Becomes first Junior Hurricanes player picked by Canadian major junior league
RALEIGH, NC—Paul Strand, Youth and Amateur Hockey Coordinator for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that Junior Hurricanes AAA Under-16 team captain and Raleigh native Matt Gellatly was selected by the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection. Gellatly, a forward, is the first Junior Hurricanes player to be selected into the OHL, one of Canada’s three top-tier major-junior hockey leagues.
Gellatly (5’10”, 180 lbs.) notched 19 goals and 17 assists (36 points) in 36 games with the Junior Hurricanes in 2007-08, led the team in power-play goals and garnered attention during the team’s appearance at a Nike Bauer tournament in Chicago. Gellatly, 17, twice represented the Carolinas at the Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament, and, in 2004, was a member of the team that scored the Junior Hurricanes’ first win at the annual tournament. He led his district-bound Tier II team in scoring the past two seasons, played at the Under-15 National Festival and has competed in the last four annual Southeast District player development blue/grey games. Gellatly began playing hockey in 1996 in the Raleigh Youth Hockey Association as a mini-mite.
Junior Hurricanes 2008-09 head coach Clay Cotie, who serves as a regional scout for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League, recommended Gellatly to his counterparts in the OHL, as USA Hockey’s Southeast District falls within the OHL’s designated territory for selecting players, making Gellatly ineligible to be drafted by a WHL team. Saginaw selected the Enloe High School junior in the 15th round, 286th overall, and Gellatly is awaiting information regarding the Spirit’s summer prospect camp. For more information regarding the 2008 OHL Priority Selection, please visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com/ps2008/.