Knights Drafting For The Future

The London Knights used their first pick in the 2018 OHL draft to select a 16-year-old forward from Oakville.

The Knights had a total of 16 picks in this year’s draft, including five in the first three rounds. Four of them were the result of trades made with other OHL teams.

London used its first overall pick, at 14th overall, on right winger Luke Evangelista. The 16-year-old from Oakville played this past season for his hometown Rangers, scoring 37 goals for a total of 85 points. He also had four assists in this year’s OHL Cup Showcase.

The Knights used their two second-round picks on American-born players. The first, at 21st overall and from the Sudbury Wolves, is forward Antonio Stranges of Plymouth, Michigan. He stands 5′ 10″ and weights 165 pounds. He played in the Detroit Little Caesars organisation. Sanhil Panwar was taken two picks later, with this one from a trade with the Peterborough Petes. He scored 23 goals this past season for the Detroit HoneyBaked 16 league. He’s from Troy, Michigan.

Their next two picks were also from trades and in the third round. At 42nd overall is Gerard Keane, defenceman from Homer Glen, Illinois. He picked up eight assists last season for the Chicago Mission 16U club. Sean McGurn was taken at 53rd overall. He scored 50 points over 40 games this past season with the Ottawa Senators MAAA.

In the fourth round, defenceman Ben Roger was drafted 74th overall. A native of Brighton, Ont., Roger had eight goals for 22 points with the Quinte Red Devils MMAAA.

Defenceman Avery Winslow was taken with the 94th overall pick, in the fifth round. From St. Pete Beach, Florida, he scored 19 points over 39 games for the Notre Dame Hounds MAAA.

The rest of the Knights’ picks are as follows:

  • Brett Brochu, goalie, sixth round, 114th overall. He played 28 games in net for the Chatham-Kent Cyclones MMAAA and notched three shutouts. He hails from Tilbury.
  • Brandan Mairs, right winger, seventh round, 134th overall. A London native, he played 33 games last season for the Junior Knights. He scored 20 goals for 44 total points.
  • Jacob Truscott, defenceman, eighth round, 154th overall. From Fort Gratiot, Michigan, he scored 12 goals for 45 points for the Detroit Little Caesars 15s. He also had a plus-minus of 39.
  • Dane Dowiak, centre and left winger, ninth round, 174th overall. He played 28 games last year for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 16U club, scoring 19 goals. He also scored a goal in the 2018 OHL Cup Showcase.
  • Dario Beljo, centre, tenth round, 194th overall. A native of Sudbury, he played for his hometown Sudbury Wolves MMAAA, scoring eight goals and picking up 50 penalty minutes this past season.
  • Grant Eastwood, right winger, 11th round, 214th overall. He scored nine goals for 21 points with the Smiths Falls Bears MAAA last year. His hometown is Kanata, Ont.
  • Chase Strychaluk, right winger, 12th round, 234th overall. For the Oakville Rangers MMAAA last season, he scored 17 goals and had a plus-minus rating of 21.
  • Owen Willis, goalie, 13th round, 254th overall. From Toronto, his most recent team was the Markham Majors MMAAA
  • Vincent Labelle, centre, 15th round, 294th overall. A native of Ottawa, he played 21 games for the Rockland Nationals MAAA. He had nine goals for 15 points over 21 games played.