Four Lakers Drafted to OHL, News (Huron Perth Lakers)

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Apr 18, 2024 | Deanna Day | 899 views
Four Lakers Drafted to OHL
Ontario Hockey League Teams Draft Four U16 Lakers

Cory Smith 
Sports Editor
Stratford Beacon Herald


Quinn Kipfer had to double check.

The 15-year-old from Milverton was having breakfast Saturday morning when his dad gave him the news that North Bay drafted him in the fifth round of the Ontario Hockey League’s priority selection. Kipfer wasn’t so sure.

“I checked my phone right away to be sure,” he said with a laugh. “I was pretty calm about it. I was expected to go a little higher so I was getting a little worried waiting around, but I usually take it pretty well.”

Kipfer, the Huron-Perth Lakers’ U16 captain, spoke to many teams leading up to the draft. The Battalion wasn’t one of them.

“It’s obviously an exciting time for my family and everyone around me who has helped me … just kind of enjoying the moment and everything that comes with it,” Kipfer said.

The five-foot-nine centre had 15 goals and 39 points in the regular season and followed that up with five goals and eight points in seven playoff games. He even picked up his first junior hockey point after registering an assist in six playoff games with the Stratford Warriors.

“I knew I had the skills and what it takes at the next level,” he said. “It’s making sure I show that day in and day out.”

Kipfer was expected to be drafted before the 90th pick, but it’s something he is going to use as motivation once he heads north for rookie camp at the end of the month.

“It’s time to prove people wrong and show them what I’ve got and what I can do,” he said. “Just show up at camp and work hard. They’ve obviously watched me and know what I can do, but I gotta compete hard and show the skills I have to impress them and make the team.”

Three of Kipfer’s teammates were also drafted, including St. Marys’ Chase McDougall.  Niagara took McDougall in the seventh round, 123rd overall.

“I’m really just honoured, reflected on it a bit and excited to get started,” he said.

McDougall had very little contact with the IceDogs before the draft, which he watched with family on Saturday. He went to St. Catharines afterwards to meet the staff and some players.

“I was happy to go anywhere,” he said. “I wasn’t really expecting Niagara.”

McDougall, a six-foot-two winger, had eight goals and 28 points in 38 regular season and playoff games with the Lakers. It was the most fun he’s had playing hockey and a season he’ll always remember.

“It’s probably your biggest year in minor hockey and something I really enjoyed and being around the guys the whole time,” he said. “I had to make some sacrifices in my life, whether it’s training or getting on the ice before school or shooting pucks beside the house … buying into the process.”

McDougall will also attend rookie camp later this month, and then it’s back to work to prepare for main camp in the summer.

“Just get bigger, stronger, faster, focus on some little skills I can make better to allow myself to play the best hockey I can,” he said.

Erie selected Lakers’ U16 forward Colton Radford, from Londesborough, in the sixth round, 112th overall, and Brantford took defenceman Heath Bogart, from Grand Bend, in the 10th round, 196th overall.

“I was really happy for them,” McDougall said of his teammates. “I’ve been lucky to play with them the last seven years of my life and create lifelong friendships.”

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