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Gens to watch at NHL draft

Centre Jack Studnicka is one of several Oshawa Generals who will be carefully watching the NHL drafts this weekend in Chicago. (Photo by Joel Wittnebel).

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

A collection of Oshawa Generals will be watching the NHL Entry draft eagerly this weekend hoping they are among the group of young prospects to hear their names called.

Running on June 23 and 24 at the United Centre in Chicago,  four Oshawa Generals who found their names on the NHL Central Scouting rankings have the opportunity to get swiped up by an NHL club.

Among them are centre Jack Studnicka, who recently travelled to Buffalo along with 104 other players for the annual NHL Combine. Studnicka, who will be entering this third season with the Oshawa Generals has managed 22 goals and 56 assists in 126 games played. He was selected 21st overall in the 2015 OHL entry draft by Oshawa.

“The Combine was a wonderful experience with a very professional atmosphere. I was honoured to be a part of it, and am now looking forward to the draft in Chicago,” Studnicka stated in a news release.

Goaltender Kyle Keyser was also ranked favourably by Central Scouting finishing 11th among North American goalies. Keyser amassed a 7-9-2 record with Oshawa last season with a 3.40 goals against average and a 0.891 save percentage in 26 appearances behind starting goaltender Jeremy Brodeur.

Defensman Matt Brassard landed at 137th in the rankings while Kyle MacLean ranked 209th.

The prospective Gens are joined up top OHL talent expected to go in the top 10 during the draft including Gabe Vilardi of Memorial Cup winning Windsor Spitfires and Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads who was fifth in scoring during the 2016-2017 season with 44 goals.

The Oshawa Generals have a long history of successful NHL contributions. Most recently, defenseman Riley Stillman drafted 114th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2016 NHL draft.

Prior to that, a trio of Gens were picked up in the 2015 draft including Anthony Cirelli by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mitchell Vande Sompel by the New York Islanders and Stephen Desrocher by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 2014, Michael Dal Colle was selected in the first round by the Islanders and Hunter Smith was picked up by the Calgary Flames.