Kody Clark ’17 and Cameron Hillis ’18 are headed to the big show!
Kody was selected Saturday, June 23 by the Washington Capitals in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft – 33 years after his dad, Wendel, was the No. 1 pick for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1985 draft. The father and son were at their Muskoka cottage when Kody got the news.
The 18 year old took to Twitter to share the info: Extremely honoured to be drafted by such a great organization! I am so excited to be a part of the @capitals
! Many thanks to my Family/Billets Coaches, teammates and friends who have helped me achieve this milestone in my career. @Ottawa67sHockey @NHL @sachockey
The King City, Ont., right winger played two seasons in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s, a follow-up on his St. Andrew’s hockey career.
Kody came to SAC in 2013 as a grade 9 students and member of the U16 Hockey program, before working his way on to the Varsity team. In the 2015-16 season, he scored 43 points in 52 games with the Saints.
“Kody was part of a dynamic and young 2015-16 team. He showed flashes of brilliance and the type of talent that could get him drafted,” said Varsity Hockey Coach David Manning.
“He was a player who was full of potential with an obvious strong pedigree. There were times when he was our best player and you could see what he could become in time. He’s a dynamic player with outstanding skating and puck skills.”
Kody also played First Golf at SAC.
Forward Cam was selected in the third round by the Montreal Canadiens.
“It’s very special to have this dream come true,” Cam said during an interview at the draft in Dallas, Texas, wearing a Habs jersey and cap.
“I’m not the biggest player out there…I have to think of the game a little faster and play a lot harder,” he said.
Last summer, the Enniskillen, Ont., native committed to the Guelph Storm and is considered one of the best rookies in the OHL. He spent the previous school year posting 77 points in 56 games with the Varsity Saints, leading the team in scoring. He also participated in the World U17 Hockey challenge in November 2016 and skated five games with Team Canada Red.
Prior to that, Cam was captain of the York-Simcoe Express in his minor midget season in 2015-16, winning the Whitby Silver Stick Tourney, the OMHA Championship, and the OHL Cup.
He started at St. Andrew’s in grade 8. On top of his passion for hockey – he’s played since he was five years old – Cam also played U16A Soccer and JV Lacrosse, as well as placing second in the school-wide Cross-Country Run.
“Cam came to us as second-round OHL pick and captain of our U16 team so we knew his talent. During the season he was motivated to compete with our other top players – Morgan Barron, Corey Andonovski, and Ryan O’Connell. He’s an ultimate competitor so this really brought the best out of him,” Coach Manning said.
In addition to taking a step closer to his dream of playing the NHL on the weekend, Cam also celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday.
“This is definitely a nice birthday present for me,” Cam said.
He said his focus will be on working with a coach to improve his skating skills. “I have to rely on my speed and smarts to play the game so skating is going to be a huge aspect for me.”
Cam also posted his big news on Twitter: Merci @CanadiensMTL for believing in me.
Mr. Manning pointed out that SAC now has six players from the 2016-17 team (30%) either drafted to the NHL or attending NHL camps.
“This is a huge number for a prep program like ours,” he said.
Story by Julie Caspersen