Canadian hockey was front and centre at this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, Pa., with 79 Canadians among the 210 players selected, more than any other country.
The list included Aaron Ekblad (Belle River, Ont./Barrie, OHL), who was chosen by the Florida Panthers with the No. 1 overall pick, making Ekblad the ninth Canadian in the last 13 years to be the top selection.
In all, 14 of the 30 players chosen in the first round were Canadian, including six of the top seven.
Nine of Hockey Canada’s branches had players selected, led by the Ontario Hockey Federation with 32.
CANADIANS SELECTED AT THE 2014 NHL ENTRY DRAFT, BY BRANCH (listed in order of selection)
Ontario Hockey Federation (32) – Aaron Ekblad, Sam Bennett, Michael Dal Colle, Nick Ritchie, Brendan Perlini, Robby Fabbri, Jared McCann, Josh Ho-Sang, Roland McKeown, Hunter Smith, Brandon Montour, Warren Foegele, Alex Peters, Dylan Sadowy, Jake Walman, Kyle Wood, Mark Friedman, Michael Amadio, Michael Prapavessis, Brent Moran, Michael Bunting, Kyle Pettit, Jake Marchment, Cristiano DiGiacinto, Jaden Lindo, Dylan Sikura, Matt Mistele, Kyle Jenkins, Patrick Sanvido, Jake Evans, Spencer Watson, Jacob Middleton
Hockey Alberta (15) – Conner Bleackley, John Quenneville, Brett Pollock, Justin Kirkland, Brandon Hickey, Brycen Martin, Brayden Point, Ben Thomas, Jaedon Descheneau, Nikolas Koberstein, Ryan Rehill, Brandon Baddock, Aaron Irving, Reid Duke, Mackenze Stewart
Hockey Quebec (12) – Brendan Lemieux, Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, Alexis Vanier, Julien Pelletier, Alexis Pépin, Daniel Walcott, Daniel Audette, Samuel Blais, Keven Bouchard, Francis Perron, Olivier LeBlanc, Julien Nantel
B.C. Hockey (eight) – Sam Reinhart, Jake Virtanen, Devon Toews, Danton Heinen, Dysin Mayo, Alec Dillon, Chase Lang, Austin Carroll
Saskatchewan Hockey Association (four) – Haydn Fleury, Nelson Nogier, Tanner Faith, Rourke Chartier
Hockey Manitoda (three) – Travis Sanheim, Jayce Hawryluk, Brett Lernout
Hockey Eastern Ontario (two) – Eric Cornel, Kelly Summers
Hockey Newfoundland & Labrador (one) – Clark Bishop
Hockey Nova Scotia (one) – Mason McDonald
In addition, Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence was well represented, with 39 alumni hearing their names called. The Program of Excellence includes the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Memorial of Ivan Hlinka summer under-18 tournament, IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship and IIHF World Junior Championship.
PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE ALUMNI SELECTED AT THE 2014 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
2014 National Junior Team
Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart
2014 National Men’s Under-18 Team
Daniel Audette, Clark Bishop, Conner Bleackley, Haydn Fleury, Jayce Hawryluk, Jared McCann, Mason McDonald, Roland McKeown, Brent Moran, Brendan Perlini, Brayden Point, John Quenneville, Travis Sanheim, Ben Thomas, Jake Virtanen
2013 National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team
Daniel Audette, Sam Bennett, Clark Bishop, Rourke Chartier, Michael Dal Colle, Robby Fabbri, Haydn Fleury, Jayce Hawryluk, Brendan Lemieux, Jared McCann, Mason McDonald, Roland McKeown, Brent Moran, Alexis Pépin, Brayden Point, Jake Virtanen, Spencer Watson
2013 National Men’s Under-18 Team
Sam Bennett, Roland McKeown, Sam Reinhart, Nick Ritchie
2012 National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team
Sam Reinhart, Nick Ritchie
2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
ATLANTIC – Clark Bishop, Mason McDonald
ONTARIO – Sam Bennett, Eric Cornel, Michael Dal Colle, Aaron Ekblad, Robby Fabbri, Josh Ho-Sang, Jaden Lindo, Jared McCann, Roland McKeown, Jacob Middleton, Brent Moran, Spencer Watson
PACIFIC – Conner Bleackley, Reid Duke, Brandon Hickey, Brycen Martin, Dysin Mayo, Brayden Point, John Quenneville, Jake Virtanen
QUEBEC – Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, Daniel Audette, Olivier LeBlanc, Julien Nantel, Alexis Pépin, Francis Perron
WEST – Rourke Chartier, Haydn Fleury, Jayce Hawryluk, Nelson Nogier, Travis Sanheim
2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
ONTARIO – Aaron Ekblad, Nick Ritchie
PACIFIC – Jaedon Descheneau, Sam Reinhart
QUEBEC – Daniel Audette