file photo of Windsor Spitfires logo.

Spitfires Confident They’ll Take Off With Draft

The Windsor Spitfires hope for a short rebuilding process as draft day approaches.

The Spitfires are coming off a short playoff run this week after winning the Memorial Cup last season. Thanks to roster moves made throughout the season, Windsor is expected to make a splash during Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection.

Windsor General Manager Warren Rychel says despite his team’s first pick coming tenth overall and having four picks in the first three rounds, they may not be done dealing before the draft begins.

“We’re going to get some offence, and import draft, and trade too,” says Rychel.

Reloading the offence is a priority for the Spitfires, who traded away big scorers Logan Brown, Aaron Luchuk, and Gabriel Vilardi this season to begin a semi-rebuild. All three have made an impact during the playoffs so far for their new teams. Rychel says they have a good young defence and one of the best goaltenders in the OHL with Michael DiPietro.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Spitfires made a couple of deals to bring their total number of picks in Saturday’s draft to 16. They added a third-round pick from the Barrie Colts and a seventh-rounder from the Saginaw Spirit.

Rychel says he’s confident that Saturday’s selection will provide the most in-depth pool of talent they’ve seen in years, and he credits the front office staff for making it possible.

“I got the feeling back,” says Rychel. “We had a good scouting season this year. Our young kids developed. I think Trevor’s [head coach Letowski] up there as a one-two coach in the league, and I think it’s positive right here. We added [associate coach] Mike Weber, we have the best goalie. There’s a lot of positive things, and I hope the fans realize that.”

Rychel says they will once again spend part of their training camp in Buffalo to participate in a prospects’ tournament, and the coaches will use that as a springboard to make the difficult roster decisions later on.

The complete list of the Spitfires’ draft picks is on their official website.

Draft coverage begins Saturday at 9am on the team’s official Twitter account.