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First three rounds of 2022 OHL Priority selection complete

Three picks by the London Knights and two selections from the roster of the London Jr. Knights kicked off the 2022 OHL Priority Selection on Friday night.

The London Knights chose forward Luca Testa of the Niagara North Stars with the 15th pick of the first round.

Testa is known for his offence. He scored 34 goals and put up 59 points in 22 league games for Niagara in 2021-22 and then jumped up to play two games for the St. Catharines Falcons of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League when his U16 season ended and added two goals and two assists in two games there.

“It was amazing,” admitted Testa when asked about being selected by London. “It’s an unbelievable honour to be chosen by an organization that has produced so many great players.”

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Next for the Knights was forward Sam O’Reilly who brings good size and physicality to an excellent skill set.

“My favourite player has always been Nazem Kadri so that is pretty crazy because of how huge he was in London,” said O’Reilly. “The player that I like to model my game after, though, is Tom Wilson with the way he uses his physicality. I like to play like that.”

O’Reilly may also resemble Wilson in the way that he put up points as a young player. O’Reilly had 17 goals and 17 assists in 34 games with the Vaughan Kings in 2021-22.

London’s third and final pick of the evening came in the third round and saw the Knights select another forward in centre William Nicholl from the Ottawa Senators U18 team. Nicholl averaged a point per game in both the regular season and the playoffs this past year.

According to Hockeyprospect.com, Nicholl is known for his versatility and his hockey IQ at both ends of the ice. He is also considered to be an excellent skater.

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The first local connection off the board was speedster Jett Luchanko of the Jr. Knights who went to the Guelph Storm at number 12. Luchanko had 44 points in 21 league games in the Alliance and followed that up with a huge showing in the playoffs where the London, Ont., native with four goals and 16 points in eight games.

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Former Knights captain Danny Syvret is now a coach with the Jr. Knights and said that Luchanko impresses with his speed. Syvret indicated that Luchanko has the ability to, “process what is happening and make plays at top speed.”

Brodie McConnell-Barker had his name called with the 48th pick and will get to join his brother Bryce in Sault Ste. Marie with the Greyhounds. Brodie was a teammate of Luchenko’s this past season and actually went to Syvret after the year had started and indicated that he wanted to change from a forward to a defenceman.

“I told him that he needed to be sure about the move to defence,” said Syvret. “He assured me he was and it worked out very well.”

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McConnell-Barker proved himself as a defender and also added offence to the Jr. Knights attack. He ended the regular season with 30 points in 27 league games and averaged a point per game in the playoffs.

Brodie will have the chance to join Bryce with the greyhounds in 2022-23. Bryce had 23 goals in his first year in the OHL after being selected fourth overall in 2020.

Rounds 4-15 will take place on Saturday, April 30.

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Michael Misa was granted exceptional status to play in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year old and went first overall to the Saginaw Spirit.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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