Saturday, May 01, 2010

Saginaw drafts high-end talent today

The Saginaw Spirit wrapped up their participation in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, capping off the event with a total of 15 new prospects added to their system.

The team had four picks in the first 50 of the draft, selecting center Justin Kea 13th overall, goalie Jake Paterson 32nd overall, defenseman Jacob Ringuette 33rd overall and winger Terry Trafford 42nd overall.

The new prospects are scheduled to join the Spirit for their rookie mini-camp starting Friday, May 15 in Saginaw.

Spirit coach-GM Todd Watson thought the draft was a success.

“We had a great draft and accomplished a major goal of ours entering Saturday, which was to add depth to our roster as well as some size and skill to the team," Watson said. "We also took care of our goaltending position with the addition of two great goalie prospects.”

For the fourth consecutive season, the Spirit added to the offensive corps with their first round selection in Kea. The Woodville, Ont., native tallied 22 goals and 22 assists in 51 games with the minor midget Central Ontario Wolves.

“Justin is a big, strong, skilled forward that can skate,” said Spirit director of scouting Jim Paliafito. “He reminds me of a Joe Thornton type.”

According to OHL Central Scouting, Kea is a forward that has all the tools to develop into a very good player at the next level. He has legitimate size, a very good touch and hands for a bigger man and he has better than average feet. When he is really moving his feet he displays a long, powerful stride that can generate some real speed and quickness. Kea has the potential to really fill out as he matures. He prefers to play more of a finesse game, jumping into holes, always looking for the open ice and circling away from the puck.

The Spirit drafted additional forwards in the third and fifth rounds, selecting Trafford 42nd overall and center Ray Huether 84th overall. Trafford posted 24 goals and 29 assists in 64 games with the minor midget Mississauga Reps, while Huether earned 45 goals and 35 assists in 69 games with the Huron-Perth Lakers.

“Terry is one of the fastest skaters in draft and a hard-nosed competitor," added Paliafito. "Ray is a highly skilled goal scorer. We are excited to get both of these guys.”

Saginaw’s blueline was further strengthened with the addition of Ringuette, who was selected by the Spirit in the second round. The Goderich, Ont., native tallied 12 goals and 53 assists in 70 games with the Lakers, joining former teammate Huether as one of the newest Spirit prospects.

Spirit scout Frank Robinson spent a lot of time prospecting Ringuette.

“He is a poised, strong defenseman with great character," Robinson said. "One of his best assets is a hard first pass, and he is very hard for opposing teams to beat when coming down on the rush.”

According to OHL Central Scouting, Ringuette is a very mobile, high risk/high reward styled defender who likes to get involved and is very active in the offensive side of the game. He possesses very good feet, displays excellent overall mobility, a smooth stride, speed and quickness, and has the ability to cover a lot of geography while taking away time and space efficiently. He uses his speed and quickness when playing away from the puck, and he keeps his stick very active in attempting to take away shooting and passing lanes. He also shows a willingness to take the body and finish his checks.

The Spirit continued to build on the future, drafting a pair of what Saginaw ’s coaching and scouting staff consider two elite, top tier goaltending prospects in Paterson and Jared Rutledge.

Paterson , selected 32nd overall in the draft, allowed only 70 goals in 50 games while playing for the minor midget Toronto Marlboros, for a 1.41 goals-against average. Paterson posted 15 shutouts last season. The Spirit tabbed Rutledge in the fifth round with the 93rd overall pick, a puck stopper who earned a 2.86 goals-against average and three shutouts in 30 games with the minor midget Chicago Young Americans U16’s.

“We were very fortunate to get these two kids,” stated Spirit goaltending coach Randy Wilson. “Both of these kids have great character, attitude and work ethic. Jake is your atypical butterfly goalie with decent size and good net discipline. He doesn’t face a lot of shots, but he maintains his focus throughout the game to shutdown the opponent. Jacob is very athletic and he competes very hard. He is always focused on the action and battles to stop the puck.”

Saginaw Spirit Order of Selection

13th Overall – Center Justin Kea, Central Ontario Wolves
32nd Overall – Goalie Jake Paterson, Toronto Marlboros
33rd Overall – Defenseman Jacob Ringuette, Huron-Perth Lakers
42nd Overall – Winger Terry Trafford, Mississauga Reps
84th Overall – Center Ray Huether, Huron-Perth Lakers
93rd Overall – Goalie Jared Rutledge, Chicago Young Americans U16s
113th Overall – Center Matt LeMasurier, York Simcoe Express
173rd Overall – Winger Alex Morgan, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs
193rd Overall – Center Max Farrill, Toronto City Blues
213th Overall – Center Luke Nogard, Mississauga Reps
233rd Overall – Defenseman Brett Seldon, Jr. Canadiens
253rd Overall – Winger Taylor Chick, York Simcoe Express
265th Overall – Defenseman Wayland Williams, Detroit Compuware U16s
273rd Overall – Winger Ryan Tuffin, London Knights-Gold
293rd Overall – Center Andrew Copp, Detroit Compuware U16s

Kea photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

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