Toronto, ON - The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Erie Otters Hockey Club today announced that 15-year-old Connor McDavid of the Toronto Marlboros will be the first overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, presented by State Farm®.

The announcement was made during the Otters’ Priority Selection Party held at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA.

Connor will be a featured guest on the live 2012 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show, presented by State Farm beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday April 7, 2012.  The draft show along with complete draft coverage is available at ontariohockeyleague.com.

Born January 13, 1997, McDavid became just the third player to be granted “Exceptional Player” status by Hockey Canada making him eligible for the OHL Priority Selection as a 15-year-old following in the footsteps of 2005 first overall pick John Tavares, and 2011 first overall pick Aaron Ekblad.  McDavid is also the second player to be chosen first overall by the Otters, joining current Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly who was selected first overall in 2007.

“It’s unbelievable to be drafted first overall,” McDavid said. “It’s a dream come true. I am very excited to be starting my Ontario Hockey League career in Erie.”

As a 15-year-old with the minor midget Marlboros, McDavid dominated the opposition as he averaged over two points a game. In 33 games during the regular season, McDavid collected 33 goals and 39 assists to earn GTHL Player of the Year honours. McDavid also led the 2012 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament in scoring with 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in seven games and was the recipient of the Tim Adams Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP, recording the most points in an OHL Cup since Sam Gagner’s 17 points in five games for the Marlboros in 2005.

OHL Central Scouting describes McDavid as having “all the skill and tools to be very exciting and dominate at the next level. He controls the puck as if it were on a string and has the ability to make everyone around him a better player. He is also a fierce competitor and does whatever it takes to win a game.”

“This is a proud moment for the Erie Otters organization and the city of Erie to select Connor McDavid,” Otters general manager Sherry Bassin said. “He has such exceptional ability and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a franchise. The hockey world thinks he’s exceptional because of the ability he has displayed. We know he’s exceptional because of his ability and high character. It is a credit to his parents, Brian and Kelly, that they have raised a son with such exceptional character.”

McDavid will also be the 2012 recipient of the Jack Ferguson Award.  The "Fergie" is presented annually to the player selected first overall in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. The award recognizes the dedication and contributions made by Jack Ferguson during his 25 year association with the Ontario Hockey League, first as a scout with the Ottawa 67's and followed by his appointment as head of the OHL's Central Scouting Bureau in 1981 as its Director of Central Scouting.

For the fifth straight year, media and fans can watch the first three rounds live on the 2012 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show presented by State Farm beginning at 9:00 am at www.ontariohockeyleague.com.  Host Terry Doyle will be joined on set by Phoenix Coyotes Amateur Scout and former Peterborough Petes General Manager Jeff Twohey, and GTA Scout Tim Cherry of OHL Central Scouting to provide analysis, interviews, and video footage of the next wave of OHL stars.

The webcast is in partnership with CCMC and is shown through league partner NeuLion, presented by State Farm.

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