The “midget draft” has its roots dating back to the late 1960’s when it was held under the auspices of the OHA Junior “A” series as part of the Ontario Hockey Association’s annual meetings at the Royal York Hotel.
Through the years, the OHL Priority Selection was held at various locations in Toronto until 1981 when it found a home for 10 years at North York Centennial Arena. Its first time outside of Toronto was in 1991 when the Kitchener Rangers were the host.
The draft order is typically based on reverse order of the overall regular season standings beginning with non-playoff teams.
In 2022, a total of 303 players were selected in the 15-round process from 82 different teams across Ontario and parts of the United States. The selected players included 171 forwards, 93 defencemen, and a Priority Selection record 39 goaltenders. While 299 of the players chosen were 2006-born athletes, an additional three were born in 2005.
The Saginaw Spirit made the first overall pick after winning the 2022 OHL Priority Selection Draft Lottery held on April 20. The Spirit selected 2007-born forward Michael Misa of the OHL Cup champion Mississauga Senators to open the proceedings, making him the fifth exceptional status player to be taken first overall in Priority Selection history.
The Greater Toronto Hockey League led the way with a record 110 players selected from 13 different teams, with the OHL Cup champion Mississauga Senators joining the North York Rangers and Toronto Jr. Canadiens each with 15 chosen. The Markham Majors and Toronto Marlboros trailed close behind with 14 players selected from their respective rosters. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association produced 68 selections from 16 different teams with the Quinte Red Devils developing a club record 12 of those. The Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario produced 39 selections from nine different teams with the London Jr. Knights on top of the list with seven players selected. Hockey Eastern Ontario saw 24 players find their way onto OHL draft boards from 10 different teams with the Nepean Raiders and Ottawa Senators each producing five. The Northern Ontario Hockey Association had 11 players selected from across three teams as the North Bay Trappers developed five of those. An additional four players were selected from Ontario-based junior teams while one was drafted from an Ontario varsity program. A total of 46 players were chosen from across 25 different American-based teams led by the Detroit Little Caesars 15’s with seven players chosen.
Pre-1998 OHL Priority Selection Historical Results:
Results from 1998 to present can be found here.
Historical Draft Media Guides: