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Guelph Storm first round pick says he's coming to the OHL

Six members of the Guelph Jr. Gryphons minor midgets also taken in OHL Priority Selection
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First round pick Danny Zhilkin, left, and second round pick Jacob Maillet. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

Danny Zhilkin was quick to ease the minds of Guelph Storm everywhere Saturday morning.

Zhilkin, selected 14th overall by the Storm in Saturday;s the OHL Priority Selection, had previously made an NCAA commitment to NCAA Boston University.

But he's coming to Guelph.

"It's out the window now," Zhilkin said of his NCAA commitment.

"I'm excited to play in the Ontario Hockey League and I'm pretty committed to the Guelph Storm now," Zhilkin said shortly after being drafted.

Zhilkin, a 5-foot-11, 178-pound centre, scored 32 goals and had 25 assists in 69 games with the Toronto Marlboros minor midgets last season. He also had 66 penalty minutes.

He was considered one of the more elite offensive talents in the draft with one of the best shots.

Zhilkin said he had talked to a number of teams throughout the year, but didn't know who was going to take him.

"I had no idea going into the draft," he said of Guelph's interest.

Zhilkin, a natural centre, was born in Moscow but moved with family to Mississauga to pursue his hockey dreams.was asked to describe his game.

"I'm a fast forward, I skate with the puck a lot, I find my teammates and I shoot the puck well," he said.

Zhilkin said he realizes there is a great opportunity in Guelph next season given the number of players expected to graduate, calling it "a great opportunity and I can't wait to get started."

He described his perfect game as two goals, an assist and a plus-3 rating. "Backcheck hard and play defence well."

Second round pick Maillet said he's a forward who tries to be as good in his own end as he is in the offensive end.

"It's a huge part of the game. If you want to win games you've got to be good in your D end," Maillet said.

Guelph Minor Hockey product Ty Anselmini was the first of six local products to be drafted, selected in the third round by the London Knights. Also taken off the Gryphons were goaltender Dixon Grimes (10th round, Guelph Storm), forward Dylan Richardson (11th round, Hamilton Bulldogs), defenceman Ryan Cook (12th round, Barrie Colts), forward Mark McIntosh (13th round, Kitchener Rangers) and forward Dylan Hudon (15th round, Owen Sound Attack).

Guelph picked centres with its first three selection in Saturday's draft.

In the second round they picked Jacob Maillet, a six-foot, 170-pound centre from Hamilton who had 37 points in 32 games last season.

In the third round it was Marko Sikic, who had 49 points in 33 games as captain of the Kitchener minor midgets.

Guelph took a gamble in the fourth round, taking six-foot, 160-pound defenceman Dylan Gratton from New Jersey. Gratton is committed to Penn State. Gratton's brother Tyler is also committed to Penn State.

Don Mills Flyers underage centre Shane Wright first overall, the Flint Firebirds took his linemate Brennan Othmann second, Erie took Kanata centre Connor Lockhart third and the Barrie Colts chose the first defencememan taken in Brandt Clarke of the Don Mills Flyers fourth overall.

In total Guelph drafted 16 players: one goalie, four defencemen, five wingers and six centres.

Guelph Storm picks in the 2019 draft:

Round 1: Danny Zhilkin, C, 5'11" 178lbs, Toronto Marlboros

Round 2: Jacob Maillet, C, 6' 170lbs, Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs

Round 3: Marko Sikic, C, 6'1" 167lbs, Kitchener Jr. Rangers

Round 4: Dylan Gratton, D, 6' 158lbs, North Jersey Avalanche U16

Round 5: Braeden Bowman, RW, 6' 180lbs, Kitchener Jr. Rangers

Round 6: Jack Devine, C, 5'9" 151lbs, Chicago Mission 15's

Round 6: Owen Richer, D, 6'3" 187lbs, Clarington Toros

Round 7: Declan Ride, D, 6'5" 228lbs, Toronto Nationals

Round 8: Nolan Forster, RW, 5'9" 153lbs, Toronto Marlboros

Round 9: Camden Daigle, LW, 5'7" 149lbs, Huron Perth Lakers

Round 10: Dixon Grimes, G, 6'3" 208lbs, Gueph Jr. Gryphons

Round 11: Quinn Tavares, C, 5'9" 159lbs, Mississauga Reps

Round 12: Austin Clark, C, 6' 198lbs, Detroit Honeybaked 16U

Round 13: Ryan Remick, LW, 5'10 146lbs, CIH Academy White

Round 14: Sasha Pastujov, LW, 5'11" 175, Detroit Compuware 16U

Round 15: Evan Roccatani, D, 5'11" 177lbs, Toronto Red Wings