Bulldogs get size, speed in first-round pick Roberts

Sports Apr 10, 2016 by Teri Pecoskie The Hamilton Spectator

The Hamilton Bulldogs opted for size, strength and a pro shot at the top of the OHL draft.

The club chose Connor Roberts, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound centre from Owen Sound, in the first round, third overall, in Saturday's priority selection. The right-shooting 16-year-old had 19 goals and 39 points in 28 games with the Minor Midget AAA Grey-Bruce Highlanders this season and represented Canada at the Youth Olympics.

[ More on the OHL draft on e2e.thespec.com Bulldogs blog ]

"He's a big young man with high, high character and great potential," said president and general manager Steve Staios. He called Roberts "a corner piece to our team for many years to come."

Though his size is an asset, Staios said it wasn't the first consideration in selecting Roberts. "The high-end character, the type of player, the type of kid he is fits into what we're trying to build here," he added. "He's a leader by example."

[ 17 Hamilton area players snapped up in OHL draft ]

Roberts has the ability to play at both centre or on the wing. He's a "prototypical power forward" — Staios' words — who "shoots the puck like a man, plays like a man" and has "great speed up and down the ice."

The Bulldogs landed on Roberts Friday after narrowing the field to three or four prospective players. Last year's first-round selection, forward Matthew Strome, was at FirstOntario Centre to announce the pick.

Roberts, said Staios, will be mentored by Strome — "that's the type of culture we want to build here.

"It's team first and no one player is bigger than the team."

Guelph, the OHL's last-place team this season, selected Ryan Merkley, a skilled, high-scoring defenceman for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, first overall, while Sudbury chose Windsor Jr. Spitfires blueliner Owen Lalonde in the second spot.

Scouts say

OHL Central Scouting: Connor is the type of player that every coach wants on his team. He is like a man playing with kids at times, powerful in every aspect of his game, skating, battling and competing. He shoots the puck like a pro and can shoot it in stride which is something most kids his age can't do. It's accurate and has extreme pace to it. Connor is a powerful skater that is explosive and has a nice long stride. Can dominate physically. He was a member of the Canadian Youth Olympics team.

HockeyProspect.com: Connor was one of the top ranked prospects for the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft from the very start of the season. The first thing that jumps out at you is his size; the next thing is his powerful snapshot. He has one of the hardest, if not the hardest snapshot in this draft and he looks to use it as much as possible. In many of our viewings Roberts would look to shoot as soon as he walked over the blue line. This resulted is a few goals but more often than not he struggled to hit the net. Consistency was also a big concern in our viewings, at times Roberts looked bored or disinterested in the games and other times he would be competing hard and helping his teammates generate offence. He has excellent size and is built like a prototypical power forward. However his game doesn't always relate to his physical stature. We would like to see Roberts play with more aggression and physicality at the next level; this will make him tougher to play against as well as create space for his linemates. Although he played centre all year, we see him more suitable on the wing. This will allow him to get in on the forecheck quicker, use his shot more effectively coming down the wing and have less responsibility in the defensive zone. Roberts will be a high pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft and will be given the opportunity to produce early in his OHL career.

Bulldogs picks

Round 1 (3rd overall): Connor Roberts

Round 2 (39th overall): DJ King

Round 3 (45th overall): Riley McCourt

Round 3 (55th overall): Jacob Pivonka

Round 4 (81{+s}t overall): Jake Murray

Round 6 (105th overall): Derek Seguin

Round 7 (126th overall): Tanner Sheppard

Round 9 (165th overall): Brian Bygrave

Round 10 (185th overall): Dylan D'Agostino

Round 11 (205th overall): Hunter Nofs

Round 12 (225th overall): Trevor LeDonne

Round 13 (245th overall): Kyle Fisher

Round 14 (265th overall): Sean Blimkie

Round 15 (285th overall): Evan McIntyre

Round 15 (287th overall): James Waldron

Bulldogs get size, speed in first-round pick Roberts

Sports Apr 10, 2016 by Teri Pecoskie The Hamilton Spectator

The Hamilton Bulldogs opted for size, strength and a pro shot at the top of the OHL draft.

The club chose Connor Roberts, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound centre from Owen Sound, in the first round, third overall, in Saturday's priority selection. The right-shooting 16-year-old had 19 goals and 39 points in 28 games with the Minor Midget AAA Grey-Bruce Highlanders this season and represented Canada at the Youth Olympics.

[ More on the OHL draft on e2e.thespec.com Bulldogs blog ]

"He's a big young man with high, high character and great potential," said president and general manager Steve Staios. He called Roberts "a corner piece to our team for many years to come."

Though his size is an asset, Staios said it wasn't the first consideration in selecting Roberts. "The high-end character, the type of player, the type of kid he is fits into what we're trying to build here," he added. "He's a leader by example."

[ 17 Hamilton area players snapped up in OHL draft ]

Roberts has the ability to play at both centre or on the wing. He's a "prototypical power forward" — Staios' words — who "shoots the puck like a man, plays like a man" and has "great speed up and down the ice."

The Bulldogs landed on Roberts Friday after narrowing the field to three or four prospective players. Last year's first-round selection, forward Matthew Strome, was at FirstOntario Centre to announce the pick.

Roberts, said Staios, will be mentored by Strome — "that's the type of culture we want to build here.

"It's team first and no one player is bigger than the team."

Guelph, the OHL's last-place team this season, selected Ryan Merkley, a skilled, high-scoring defenceman for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, first overall, while Sudbury chose Windsor Jr. Spitfires blueliner Owen Lalonde in the second spot.

Scouts say

OHL Central Scouting: Connor is the type of player that every coach wants on his team. He is like a man playing with kids at times, powerful in every aspect of his game, skating, battling and competing. He shoots the puck like a pro and can shoot it in stride which is something most kids his age can't do. It's accurate and has extreme pace to it. Connor is a powerful skater that is explosive and has a nice long stride. Can dominate physically. He was a member of the Canadian Youth Olympics team.

HockeyProspect.com: Connor was one of the top ranked prospects for the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft from the very start of the season. The first thing that jumps out at you is his size; the next thing is his powerful snapshot. He has one of the hardest, if not the hardest snapshot in this draft and he looks to use it as much as possible. In many of our viewings Roberts would look to shoot as soon as he walked over the blue line. This resulted is a few goals but more often than not he struggled to hit the net. Consistency was also a big concern in our viewings, at times Roberts looked bored or disinterested in the games and other times he would be competing hard and helping his teammates generate offence. He has excellent size and is built like a prototypical power forward. However his game doesn't always relate to his physical stature. We would like to see Roberts play with more aggression and physicality at the next level; this will make him tougher to play against as well as create space for his linemates. Although he played centre all year, we see him more suitable on the wing. This will allow him to get in on the forecheck quicker, use his shot more effectively coming down the wing and have less responsibility in the defensive zone. Roberts will be a high pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft and will be given the opportunity to produce early in his OHL career.

Bulldogs picks

Round 1 (3rd overall): Connor Roberts

Round 2 (39th overall): DJ King

Round 3 (45th overall): Riley McCourt

Round 3 (55th overall): Jacob Pivonka

Round 4 (81{+s}t overall): Jake Murray

Round 6 (105th overall): Derek Seguin

Round 7 (126th overall): Tanner Sheppard

Round 9 (165th overall): Brian Bygrave

Round 10 (185th overall): Dylan D'Agostino

Round 11 (205th overall): Hunter Nofs

Round 12 (225th overall): Trevor LeDonne

Round 13 (245th overall): Kyle Fisher

Round 14 (265th overall): Sean Blimkie

Round 15 (285th overall): Evan McIntyre

Round 15 (287th overall): James Waldron

Bulldogs get size, speed in first-round pick Roberts

Sports Apr 10, 2016 by Teri Pecoskie The Hamilton Spectator

The Hamilton Bulldogs opted for size, strength and a pro shot at the top of the OHL draft.

The club chose Connor Roberts, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound centre from Owen Sound, in the first round, third overall, in Saturday's priority selection. The right-shooting 16-year-old had 19 goals and 39 points in 28 games with the Minor Midget AAA Grey-Bruce Highlanders this season and represented Canada at the Youth Olympics.

[ More on the OHL draft on e2e.thespec.com Bulldogs blog ]

"He's a big young man with high, high character and great potential," said president and general manager Steve Staios. He called Roberts "a corner piece to our team for many years to come."

Though his size is an asset, Staios said it wasn't the first consideration in selecting Roberts. "The high-end character, the type of player, the type of kid he is fits into what we're trying to build here," he added. "He's a leader by example."

[ 17 Hamilton area players snapped up in OHL draft ]

Roberts has the ability to play at both centre or on the wing. He's a "prototypical power forward" — Staios' words — who "shoots the puck like a man, plays like a man" and has "great speed up and down the ice."

The Bulldogs landed on Roberts Friday after narrowing the field to three or four prospective players. Last year's first-round selection, forward Matthew Strome, was at FirstOntario Centre to announce the pick.

Roberts, said Staios, will be mentored by Strome — "that's the type of culture we want to build here.

"It's team first and no one player is bigger than the team."

Guelph, the OHL's last-place team this season, selected Ryan Merkley, a skilled, high-scoring defenceman for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, first overall, while Sudbury chose Windsor Jr. Spitfires blueliner Owen Lalonde in the second spot.

Scouts say

OHL Central Scouting: Connor is the type of player that every coach wants on his team. He is like a man playing with kids at times, powerful in every aspect of his game, skating, battling and competing. He shoots the puck like a pro and can shoot it in stride which is something most kids his age can't do. It's accurate and has extreme pace to it. Connor is a powerful skater that is explosive and has a nice long stride. Can dominate physically. He was a member of the Canadian Youth Olympics team.

HockeyProspect.com: Connor was one of the top ranked prospects for the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft from the very start of the season. The first thing that jumps out at you is his size; the next thing is his powerful snapshot. He has one of the hardest, if not the hardest snapshot in this draft and he looks to use it as much as possible. In many of our viewings Roberts would look to shoot as soon as he walked over the blue line. This resulted is a few goals but more often than not he struggled to hit the net. Consistency was also a big concern in our viewings, at times Roberts looked bored or disinterested in the games and other times he would be competing hard and helping his teammates generate offence. He has excellent size and is built like a prototypical power forward. However his game doesn't always relate to his physical stature. We would like to see Roberts play with more aggression and physicality at the next level; this will make him tougher to play against as well as create space for his linemates. Although he played centre all year, we see him more suitable on the wing. This will allow him to get in on the forecheck quicker, use his shot more effectively coming down the wing and have less responsibility in the defensive zone. Roberts will be a high pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft and will be given the opportunity to produce early in his OHL career.

Bulldogs picks

Round 1 (3rd overall): Connor Roberts

Round 2 (39th overall): DJ King

Round 3 (45th overall): Riley McCourt

Round 3 (55th overall): Jacob Pivonka

Round 4 (81{+s}t overall): Jake Murray

Round 6 (105th overall): Derek Seguin

Round 7 (126th overall): Tanner Sheppard

Round 9 (165th overall): Brian Bygrave

Round 10 (185th overall): Dylan D'Agostino

Round 11 (205th overall): Hunter Nofs

Round 12 (225th overall): Trevor LeDonne

Round 13 (245th overall): Kyle Fisher

Round 14 (265th overall): Sean Blimkie

Round 15 (285th overall): Evan McIntyre

Round 15 (287th overall): James Waldron