Good morning Maple Leafs fans!
It was a big day for the OHL community, with the host of the 2024 Memorial Cup being announced and the 2023 draft lottery was held as well.
First, the Saginaw Spirit will host the 2024 Memorial Cup. They beat out the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Niagara IceDogs, and Kingston Frontenacs for the right to host the national junior hockey championship.
They had two things going for them that the others were missing: They made the playoffs this year, and they have exceptional player and potential 2024 first overall pick Michael Misa playing for them.
The chance to have eyeballs on Misa in his NHL draft year may have been too much for the Canadian Hockey League and broadcaster TSN to pass up. He's not Conor Bedard but he'll have all eyes on him come September, after Bedard is drafted this year.
Saginaw to host 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Kia - Saginaw Spirit
Congratulations to the Saginaw Spirit, the first American team to host the Memorial Cup since the Western Hockey League Spokane Chiefs had it in 1998.
After losing out on the Memorial Cup, those three teams had their eyes on the OHL Draft Lottery.
The Niagara IceDogs were dead last in the league for the second straight year, so they had the best shot at first over all (40%). Then the Erie Otters (30%), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (20%), and Kingston Frontenacs (10%) followed up.
Just like last year, the IceDogs lost the lottery to the second worst team (Saginaw Spirit) and the Erie Otters have the first overall pick in this year's draft.
ERIE OTTERS AWARDED FIRST OVERALL PICK IN 2023 PRIORITY SELECTION
Five to Watch for the 2023 OHL Priority Selection
It's not all terrible news for Niagara. They have the second overall pick and fifth overall pick this year. They have the fifth pick as compensation for their 2022 first rounder refusing to sign with them. He went to the London Knights, shockingly.
Niagara IceDogs deal 1st-round pick, for 7 choices over next 4 years | inNiagaraRegion
Oh, and one last note about last year's OHL draft....
OHL Commissioner David Branch confirms league hired an investigator to probe allegations that several hockey parents paid for their sons to be selected in 2022 OHL draft.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) March 29, 2023
Three GTHL coaches have told me they have evidence (txt msgs) of parents paying $30K+.
Branch statement: pic.twitter.com/WKdQuYeQXa
What a fun day of OHL news!
Hey, speaking of fun news, the Toronto Marlies got some help!
Defenceman Topi Niemelä has been reassigned to the Toronto Marlies by Toronto (NHL) from Kärpät (Liiga). pic.twitter.com/poCLwJinxZ— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 29, 2023
Topi Niemelä was a 64th overall pick in 2020 by the Maple Leafs and will be making his North American debut soon in Toronto.
The Maple Leafs lost to the Panthers 3-2 in overtime last night.
Leafs Goal GIF Recap: defeat ripped from the jaws of victory against Panthers
Arun Srinivasan sat down with Hockey Canada's new VP Diversity & Inclusion.
Q&A with Hockey Canada's VP of diversity and inclusion, Irfan Chaudhry
Enjoy your day everyone, and I hope your mattresses don’t attack you like mine did to me. My back is now messed up more than usual.