TORONTO - The Kitchener Rangers wasted no time on Saturday addressing one of their most pressing needs.
The Rangers took high-scoring centre Adam Mascherin with the second pick in the OHL draft. The five-foot-nine, 197-pound Mascherin had 71 goals and 66 assists in 66 games with the Vaughan Kings and joins a Kitchener squad that scored the third-fewest goals in the OHL this year in posting the league's second-worst record at 22-41-2-3.
There was no drama regarding who'd be taken ahead of Mascherin. On Friday, the Sarnia Sting announced they would select American Jakob Chychrun, a six-foot-two, 195-pound defenceman with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, first overall.
"I'm really looking forward to playing for coach Trevor, (head coach Trevor Letowski) and my future teammates and working hard with them every day to hopefully one day build this team into a playoff contender," Chychrun said.
The 16-year-old Chychrun had 16 goals and 27 assists in 29 games this season. He was also the youngest member of Ontario's team at the U17 World Challenge, where he had a goal and three assists in five games.
"We're not only bringing into our organization an exceptional hockey player but an extremely mature and great person in general," said Rick Sinclair, the Sting's head scout and player-personnel director.
But Chychrun was certainly in the minority as 16 of the 20 first-round picks were forwards.
The Ottawa 67's, selecting third overall, continued that trend by taking left-winger Travis Barron, a six-foot-one, 175-pound forward who was teammate of Chychrun with the Jr. Canadiens.
Last year, Ottawa had the top pick and used it to select centre Travis Konecny, who was named the league's top rookie in 2013-'14. Konecny, 17, led all OHL first-year players in scoring with 70 points (26 goals, 44 assists) in 63 games.
Three Americans went in the first round.
After Sarnia took Chychrun, the Niagara IceDogs selected forward Logan Brown at No. 6, The six-foot-four, 210-pound Brown, a native of Chesterfield, Mo., had 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) in 15 games with the Indiana Ice this season.
Then at No. 18, the London Knights took left-winger Max Jones, a six-foot-two, 190-pound forward from Rochester, Mich. Jones had 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) and 121 penalty minutes in 24 games with the Detroit Honeybaked under-18 squad this season.
Both players come from hockey families.
Brown's father, Jeff, was a former NHL defenceman who holds the St Louis Blues' team record for most points by a defenceman (78 in '92-'93). Brad Jones played centre for the Winnipeg Jets, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers from 1986-'87 to 1991-'92.