It’s a dream come true for two local 15-year-old students.
Eddie MacLean, of Collingwood, and Riley Pitt, of Wasaga Beach, got the news they were drafted to the OHL last weekend.
MacLean has played hockey in Collingwood for most of his life. He played in Barrie for three years and in Grey-Bruce with the Highlanders. He has been drafted to the Saginaw Spirit.
Pitt played hockey in Wasaga Beach throughout his youth, eventually moving on to play for the North Central Predators in Orillia for three years. He has been drafted to the Oshawa Generals.
“Since I was younger, it’s always been my dream,” said Pitt. “I started playing at five (years old). I would play mini sticks with my dad.”
When they heard their names called, Pitt describes the moment as a surreal experience.
“It was a dream come true,” he said.
“To hear my name called on that day and knowing that it happened, it was awesome,” said MacLean. “A few years ago, my cousin was drafted and I didn’t know what it was before that. It’s been my dream since then.”
Both students attend Jean Vanier Catholic School in Collingwood, both have had aspirations to move up the hockey ranks to eventually play in the NHL.
As every year played in the OHL means a year the league will pay for post-secondary education, both Pitt and MacLean also see it as a way to get a leg-up on their other post-secondary aspirations.
“I’d like to stay in Canada (to go to university)... probably for fitness and kinesiology,” said Pitt.
“I’d like to go for something business (related),” said MacLean.
Both teens say their number one dream is to make a career out of hockey.
With the new Junior 'A' Tier II team the Collingwood Colts coming to Collingwood this fall, the teens say their options have now been opened should they not get a chance to play yet at the OHL level.
“Having the Collingwood team opens up my options to stay home and not have to live with another family billet,” said Pitt. “It’s great having that so close to home.”
“We’re both signed up for the tryouts,” said MacLean.
Should the duo get to play on the OHL squads, there are things they will miss about the Collingwood area.
“I’d miss my friends and my family,” said Pitt.
“It would be my first year away from home,” said MacLean. “It would be hard, but it would be an adjustment. This is what I want, to keep moving forward.”
WHO WENT WHERE AROUND THE COUNTY? (round.overall and team/ name/ position/ midget club/ hometown)
1. 18 Soo Greyhounds -- Jacob Holmes, defenceman, York-Simcoe Express, Alliston
2.26 Sudbury Wolves -- Ethan Larmand, centre, North Central Predators, Midland
3.60 Mississauga Steelheades -- Chas Sharpe, defenceman, North Central, Orillia
4.65 North Bay Battalion -- Brett Bressette, centre, North Central, Penetanguishene
7.140 Soo Greyhounds -- Coulter Taylor, goaltender, North Central, Barrie
9.179 Niagara IceDogs -- Cole Turcotte, centre, York-Simcoe, Everett
11.208 Windsor Spitfires -- Justin Brown, centre, Barrie Colts, Innisfil
12.228 Owen Sound Attack -- Ethan Lindsay, left wing, Barrie Colts, Barrie