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Old 05-02-2009, 08:40 PM
Lois Lois is offline
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Default IceDogs gamble with first pick - Standard website

St. Catharines Standard website
Saturday, May 2, 2009


IceDogs gamble with first pick



Posted 1 hour ago



BILL POTRECZ

Standard Staff

The Niagara IceDogs rolled the dice with their first round pick in the 2009 Ontario Hockey League Priority Draft Saturday.

But natural goal scorers don’t grow on trees, so when the opportunity presented itself to acquire Lucas Lessio, the IceDogs didn’t hesitate for a second.

Niagara selected the 16-year-old winger from the Toronto Marlboros with their first pick (seventh overall), despite the fact he’s had serious interest from the University of Michigan and has not committed to playing in the OHL.

“It’s risk-reward,” Niagara general manager Dave Brown said. “There are some concerns that he has options. There’s a risk for taking him where we took him, but there’s going to be a high reward if and when Lucas pulls the (IceDogs) jersey over his head.

“I believe in our ownership and the city of St. Catharines being what it is and the Niagara Region, and my coaching staff. When he comes here, we’ll embrace him to the point where I don’t think there will be any questions or issues or concerns.”

Lessio did not make the trip to Niagara after he was selected.

“I’m so flattered they selected me,” Lessio said from his home in Toronto. “The people there are so passionate, the whole organization has been great — the coaches, Mr. and Mrs. Burke, everyone — and they’ve got a great atmosphere in their arena.”

Lessio, who was ranked eighth by International Scouting Services, is well aware he’s got a huge decision to make.

“I want to balance the game action I’d get in the OHL versus the off-ice development in the NCAA,” Lessio said. “I want to do my homework.”

Lessio expects to make his decision in the next three to four weeks.

“I’m going to sit down and talk with my family and see what is in our best interests,” he said.

Should Lessio decide to come to Niagara, fans can expect a smooth-skating winger who can put the puck in the net. He had 53 goals and 117 points last season.

“He’s a big time sniper,” Brown said. “He reminds me of Luca Caputi in his 19th year, but I think he’s far advanced as to where Luca was when he came into the league. He’s definitely 100 per cent the best player available with that selection.”

Brown sees Lessio as an immediate impact player.

“We’re going to put him in position to succeed. I’m real excited about the future with him joining our young forwards,” Brown said. “He’s got natural savvy. He goes to the net with his stick on the ice and in the lane all the time. He’s deflected more meaningless pucks toward the middle more than anyone I’ve seen in the draft in six or seven years.

“I don’t want to say he’s a highlight guy, but he’s a real high-end offensive player.”

Just call them the Hamilton IceDogs.

The IceDogs made Dougie Hamilton of the St. Catharines Junior Falcons minor midget AAA their second pick (27th overall) in the second round. Hamilton was ranked 15th by ISS, but his stock fell when he made it clear he would only play with older brother Freddie, Niagara’s first-round pick last year.

“I was pretty happy and pretty excited,” Dougie Hamilton said after hearing the good news. “I’m happy for the opportunity and what I wanted, came true.”

Dougie plans to lean on his big brother for guidance.

“He’s a leader and he leads by example so I’ll just watch what he does,” Dougie said. “I watched what he went through last year so it will be a little easier for me than if I didn’t have a brother there.”

Hamilton, a smooth, offensive defenceman who had 20 goals and 53 points last season, was anything but a token local pick.

“Dougie is going to be a very good OHL’er and I think he’s going to be a pro. He’s going to be a treat for people to watch,” said Frank Girhiny, who coached Hamilton last season with the Junior Falcons.

Hamilton’s teammate, defenceman Joey De Concilys, was selected by Niagara in the fifth round, 87th overall. De Concilys, who also wracked up 67 minutes in penalties and plays with an edge, was fourth on the Junior Falcons in scoring with 14 goals and 71 points in 70 games.

“If guys are skating through the neutral zone with their heads down, they’re going to be picking themselves up off the ice,” Brown said. “I’m shocked he was still there in the fifth round. He’s a hard-nosed kid who’s going to be forced to answer the bell here.

“In our league, he’ll flourish.”

De Concilys seemed in awe as he arrived at Jack Gatecliff Arena to meet his new team.

“It’s exciting,”he said. “I heard they were interested but nothing was set.

“It’s nice to be here.”

With their third round pick, the IceDogs selected, 5-foot-11, 155-pound forward Andrew Fritsch from Brantford. Fritsch scored 33 goals and 71 points in 59 games for the midget ’99ers.

Niagara picked up goaltender John Chartrand from the Barrie Colts minor midgets with their pick in the fourth round. Chartrand is expected to challenge for a back-up spot behind Mark Visentin, who goes into camp as the No. 1 netminder.

The IceDogs had three picks in the sixth round and selected big defenceman Kevin Bremner (6-3, 210) from Northfield Mount Hermon, winger Phillip Di Giuseppe from Vaughan, who had 16 goals and 33 points in 41 games, and winger William Lovatsis from the Mississauga Senators. Lovatsis is listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds and picked up 37 points and 104 penalty minutes.

Niagara, which did not have a pick in the seventh round, took forward Mitchell Theoret of Kitchener (49-20-22-42) in the eighth round followed by forward Riley Bourbonnais of Rochester (52-24-33-57) in round nine.

Matt Cassale of Hamilton (63-28-39-77) was Niagara’s pick in the 10th round.

Defenceman Mackenzie Braid of Mississauga (48-6-12-18) was Niagara pick in the 11th round. Forward Cole Bardreau of Rochester was chosen in the 12th round, followed by rearguard Victor Piszczek of Brampton (51-10-17-27) in the 14th round. Niagara’s final pick was was defenceman Christian Weidauer (31-2-9-11) of the South Central Coyotes.

Niagara also signed free agent defenceman Matt Petgrave, 17, from the Toronto Titans midget AAA. Petgrave is 6-feet, 175 pounds and is listed as a highly skilled player who skates well.

Aaron Taylor became the first locally-born played selected when he was picked by the Ottawa 67’s in the second round (31st) overall. Taylor led the St. Catharines Junior Falcons minor midget AAA team in scoring with 48 goals and 49 assists for 97 points in 69 games.

“I was super-shocked to go that high,”Taylor said. “Ottawa is a real good team and a nice city.”

Taylor feels if he works out hard over the summer he might be able to crack the lineup.

“He’s a real good competitor with speed and size,” Girhiny said. “He has an NHL shot. He has a lot of tools to make him a good OHL player and he’s probably one of the most fit players I know.

“I can see him playing for the 67’s next year.”

Matt MacLeod from Niagara Falls was the next Niagara-based player to go when he was selected in the third round (52nd overall) by the Brampton Battalion. MacLeod is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound winger who played midget in his hometown last season and also got into a game with the junior B Canucks.

“It was a bit of a relief,” MacLeod said of his selection. “It was a bit tough sitting there for the first three rounds.”

MacLeod, a who attends St. Paul High School, has high hopes he can crack Brampton’s lineup next season.

“I’m definitely looking at making it next year,” said MacLeod, who describes himself as a power forward and all around player.

Goaltender Jamie Phillips of the St. Catharines Junior Falcons was selected in the fourth round (72nd overall) by the Sarnia Sting.

Phillips compiled a 29-8-3 record, 1.53 goals against average and 10 shutouts for the Junior Falcons.

“It was a big relief to go,” Phillips said. “Our team had a good year so I was hoping to go somewhere in the 15 rounds. When I saw my name, I jumped up and hugged my dad. It was a really proud moment.”

Greg Jambrosich of the Junior Falcons went to Sudbury in the sixth round. The 6-foot, 155-pound forward had 17 goals and 53 points in 17 games.

Defenceman Pat Koudys, who played for the Welland Junior Canadians last season, was selected in the seventh round by Oshawa.

Rearguard Eric Diodati, who hails from Niagara Falls, went to the St. Michael’s Majors in round seven, one pick ahead of Matt Moes of the Junior Falcons, who was selected by the Belleville Bulls.

Tommy Barszcz of the Junior Falcons went to the London Knights in the ninth round while teammate Kyle Woodhouse was selected in Round 10 by the Kitchener Rangers.

Defenceman Jimmy Sheehan of the Junior Falcons was Sudbury’s 12th round pick. Centre Brett Foy of Niagara Falls went later in the 12th round to Mississauga.

The London Knights took winger Jordan Bolibruck of the Welland Tigers in the 15th round. Nik Passero, son of Fort Erie Meteors coach/general manager Tony Passsero, was the final local player selected. Passero was chosen by the Guelph Storm with the 19th pick of the 15th round.

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=1551316


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Old 05-02-2009, 11:18 PM
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ahh i hope he joins the dogs
I searched for him on facebook just for fun and his profile pic is an icedog logo vs. University of Michigan (go blue!) logo with a question mark.
Huge decision for the kid. Hope he does what is right for himself.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:37 PM
brendan_435 brendan_435 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passionforhockey View Post
ahh i hope he joins the dogs
I searched for him on facebook just for fun and his profile pic is an icedog logo vs. University of Michigan (go blue!) logo with a question mark.
Huge decision for the kid. Hope he does what is right for himself.
Yeah i'm actually chatting with him on facebook. seems like a really decent kid. would love to see him in a dogs jersey in the fall
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:45 PM
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2 facebook creepers above lol
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:23 AM
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Do the Dogs get a compensatory pick if he doesn't sign and goes the NCAA route?
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by B-Rad View Post
Do the Dogs get a compensatory pick if he doesn't sign and goes the NCAA route?

I don't believe they do.

This is a huge risk taken by the Dogs, I hope it pans out....there last two first round picks have contributed right away....would hate to see that trend not continue.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:11 PM
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Actually it looks like the IceDogs do get compensatory pick if he doesn't report.



Teams will receive compensatory picks if a player
doesn't report and they elect to trade him or put him
back into the following draft. A window has also been
opened for teams to trade the player prior to Sept. 1.
Previously, players taken in the first round could only
be traded between Jan. 1-10.

The rule also addresses situations like last year when
Matt Duchene, who may have been the first pick
overall, told teams he wouldn't report because he was
heading to Michigan State University. Brampton
drafted him fifth overall and he ended up playing
with Brampton. It was the second-straight year
Brampton signed a player who told the other 19
teams he wouldn't report. That player, Cody
Hodgson, and Duchene are both from Haliburton
and shared the same agent.

Now a team can take a player in that situation, trade
him and get compensation, said Peterborough Petes'
GM Jeff Twohey.

The rule is complicated.

First, if a team trades its first-round pick, it can only
receive draft picks from the other team in return.
If he was among the top four players chosen in the
draft, the team can trade him prior to Sept. 1 and as
compensation receive the fifth-overall pick the
following year, plus a bonus pick at the end of the
second round.

If that team waits until January to trade the player,
they will not get the second-round pick.

If the player was selected later in the first round,
between fifth and 20th overall, the team can trade
him before Sept. 1 and receive a compensatory pick
one spot later than where they selected him.

For example, if the team had the fifth-overall pick,
they will get the sixth-overall choice the next year in
addition to their regular first-round selection. If they
wait until January to trade the player their
compensation pick drops to the second round.

If a team elects not to trade the player, they can still
receive compensation, but the player is reentered into
the following the draft. If a team elects to hold onto
the player, there is no compensation.

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Old 05-04-2009, 07:14 PM
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after reading the explanation with regards to compensatory picks, it would seem to be a no-brainer to just go ahead and take the best player available.
with that knowledge being known, i wonder why teams didn't jump on the top d-man, scott harrington, early in the first. he was projected to go 2nd overall but because he stated he plans on going the ncaa route, he fell right into london's lap.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:14 PM
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Well after reading that I feel better about the situation
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