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Guelph Storm takes late-blooming goalie with first pick in OHL U18 draft

Draft is for 2001 and 2002 birth years not currently on an OHL team's protected list
Gavin Brown, the Guelph Storm's third round pick in this year's OHL Under-18 draft, jumps to avoid a shot in action earlier this year. Photo by Tom Martineau

The Gueph Storm chose three players in Wednesday's OHL U18 Priority Selection, all of them players they consider late bloomers.

The draft is for 2001 and 2002 birth years playing midget hockey who are not on any team's protected list.

A total of 54 players were chosen in the third-annual U18 draft.

Guelph's first pick was goaltender Felix Schnell, a goaltender from Orleans.

Schnell is 6’3”, 200 pounds and Storm assistant general manager Phil Goulding said Ryan Daniels, the team's goaltending coach, scouted him and liked what he saw.

"We think he's an interesting pick, a bit of a late bloomer, who has good size and good fundamentals," Golding said.

He had a 14-5 record, a 2.16 goals-against average and .913 save percentage, with four shutouts in 23 games for the Ottawa midgets last year.

In his minor midget year Schnell played AA hockey and was overlooked in the draft.

The Storm's second pick was Bendan Boyce, a left-shooting defenceman from Courtice.

Boyce, who played at CIH Academy, is a 2001 birth year, making him a year older than most of those selected in the U18 draft.

Schnell had 14 goals and 35 assists in 42 games last season and was the top scoring defenceman in his league.

In his draft year Boyce had six points in 35 games for the Clarington Toros minor midgets.

Gavin Brown, a centre from Massey, was the team's third pick.

Brown is a 6'1" centre who had 24 goals and 30 assists in 36 games playing midget hockey in North Bay.

He had 23 points in 24 games in his draft year playing minor midget hockey in Sudbury.