Firebirds Set for Inaugural Under-18 Priority Selection

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Flint, Mich – The Flint Firebirds Hockey Club selected five players in the 2017 Under-18 OHL Priority Selection held tonight, Wednesday, Apr. 12. Of the five new faces added to the Firebirds’ organization, there were two forwards, two defenseman and one goaltender.

Informative Flint Links:


The Firebirds selected left-winger James White in the first-round, ninth overall. A native of Peterborough, Ont., White racked up 33 points (22G, 11A) in 40 games played, including 30 penalty minutes with the Central Ontario Wolves AAA Hockey Club.

“I was really happy and excited to see I was drafted by the Flint Firebirds,” said White. “It means everything to be drafted in the OHL, its what I‘ve wanted since I was a kid. It’s exciting and an honor to get this chance.”

White, a 2000 birth-year, also played one game with the Lindsay Muskies (Jr. A) in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL).

Right-winger, Kaleb Pearson was selected in the second-round, 29th overall by Flint. He recorded more than a point-per-game, tallying 38 points (28G, 10A) in 35 games including 48 penalty minutes with the Huron Perth Lakers. Pearson also notched 12 points (8G, 4A) in 9 playoff games.

“I was really exited, it was a dream come true for me,” said Pearson. “It is probably the best day of my life. The OHL is one of the best junior leagues in the world and it has always been a goal of mine to get there.”

Pearson score twice in 11 games with the St. Marys Lincolns (Jr. B) in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL).

Scott Gaetz was picked in the third-round, 49th overall. A defenseman and native of Oakville, Ont., Gaetz recorded 42 points (13G, 29A) in 61 games played with the Toronto Marlboros AAA Hockey Club, including an impressive plus-42 rating.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was just looking down at my computer screen and it froze for a second,” said Gaetz. “It popped up and showed my name and I screamed to my dad. I’ve dreamt of this my whole life, it was really, really, exciting.”

The 1999 birth-year, Gaetz, also played one game with the Toronto Patriots in the OJHL.

The Firebirds selected Kailem Chappelle in the fourth-round, 69th overall. Chappelle, a 5-foot-11 goaltender, had a 3.22 goals against average (GAA) in 22 games played with the Cambridge Hawks AAA Hockey Club.

“It’s just fantastic, just a great feeling, indescribable,” said Chappelle. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Flint Firebirds’ organization. I’ve been classmates with Drayton Duckett (Firebirds’ 2015 OHL Draft pick) and he said he’s really happy with the organization and the facility. Just to be drafted in the OHL is everything. To be finally selected, I don’t know, it just means a lot.”

The Firebirds selected 1999 birth-year Calder Lund in the fifth-round, 89th overall. A 5-foot-10 defenseman from Toronto, Ont., Lund played his youth hockey with the Mississauga Rebels AAA Hockey Club last season. Lund was on the ice with his team for practice and was not available for comment at the time of this release.

2017 U-18 Priority Selection

Rd./Pk. Player Pos. HT WT DOB Team Hometown
1/9 James White LW 6.03 216 09/25/2000 Central Ontario Wolves Peterborough, ON
2/29 Kaleb Pearson RW 5.09 163 06/15/2000 Huron Perth Lakers St. Marys, ON
3/49 Scott Gaetz D 5.09 172 06/23/1999 Toronto Marlboros Oakville, ON
4/69 Kailem Chappelle G 5.11 174 10/18/2000 Cambridge Hawks Waterloo, ON
5/89 Calder Lund D 5.10 161 01/22/1999 Mississauga Rebels Toronto, ON


For media inquiries, contact:

Dominic Hennig
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
(810) 519-9347

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