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.
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.
I have only been to one tournament, 2017 in Windsor and have made attempts to get to all the subsequent tournaments in Regina, Halifax, Saint John, Kelowna, but something at the last minute (usually me losing my job) makes me cancel the trip. It's a blast for hardcore hockey fans and if you can get there, you should go.
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.
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.
What a fun day of OHL news!
Hey, speaking of fun news, the Toronto Marlies got some help!
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 played last night against the Florida Panthers. Here's a link to the recap. (I hope I remembered to put this in here)
Arun Srinivasan sat down with Hockey Canada's new VP Diversity & Inclusion.
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.