There was an air of optimism in and around the Kingston Frontenacs offices on this afternoon as the team formally signed their top three picks to standard player agreements.
OHL first overall pick Shane Wright, second round pick Francesco Arcuri and third round pick Maddox Callens were all in attendance at the Leon’s Centre with their families for the formal signing on Friday, May 24, 3019. All three players are in town this weekend for the team’s orientation camp.
It’s obvious that all three would like to press fast forward on the summer and move directly to training camp, which will be held around Labor Day weekend.
Wright and Arcuri were teammates with the OHL Cup Champions Don Mills Flyers this past season while Callens, a native of Langton, Ontario played for the Brantford 99ers.
When asked if he was familiar with his future teammates Callens replied, “Oh yeah, we played against each other early last season. We actually tied them,” giving a rye chuckle. Callens describes himself as a physical player who has a 200 foot game (plays well in both ends of the rink), skates well, and can put the puck in the net.
Arcuri, who played on the same line with Wright earlier in the season, says that his strength is his hockey I.Q. and his skating. He will also be relied on to add offensive punch to a team that finished last in the league in that category last season.
Wright, as it is well documented, is entering the league a year early under the exceptional status category and is expected to emerge as an elite player in not only the OHL, but hockey in general.
Next up for the Frontenacs is the European draft which will be held after the NHL draft in June. General Manager Darren Keily said that the team will pick younger players in order for them to develop with the three players who were just signed. Because of that, Keily said that it is more of a recruiting process, due to the fact that the two players will not have been eligible for this year’s NHL draft and may be inclined to stay at home for one more season.
The Ontario Hockey League schedule for the 2019-20 season is still being worked on and will be released sometime in June.
Tim “The Coach” Cunningham has played every sport ever. His inside knowledge can be heard and seen on radio, television and in print across Canada. Follow him on twitter at @TheCoachTC.