The Saints made history last weekend when two recent graduates were drafted to the NHL.
Morgan Barron ’17 was the lone Canadian pick for the New York Rangers, while Ryan O’Connell got the nod from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Coming in at #174 in the sixth round, Morgan, a Halifax-native, spent the past two seasons playing for the Saints, leading the team as captain this season.
“I am extremely honoured to be selected by the New York Rangers,” Morgan said. “It’s a dream come true.” Morgan is committed to play for Cornell University next year, an NCAA D1 Ivy League school.
“I try and play a 200-foot game,” said Morgan during a press conference in Chicago. “I like to chip in defensively and offensively, so I think I just want to be a prototypical NHL centreman who plays both ends of the ice.”
Varsity Head Coach David Manning and builder of the SAC Hockey program is understandably proud. “Morgan is a driven and dedicated young man,” he said. “As a big player with outstanding skill, Morgan fits the mold of the classic centreman. He’s equally adept at distributing the puck as putting it in the net, and doesn’t let his defensive game suffer because of his offensive one.”
This is certainly what Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark is hoping for during Morgan’s time at Cornell. “He’s been more offensive at St. Andrew’s. Now he’ll learn the other side of the game of defence and by the time he comes to us, he’ll have a good idea of how to play on both sides of the puck,” said Clark during the press conference.
Ryan O’Connell ’17 was selected in the seventh round, 203rd overall. He wasn’t listed on the Central Scouting Mid-Term back in January, but was listed as the 208th skater in North America in the most recent prospect ranking.
“I am so blessed to be drafted in the NHL by the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Ryan said, in addition to thanking everyone who worked so hard to help him achieve his dream.
The Gloucester, Ont., born defenceman spent two years with the Saints and committed last August to NCAA D1 Boston University. Ryan will spend next season playing for Penticton of the BCHL before heading to Massachusetts in 2018.
“Ryan is a dynamic player who is only beginning to reach his potential,” said Coach Manning. “To continue that growth as a member of one of the top programs like Boston University is quite special.”
Old Boy Robbie Thomas ’17 also made the cut. He was drafted to the St. Louis Blues in the first round, 20th overall. Robbie spent two years playing for SAC’s U16 team before departing for the London Knights of the OHL.
Princeton-bound Corey Andonovski ’17 was overlooked this weekend after being ranked #195 on the Central Scouting Mid-Term in January. However, he will likely be invited to attend a development camp and still has another shot at the draft next year.
“We’re ecstatic that two of our players have been recognized in the top 210 players in the world,” said Coach Manning, who attended the draft at United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks. “It’s an absolute honour to be considered within a group of elite players.”
The last Saint to be drafted was Warren Foegele ’14, who was the 67th pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2014. Warren signed a three-year, $3-million contract with Carolina in March.
Story by Nicolette Fleming