Toronto, Ont. – Twenty-two players from across 15 different organizations were chosen in the first round of the 2023 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore on Friday, April 21.
The Erie Otters kicked-off the proceedings with the selection of Halton Hurricanes defenceman Matthew Schaefer, making him the first OMHA player selected first overall since Quinton Byfield, who was taken by the Sudbury Wolves in 2018. Hurricanes teammate Tyler Hopkins would hear his name called three picks later, being selected fourth overall by the Kingston Frontenacs.
Forwards in London Jr. Knights 50-goal scorer Ryan Roobroeck (2nd overall, Niagara) and Waterloo Wolves captain Brady Martin (3rd overall, Sault Ste. Marie) gave the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario (ALLIANCE) two players chosen inside the first three picks for the first time since 2008.
The Mississauga Steelheads claimed the first goaltender in this year’s Priority Selection, with Mississauga Senators netminder Jack Ivankovic going seventh overall. He becomes the highest goaltender selected since the Sarnia Sting took Ben Gaudreau seventh overall in 2019.
Two OHL teams, the Niagara IceDogs and Kitchener Rangers, made two first round selections. The IceDogs followed-up the selection of Roobroeck by picking forward Ethan Czata of the Mississauga Rebels at fifth overall. The Rangers picked back-to-back at 10th and 11th overall, taking defenceman Cameron Reid from the Bishop Kearney Selects and Luca Romano of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in those slots.
The first round consisted of 10 players chosen from the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), five players selected from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), four players selected from the ALLIANCE, one from Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO) and a pair from U.S.-based programs.
The OHL Cup champion Toronto Jr. Canadiens led the way with three players selected in the opening round, with OHL Cup MVP Jake O’Brien hearing his name called eighth overall by the Brantford Bulldogs, forward Luca Romano going 11th overall to the Kitchener Rangers and 6-foot-4 winger Nico Addy being selected 12th overall by the Owen Sound Attack.
A total of 10 players chosen in the first round were members of Team Ontario’s gold-medal winning team at the 2023 Canada Games in Charlottetown, PEI this past February including Matthew Schaefer (1st overall, Erie), Ryan Roobroeck (2nd overall, Niagara), Brady Martin (3rd overall, Sault Ste. Marie), Tyler Hopkins (4th overall, Kingston), Jack Ivankovic (7th overall, Mississauga), Nico Addy (12th overall, Owen Sound), Carson Cameron (13th overall, Peterborough), Quinn Beauchesne (14th overall, Guelph), William Moore (18th overall, London) and Jack Nesbitt (20th overall, Windsor).
Of the 22 players selected in the first round, 20 will be eligible for the 2025 NHL Draft. Second overall pick Ryan Roobroeck (Niagara IceDogs) and 17th overall pick Ryan Brown (Sarnia Sting) are late birthdays and won’t be NHL Draft eligible until 2026.
The first round saw 16 forwards, five defencemen and one goaltender chosen by OHL clubs.
2023 OHL Priority Selection – First Round Selections:
Click on player name to watch profile video
1. Erie Otters – Matthew Schaefer (Halton Hurricanes) – 6.01.5, 160Ib., RD
2. Niagara IceDogs – Ryan Roobroeck (London Jr. Knights) – 6.02, 193Ib., C
3. Soo Greyhounds – Brady Martin (Waterloo Wolves) – 5.11.5, 170Ib., C
4. Kingston Frontenacs – Tyler Hopkins (Halton Hurricanes) – 6.00.5, 160Ib., C
5. Niagara IceDogs – Ethan Czata (Mississauga Rebels) – 6.00, 156Ib., C
6. Oshawa Generals – Owen Griffin (York-Simcoe Express) – 5.09.25, 144Ib., C
7. Mississauga Steelheads – Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga Senators) – 5.10.5, 169Ib., G
8. Brantford Bulldogs – Jake O’Brien (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) – 6.00.25, 148Ib., C
9. Sudbury Wolves – Caden Taylor (Mississauga Senators) – 6.02, 171Ib., C
10. Kitchener Rangers – Cameron Reid (Bishop Kearney Selects) – 5.11, 160Ib., LD
11. Kitchener Rangers – Luca Romano (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) – 5.10.5, 162Ib., C
12. Owen Sound Attack – Nico Addy (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) – 6.04.75, 204Ib., RW
13. Peterborough Petes – Carson Cameron (Central Ontario Wolves) – 6.00.25, 171Ib., RD
14. Guelph Storm – Quinn Beauchesne (Nepean Raiders) – 5.10.25, 151Ib., RD
15. Flint Firebirds – Jeremy Martin (Toronto Marlboros) – 6.00.5, 179Ib., LW
16. Saginaw Spirit – Aiden Young (London Jr. Knights) – 5.10, 160Ib., LW
17. Sarnia Sting – Ryan Brown (York-Simcoe Express) – 5.09.5, 151Ib., LW
18. London Knights – William Moore (Toronto Marlboros) – 6.03, 160Ib., C
19. Barrie Colts – Shamar Moses (Don Mills Flyers) – 6.01, 209Ib., RW
20. Windsor Spitfires – Jack Nesbitt (Lambton Jr. Sting) – 6.04, 165Ib., C
21. North Bay Battalion – Carter Kostuch (Vaughan Kings) – 5.10.5, 148Ib., LW
22. Ottawa 67’s – Henry Brzustewicz (North Jersey Avalanche) – 6.00, 201Ib., RD
About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.