OMHA'S BELCHETZ SELECTED FIRST OVERALL IN OHL DRAFT, News (OMHA AAA League)

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Apr 12, 2024 | Ontario Minor Hockey Association | 238 views
OMHA'S BELCHETZ SELECTED FIRST OVERALL IN OHL DRAFT
Oakville Rangers forward Ethan Belchetz is the recipient of the Ontario Hockey League's Jack Ferguson Award as the first overall draft pick by the Windsor Spitfires in the 2024 OHL Draft.

Belchetz marks the second year in a row an OMHA player has been selected first overall, following Matthew Schaefer last year and joining Quinton Byfield in 2018 as recent top selections.

“The Windsor Spitfires organization is outstanding,” said Belchetz of the big occasion. “They’ve treated my family and I with the utmost respect and I’m really looking forward to wearing the jersey and playing for the great fans at the WFCU Centre.”

Belchetz becomes the first Spitfires player to win the Jack Ferguson Award, an honour first bestowed upon the player chosen with the First Overall Pick of the OHL Priority Selection in 1981.

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“It’s a very prestigious award and so many of the players that have come before me have gone on to accomplish a tremendous amount in their careers,” added Belchetz. “It provides a lot of motivation to work hard every day towards achieving that kind of success.”

“Ethan is a physical presence with a great combination of skill and hockey IQ,” said Spitfires General Manager Bill Bowler. “He is a character kid with leadership qualities and will have an immediate impact in our league. “It’s a great opportunity in this position for our franchise,” continued Bowler. “It’s an honour and privilege to be making this selection on behalf of the Windsor Spitfires and the Ontario Hockey League.”

A 6-foot-5, 234Ib. left-wing from Oakville, Ont., Belchetz was a driving force behind the OHL Cup champion Oakville Rangers, being named MVP of the annual showcase after collecting 11 points (5-6—11) over seven games. He was also recognized as OMHA West U16 AAA Player of the Year after leading the entire OMHA with 46 goals and 84 points in just 34 games, guiding his team to a 31-1 regular season record. He’d go on to add 16 points (9-7—16) in eight playoff games.

“Ethan is a big power forward, at times it seems like he is a man playing amongst boys,” said Darrell Woodley, Director of OHL Central Scouting. “He is an intimidating force whenever he is on the ice. He is very competitive, takes the body every chance he gets and likes the physical side of the game which is rare these days. He is a good skater that has a powerful stride and is hard to contain when he gets moving. He has a good skill-set and does a good job of protecting the puck down low, which makes him almost impossible to handle. He has a good shot that he has used to score many goals from within 15 feet of the net. He is a player that understands his strengths and uses them to his full advantage. Ethan’s game has improved immensely since the beginning of the season and he has a very high ceiling.”


With files from the Ontario Hockey League