OHL Draft 2016 (Priority Selection)

The 2016 OHL Draft (actually know as the “OHL Priority Selection”) is a midget draft held annually by the Ontario Hockey League. Each season the top 15 year-olds are picked in an order determined by the inverse order of the final league standings of the previous season.


The OHL Priority Selection is typically held the first weekend of April, via the Internet. Hockey players wishing to be selected do not have to do anything extra on their part to enter the draft, as all players registered in Ontario are eligible.

American players are often chosen (and can be chosen) from Michigan, New York state Pennsylvania amongst others further South. (More American prospects will be chosen in the 2014 Ontario Hockey League draft than in the sister leagues of the WHL and QMJHL. The U.S.A. is divided regionally between the three leagues.)

To see a breakdown of midget leagues where most players are chosen from, click here.

2016 OHL Draft Info

The 2016 OHL Draft will be for players 15 and 16. However, the vast majority will be 2000 born.

 ohl draft

When is the OHL Draft – 2016?

Date: April 2016

Location: Online

Ages: Generally, 15 years old (but also 16 and 17 year olds)

Rounds: 15

OHL Draft Picks are typically notified by phone after they’ve been selected. They will attend a team’s prospects camp or regular training camp later in the year.

Players can first start playing after the OHL Priority Selection when they are 16 years old. In extremely rare cases, exceptional player status is given to players such as John Tavares, Jason Spezza and Connor McDavid.

Sixteen year-olds are capped at four per team. This cap breaks down further. The first and second selection (regardless of round) from the draft may be signed, along with two other “wildcard” players from later in the draft. Regardless of the rule, most teams can’t afford to sign more than four 16 year-olds in a league of 16 to 20 year-old players.

Teams are also able to trade draft choices—other than their first round selection—before the draft during a “trading period” that happens a few days before the new draft.

For more info on playing in the Ontario Hockey League and its scholarship program, check out the OHL Draft page.

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by Nick Olynyk