Burlington forward from Mississauga championship team goes #2 in OHL draft


Published April 29, 2022 at 7:50 pm

Malcolm Spence was chosen No. 2 overall by the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League priority selection draft. (CHL Images)

Burlington pro hockey prospect Malcolm Spence has put himself in company with big names such as Connor McDavid, Jamie Drysdale and Ryan Strome before even playing an Ontario Hockey League game.

Spence was chosen No. 2 overall by the Erie Otters in the OHL priority selection draft on Friday. The Saginaw Spirit had previously introduced his Mississauga Senators under-16 teammate Michael Misa, of Oakville, as the No. 1 overall choice, which means Halton Region and the Senators U16 team have claim on the top two selections.

The pair helped Mississauga win the OHL Cup earlier this month. Spence, a left-shot forward who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 179 pounds, was also named Greater Toronto Hockey League player of the year. McDavid, Drysdale and Strome also earned that same award before committing to Erie to further develop for the NHL.

“The number of where I’m being drafted doesn’t really matter to me — it was about getting to the right place,” Spence said in a statement provided by the Otters. “For Erie to be where they were (in the draft), it was a no-brainer for me and my family. It’s such a historic organization with all the success it’s had, and I’m just hoping that I can contribute to it and have more success … It’s a dream come true.”

Spence was considered the top 2006-born talent in the OHL’s draft pool. He averaged two points per game for Mississauga in the GTHL season, and had 13 points during the OHL Cup tournament triumph. Misa set an OHL Cup record with 19.

“Malcolm is the most dynamic player in this draft,” Otters co-director of scouting Mike Battah said. “His ability to analyze and make plays at top speed make him a threat to score every time he’s on the ice. He plays the game with a tremendous amount of detail and passion, complimented by an outstanding work ethic.”

Like Toronto Maple Leafs centres Auston Matthews and John Tavares, Spencer has a late-September birthday. His NHL draft year will be in three seasons, in 2024-25. The cutoff to enter the draft is Sept. 15.

For the first time, the OHL determined the draft order with a lottery among the four non-playoff teams instead using the regular-season standings. Spence with be joining an Erie team that actually missed the Western Conference playoffs by just one point, finishing with 58 from 27 wins and fou extra-time defeats.

The Otters also have an interconference rivalry with the Niagara IceDogs, which creates a few more opportunities a year for a player from Halton to play close to home.

Steelheads go for goals

At No. 13 overall, the Mississauga Steelheads chose centre Lucas Karmiris. Karmiris spent his under-16 season with the Brantford 99ers, scoring 44 goals and 84 points across 34 games.

Centre from Caledon follows brother’s route to K-town

Three Senators were chosen in the first round on Friday, and a fourth went early in the second round.

Centre Gabriel Frasca, a 6-foot, 162-pound Caledon native, was chosen No. 17 overall by the Kingston Frontenacs. Frasca will be joining the team where his brother Jordan Frasca is currently an overage forward who was recently signed by the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

Centre Bode Stewart, an Oakville native like Misa, was also chosen by Saginaw with the No. 24 choice.

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