Local OHL prospects highlight Maroons’ early commitments

Chatham Maroons warm up ahead of a game against the St. Thomas Stars. (Photo by Matt Weverink)

The Chatham Maroons aren’t hitting the ice for their usual spring prospect camp this month, but that hasn’t stopped the team from securing some new talent for next season.

The team has announced four notable commitments over the past week, including Chatham’s Ryan Gagner who was selected by the Peterborough Petes with the 115th overall pick in the 6th round of the 2020 OHL draft.

The 16-year-old centreman played the past season with the Chatham-Kent Cyclones minor midget ‘AAA’ team, putting up 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 33 regular season games and another eight points (three goals, five assists) in eight playoff games. He also suited up for one regular season game and one playoff game with the Maroons.

“Ryan has great speed and is tenacious on the puck,” said Maroons head coach Tyler Roeszler. “He uses his speed to be first on the puck and uses his high skill level to create offensively.”

The Maroons were also able to secure a commitment from another local OHL prospect — Anthony Lucarelli.

Another 16-year-old centreman from Chatham, Lucarelli played for the Chatham-Kent Cyclones throughout his minor hockey career before joining the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs for his major midget season last season. He also suited up for one playoff game with the Maroons in the 2020 postseason.

Roeszler called Lucarelli a “great mix of size and skill” adding “he has proven the ability to score and produce offensively at all levels.”

Lucarelli was selected by the London Knights with the 39th overall pick in the 2nd round of the 2020 OHL U18 Draft.

The Maroons also secured commitments from Wallaceburg’s Daniel Fraleigh and Stratford’s Hardy Westman.

Fraleigh — a 17-year-old forward — spent the past season with the Mooretown Flags in the PJHL while Westman most recently suited up as a goaltender for the A21 Academy in the CAHS League.

Roeszler said Fraleigh “has great energy, high skill level, and is relentless on the puck,” adding that he uses his “speed and high compete level to create turnovers and to create offensively.”

Fraleigh put up 18 points in 40 games with the Flags last season as a 16-year-old rookie and added six points in eight playoff games for the team.

As for Westman, Roeszler described the 18-year-old goaltender as “very quick and efficient in his crease” noting that “he is coming from prep hockey, where he has been on the ice and trained every day for the past three years.”

Westman played in 25 games last season, posting a 3.17 goals against average.