Barrie Colts announce Ryan Suzuki as First Overall Pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection
OHL Priority Selection takes place Saturday April 8, 2017, at 9:00 am at www.ontariohockeyleague.com
For Immediate Release
Friday April 7, 2017
Barrie, ON – The Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League announced that 15-year-old forward Ryan Suzuki of the London Junior Knights will be the first overall pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection.
The announcement was made at a news conference held today in Barrie where Suzuki was introduced to media.
“The opportunity to have the first selection in the OHL Priority Selection is exciting for us,” Colts GM Jason Ford said. “When you have the ability to add a player of the caliber of Ryan, that makes a big difference to the team going forward. Hats off to our scouting staff. It’s always a big job to make sure you’ve seen as many players as possible and with a deep draft this year, it was lots of work. We’re very happy that Ryan chose the OHL and thrilled that he will be a Barrie Colt”, added Ford.
“I really like the kind of player Ryan is. He leads by example and it’s great to have a player like that coming onto the team. He sees the ice exceptionally well, has skill, can score, but he’s also is a playmaker. I think he’ll be a key asset for us and make a big impact. And we really like him off the ice too. His brother is obviously doing very well in this league and I’m excited to start working with Ryan”, said Colts Head Coach Dale Hawerchuk.
Suzuki, a 6.0’, 165 lb left shot centre, finished the 2016-17 Minor Midget season with 59 points in 32 games. He just helped the London Nationals win the GOJHL Western Conference Championship after leading his London Junior Knights to their 7th consecutive Alliance League Championship.
“I am extremely excited and honoured to be chosen first overall in this year’s OHL Priority Selection,” Suzuki said. “It’s an amazing feeling. I want to thank the Barrie Colts ownership, management team and scouting staff for having confidence in me. I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and being part of a championship team here in Barrie. And it will be fun playing against my brother and the Attack this year”, he added.
Suzuki is the 2017 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. Suzuki is the third member of the Colts to receive the award following Aaron Ekblad in 2011 and Daniel Tkaczuk in 1995.
Suzuki will be a feature guest on the live 2017 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday April 8, 2017. The draft show along with live results feed will be available at www.ontariohockeyleague.com. For the tenth 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
For more information, contact Andrew Cunningham: