavares, Oshawa Generals
2006 Steven Stamkos, Sarnia Sting
2007 Ryan O’Reilly, Erie Otters
2008 John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves
2009 Daniel Catenacci, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
2010 Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia Sting
2011 Aaron Ekblad, Barrie Colts
2012 Connor McDavid, Erie Otters
2013 Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s
2014 Jakob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting
2015 David Levin, Sudbury Wolves
2016 Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm
2017 Ryan Suzuki, Barrie Colts
2018 Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves