Days after being granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada, 15-year-old Sean Day was selected fourth Saturday by the Mississauga Steelheads in the 2013 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
The 6-foot-2 defenseman, who was born in Belgium and is a Canadian citizen but hails from Rochester, Mich., was made eligible for the OHL draft after an impressive season competing for the Detroit Compuware youth hockey program.
He is the fourth player to be granted exceptional player status, following John Tavares in 2005, Aaron Ekblad in 2011 and Connor McDavid last season. Day is the first such player to not be taken first in the OHL draft.
The Ottawa 67's began the day by selecting center Travis Konecny with the first pick. Konecny enjoyed a strong Midget season with the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and is the cousin of NHL prospect Bo Horvat. With the second selection, the Erie Otters (who took McDavid first last year) used it to acquire center Dylan Strome, the younger brother of New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome.
With the third pick, the Peterborough Petes took defenseman Matthew Spencer, who was named the Ontario Minor Hockey Association's player of the year following his season with the Oakville Rangers Minor Midget AAA team.
The OHL priority selection has at times been an accurate predictor of what future NHL drafts might look like. Former top picks in the OHL draft include Alex Galchenyuk (2010), Steve Stamkos (2006), Tavares (2005) and Jason Spezza (1999), who all became top-three picks in the NHL draft.