Recap of the 2023 OHL Priority Selection

Apr 24, 2023 | World Hockey Hub

Top picks Ryan Roobroeck, Matthew Schaefer, Brady Martin and Tyler Hopkins pose for pictures at the 2023 OHL Priority Selection.
Photo from

Top prospects, leading scorers, tournament MVPs, set sights on junior hockey next fall

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) conducted its annual 2023 Priority Selection, consisting of 2007-born youth hockey prospects. Players eligible to be selected must be from the province of Ontario. Or, American-born players from as far north as Michigan and Wisconsin, as far east as New York, and as far west as Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. In total, 300 players would be selected from 79 different youth hockey organizations. 

Projected to go first overall, Matthew Schaefer did in fact go to the Erie Otters with the top pick. He was the first of 12 Halton Hurricanes to be selected over the weekend. The top teams represented in the OHL Priority Selection coincidentally correlated to the top five teams ranked in the country. What’s that mean? The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Canada — Toronto Marlboros and Toronto Jr. Canadiens — also produced 15 draft picks per team. The No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 ranked teams followed in order as well. Peterborough Petes had 13 players called, while Halton had a dozen. Then, York-Simcoe Express rounded it out with 11 players selected.

Just weeks after winning the U16 OHL Cup and being named tournament MVP, Jake O’Brien went eighth overall to Brantford. His JRC teammates Luca Romano and Nico Addy went in the first round as well.

A Marlboros player didn’t come off the OHL Priority Selection board until the 15th pick, when Jeremy Martin went to the Flint Firebirds. It’s the first time since 2008 that a player from the Marbloros wasn’t selected in the top ten picks. Despite the delay, however, 14 other players including William Moore, Kieran Witkowski and Luke Dragusica would go in the 11 rounds. 

With two first-round picks, Niagara doubled down on centers, taking highly-touted prospect Ryan Roobroeck at No. 2 and Mississauga Rebels’ Ethan Czata with the No. 5 pick. As the second overall pick, Roobroeck becomes the highest London Jr. Knights player to be selected since Ryan Suzuki went first overall in 2017. 

Forty-eight players were selected from U.S.-based organizations. None produced more than Little Caesars, with nine selections. They’ve been the No. 1-ranked ’07 team in the world for much of the ‘22-23 season. Three of its players made the U.S. National Team Development Program’s (USNTDP) U-17 team for next fall. That didn’t stop the Saginaw Spirit from selecting a pair of Caesars players in Charlie Tretheway (96th overall) and Will Horcoff (98th overall). In total, seven players selected to the NTDP would also be selected in the OHL Priority Selection over the weekend.

Want more coverage of junior hockey drafts this off-season? Be sure to follow WHH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Discord and YouTube


Recent News

Follow Us

More Headlines

Opening ceremonies at the 2023 World Youth Championships in Prague.
‘11 forward leads tournament in points, goals heading into playoff round
Prospects GTA from the 2022 Ontario All-Star Showcase
More than 300 players from Ontario and USA set to participate in 20-team event
The 2023 World Youth Championships are set to take place in Prague.
Players from ‘09,’10,’11 birth years set to compete at annual tournament