Toronto, Ont. – A total of six OHL players were selected in Friday’s first round of the 2021 NHL Draft that was held virtually online and aired across the globe.
The six OHL players were among the 15 CHL players chosen in the draft’s opening round.
Peterborough Petes centreman Mason McTavish led the way for the OHL, being selected third overall by the Anaheim Ducks. The 18-year-old from Carp, Ont. is the highest-drafted Petes player since Nick Ritchie was selected by the Ducks with the 10th overall pick in 2014. McTavish joins a Ducks franchise currently coached by Petes alumnus Dallas Eakins (1984-88) and is the highest-drafted OHL player by the Ducks franchise since Owen Sound’s Bobby Ryan went second overall in 2005.
“We talked two or three times and to be honest I didn’t really know where I was going to end up,” said McTavish. “I’m super fortunate that they took me and I’m really looking forward to the future.”
Offensively gifted Barrie Colts blueliner Brandt Clarke followed McTavish on the journey to Southern California, being selected by the Los Angeles Kings at eighth overall. Joined by older brother and New Jersey Devils prospect Graeme, Brandt was overwhelmed with excitement upon hearing his name called by the Kings.
“I have a really good support system, a lot of people there supporting me and it was amazing,” Clarke described. “It was just raw emotion. I was just really excited and it’s the best day of my life.”
Clarke, who posted 38 points (6-32–38) in 57 games with the Colts as a rookie in 2019-20, becomes the fourth Barrie player in the past decade to be chosen in the top-10 selections at the NHL Draft, joining Andrei Svechnikov (2nd overall, 2018), Aaron Ekblad (1st overall, 2014) and Mark Scheifele (7th overall, 2011).
Fellow 2019 OHL Cup champion and past Don Mills Flyers teammate Brennan Othmann followed Clarke at 16th overall, being selected by the New York Rangers. Othmann, who set Flint Firebirds rookie records with 17 goals and 33 points in 2019-20, expressed excitement about his new destination.
“I think I fit in great. Kakko and Lafreniere – they’re two studs, two great players,” he said. “I think if I’m able to play with those guys, those guys are playmakers and if I’m able to find the right spots on the ice, I think they’d feed me and I’d put the puck in the back of the net all the time.”
Othmann becomes the second Firebirds player to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, following former captain and Dallas Stars prospect Ty Dellandrea (13th overall, 2018).
Dallas added dependable two-way Windsor Spitfires centreman Wyatt Johnston with the 23rd overall selection, giving the Stars first round picks out of the OHL in three of the past four years. Johnston recorded 30 points (12-18–30) as a Spits rookie in 2019-20 and played a key role on Canada’s gold medal-winning National Under-18 team this past spring.
“Jamie Benn called me and that was an amazing moment,” Johnston described. “I was pretty star-struck just hearing him on the other side of the phone. That was a special experience.”
The New Jersey Devils nabbed a competitor with the 29th overall selection, taking third generation OHL talent Chase Stillman of the Sudbury Wolves. The son of two-time Stanley Cup champion Cory Stillman and younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Riley Stillman, Chase put up 13 goals and 34 points as a Wolves rookie in 2019-20. Following second overall pick Quinton Byfield (Los Angeles) in 2020, Stillman’s selection gives the Sudbury franchise first rounders in back-to-back years for the first time since 2005 & 2006.
“It was a remarkable moment, it’s a huge relief and I’m beyond excited,” said Stillman. “I talked to multiple people in the organization and I had a good feeling. New Jersey is a great organization that has done very well. To throw on a Devils jersey will be an awesome experience.”
The Montreal Canadiens rounded-out OHL selections in the first round by picking London Knights blueliner Logan Mailloux at 31st overall.
The 2021 NHL Draft resumes with Rounds 2-7 on Saturday, beginning at 11:00am ET.
OHL Players Selected in the First Round of the 2021 NHL Draft:
Click on player name below to watch pick announcement and media availability
3. Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes) – Anaheim Ducks
8. Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts) – Los Angeles Kings
16. Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds) – New York Rangers
23. Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires) – Dallas Stars
29. Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves) – New Jersey Devils
31. Logan Mailloux (London Knights) – Montreal Canadiens
For more information on the 2021 NHL Draft including full results visit nhl.com.
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.