Pred's OHL Draft Picks Remember the Past, Excited for their Futures!, News (North Central Predators AAA)

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May 24, 2023 | NCP Communications | 542 views
Pred's OHL Draft Picks Remember the Past, Excited for their Futures!
The North Central Predators saw three well-deserving players selected in the 2023 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection drafts that took place in April.  

Ryan Fairbairn got the call during the 6th round of the U16 draft, when he was selected by the North Bay Battalion 121st overall.

He said leading up to the draft he was hopeful that he would be selected by one of the teams he had been interviewed by. Hearing his name called was what he describes as “exhilarating”.

“I was relieved and so happy. It is such an honour to be recognized amongst my peers. I was surrounded by my family and friends and to share this moment with them was really special,” he said.

Fairbairn, a defenceman was recently introduced to the team at the Battalion’s orientation camp. The weekend included on and off ice training, fitness testing and an intrasquad game. “The weekend started with the Battalion introducing their new draft picks at a ceremony before game five of the Conference Championships vs Peterborough. It was an awesome environment to experience as there were over 4000 fans in attendance. It was very exciting to meet the team,” he said.

He will return to North Bay in August for training camp. Until then, he said he will be doing all he can to be prepared. “My goal is to gain weight and strength to prepare for the upcoming season. In my downtime, I hope to spend some time with family and friends golfing, fishing and enjoying summer activities.”

On his time with the North Central Predators, Fairbairn said the culture of the organization made all the difference. “The first thing I noticed when I came to NCP was the people. The dressing room had a different vibe. All the boys were chatting and joking and very welcoming. I met some really great friends here. NCP provided me an opportunity to develop and grow as a player. For that, I will always be grateful. Thank you to all my coaches and trainers over the past few seasons.”

Hudson Martin was selected in the 14th round of the U16 draft when he was taken 280th overall by the Sudbury Wolves.

The defenceman watched the draft with his family and he said he was nervous knowing how strong the talent in the 2007 age group is. “ I still had a good feeling about the draft.
Hearing my name called by the Sudbury Wolves was a surreal moment. And I couldn’t be more grateful,” he said.

Before joining the Wolves at training camp at the end of August, Martin plans to continue to put in the work needed to prepare for the coming season.  “My plans for the summer are to continue to workout with my personal trainer and on, on-ice development,” he said.

As he focuses on this next step in his hockey journey, Martin remembers the fun he had with his NCP teammates and acknowledges those who helped him along the way. “What I will remember about being a part of the NCP organization are my teammates, coaches, my trainer and the workouts at Sports Medicine,” he said.

Brendan Williams was selected in the 3rd round of the U18 Priority Selection, 47th overall by the Owen Sound Attack.

The experience of being drafted by an OHL team is a “dream come true” for Williams. “I could not believe all of my hard work had paid off and to hear my name called in the draft was truly an unbelievable feeling. As I got the call from Mr. DeGray (GM of the Attack) I was at a loss for words and couldn’t thank him enough for the opportunity that he had given me,” he said.

Along with other draft picks, Williams will begin fitness testing in June followed by a meet and greet with the Attack organization. He will report to training camp in August. "In the summer I plan to continue my hard work as I will train both on and off the ice. I also have a part time job at a golf course and plan to hit the links a few times throughout the season. I also enjoy to get outside and spend time with my friends and ultimately enjoy the fresh air and warm weather.”

After six hockey seasons as a North Central Predator, he said he feels prepared for what is next.

“I enjoyed my time with my teammates because no matter what we would push each other to be better on and off the ice while having fun all at once. I would also like to thank every coach that has helped me develop into the player and person I am today. They helped ensure that I improved over the years of playing with the Predators.”

 Congratulations Ryan, Hudson and Brendan! We look forward to seeing where your hockey paths lead...