Colts announce Ryan Suzuki as First Overall Pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection


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

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  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:


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