Brampton - The Brampton Battalion made left winger Brandon Robinson of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens minor midgets its first of 16 picks in the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection on Saturday.
Robinson, a six-foot-two, 185-pound resident of Pickering, Ont., scored 49 goals and added 46 assists for 95 points with 110 penalty minutes in 76 games. He turns 16 on Oct. 13.
“It was a little nerve-wracking, but I’m glad to be picked by the Battalion,” Robinson said via telephone. “It’s close to home, and that means my parents and friends can come and watch me any time they want.”
The Battalion, which chose eight forwards, five defencemen and three goaltenders, took Robinson with the seventh overall selection, the highest the club has picked since 2007, when it named centre Matt Duchene fifth overall.
Robinson, one of three Jr. Canadiens players chosen in the first round, said the Battalion’s history of producing first-round picks in the National Hockey League’s Entry Draft such as Duchene and Cody Hodgson made Brampton an attractive destination.
“I want to get to the NHL, and I feel like going to the Battalion will help me develop over the next few years and achieve that goal.
“I think I’m a player with good vision who can move the puck. I can play defensively too, and I can get the puck out along the wall. I’m a bigger guy and not afraid to play physically.”
The Battalion, which followed through on a stated intention to bolster the offence, taking forwards with its first five picks, selected 15 minor midget or equivalent players born in 1995 as well as goaltender Keegan Wilson, 19, of the junior C Stayner Siskins. The 20 OHL clubs chose a total of 302 players in the 15-round process, with the Troops selecting three members of the Oakville Rangers.
The Battalion, which didn’t have a second-round pick after trading it to the Guelph Storm for goaltender Thomas McCollum on Jan. 9, 2009, held consecutive selections in the third round.
With their own pick, 49th overall, the club tabbed left-shot centre Bryson Cianfrone of the Toronto Marlboros. The Battalion then used the Kingston Frontenacs’ choice, obtained in a trade for left winger Sean Jones last Nov. 22, for left winger Mac MacSorley of the Huron-Perth Lakers.
Cianfrone, a five-foot-eight, 155-pound resident of Stoney Creek, Ont., produced 45 goals and 51 assists for 96 points in 69 games. He turned 16 on Feb. 14.
MacSorley scored 34 goals and added 11 assists for 45 points in 46 games. The five-foot-nine, 160-pound Stratford, Ont., resident turns 16 on Dec. 20.
In the fourth round Stan Butler, Battalion director of hockey operations and head coach, selected right-shot centre Sean Perichak of Oakville at No. 69. An Oakville, Ont., resident, the six-foot 165-pounder had 34 goals and 19 assists for 53 points in 51 games. He turned 16 on March 15.
The Battalion, which traded its fifth-round choice to the Niagara IceDogs on Jan. 7, 2009, for right winger Andrew Merrett, had two picks in the sixth round. The Troops traded their own selection to the Erie Otters for Jones on Aug. 24, 2009, but picked up the Sarnia Sting’s slot in a trade for right winger Matt Smyth on June 26, 2007, and obtained the Owen Sound Attack’s selection for left winger Mike Lomas on June 24, 2008.
The Troops used their first pick in the round, 106th overall, on six-foot, 180-pound right winger Jake Marchment of the Clarington Toros. A resident of Courtice, Ont., who turns 16 on May 20, he had 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points in 36 games.
With its next choice, 121st overall, the Battalion pegged right-shot defenceman Mark Raycroft of the Brantford 99’ers. A resident of Woodstock, Ont., the six-foot-one, 165-pound Raycroft recorded eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 26 games. He turned 16 on April 18.
In the seventh round the club chose left-shot centre Dylan McLaughlin of the Buffalo Regals with the 129th overall pick. The five-foot-10, 165-pound resident of Lancaster, N.Y., east of Buffalo, produced 22 goals and 35 assists for 57 points in 66 games. He turns 16 on June 5.
The Battalion took defencemen with its two eighth-round picks. The club had its own selection, 147th overall, and that of the Belleville Bulls, two picks later, obtained in exchange for centre Branden Eden on Sept. 11, 2009.
With the first selection the Battalion chose Wilson Vershay, a right shot from Nichols School of Buffalo, who registered one goal and five assists for six points in 19 games. Vershay, six-foot-three and 175 pounds, turns 16 on June 10.
The second choice secured Austin Kosack, a teammate of Perichak with Oakville. A five-foot-11, 170-pound left shot, Kosack scored 34 goals and added 19 assists for 53 points in 51 games. The Oakville resident turned 16 on March 22.
The Battalion exercised three picks in the ninth round. The club had its own choice, 169th overall, as well as the next pick, acquired from Kingston for defenceman Kevin Christmas on Oct. 25, 2007, and the 175th selection, obtained from the Windsor Spitfires last June 29. The Battalion’s 15th-round slot was traded to Windsor that day.
The Troops first selected Oakville goaltender Jake Smith. The five-foot-nine, 155-pound Oakville resident, who turned 16 last Sunday, appeared in 30 games with a 1.40 goals-against average and nine shutouts.
The Battalion’s next selection was right winger Mitch Amante from the Windsor Spitfires minor midgets. A Windsor resident, Amante, five-foot-eight and 155 pounds, scored 10 goals and added 15 assists for 25 points in 23 games. He turned 16 on Jan. 14.
The next choice was Wilson from Stayner of the Georgian Mid-Ontario Junior C League. A Mississauga resident, the six-foot-two, 190-pound Wilson appeared in 24 games, posting a 2.28 GAA with six shutouts.
In the 10th round the Battalion chose left-shot blueliner Bryce Abraham, whose brother Spencer was a rookie rearguard with the Troops in 2010-11. Abraham, a five-foot-nine, 150-pound left shot from Campbellville, Ont., had 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 56 games for the Halton Hurricanes. He turns 16 on Dec. 19.
The Troops’ 11th-round pick, 209th overall, was right-shot centre Jake Derkach of the Brampton Battalion minor midgets. A six-foot, 160-pound Brampton resident, he registered 23 goals and 25 assists for 48 points in 55 games. He turned 16 on Feb. 1.
The Battalion didn’t have a 12th-round pick, having sent it to the Ottawa 67’s for a 12th-rounder next year.
In the 13th round the Troops tabbed left-shot blueliner Nick Clark of the Ajax-Pickering Raiders at No. 249. Clark, six feet and 185 pounds, scored two goals and added nine assists for 11 points in 37 games. The Pickering resident turns 16 on Sept. 18.
In the 14th round, 269th overall, the club selected goaltender Taylor Welsh of the Toronto Young Nationals. The six-foot-two 165-pounder, who turns 16 on June 1, played 34 games, posting a 2.68 GAA.
The Barrie Colts had the No. 1 pick and selected 1996-born defenceman Aaron Ekblad of the Sun County Panthers minor midgets. Ekblad was granted exceptional player status by the Ontario Hockey Federation after Hockey Canada consideration of his application to play in the OHL a year early. He’s the first player his age to be declared eligible since centre John Tavares, who went first overall to the Oshawa Generals in 2005.