My apologies, this didn’t post for some reason yesterday …
Sean Day was happy and relieved to hear the news Thursday. The Ontario Hockey Federation announced that Hockey Canada granted exceptional player status to the 15-year-old defenseman , which allows him to enter the OHL Priority Selection a year early.
He joins former current New York Islanders center John Tavares (Oshawa, 2005), Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2011) and Erie Otters center Connor McDavid (2012) as the only players to receive early entry into the league.
Unlike his predecessors, Day reportedly isn’t guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick in the April 6 draft. Speculation has arisen about the Ottawa 67′s and their choice. Under league rules, the 67′s aren’t required to choose Day with that top pick. Day isn’t required to report to the club that picks him.
However, Day said during Thursday’s conference call that “I’m prepared to go anywhere,” he said. “Part of getting this (status) is to play in the OHL.”
Meanwhile, the Otters hold the No. 2 pick because they finished with the league’s second-worst record (19-40-4-5). Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager, was tight-lipped earlier this week regarding the pick. “We’ve got a pretty good idea,” Bassin said. “We’ll go with the best player.”
The Otters need help on a defense that allowed 312 goals this season, the second-worst total in the league. Day, a 6 foot 2 inch, 197-pound offensive defenseman, had 11 goals and 35 points in 63 games with Detroit-area Compuware’s minor midget club. “If you need me to play good defense, I can play that,” Day, a Belgian-born Canadian citizen who lives in Rochester, Mich., said during a conference call. “If you need a fourth forward, I can jump into the play.” Yet forwards such as Travis Konecny (Elgin Middlesex Chiefs) and Dylan Strome (Toronto Marlboros) are highly regarded. Earlier this week, Bassin said he needed the right complementary players to play alongside skilled performers like McDavid.
Keith Day, Sean’s father, said there has been no contact yet with officials from the 67′s or Otters.
- Victor Fernandes