Today the OHL held their Priority Draft. And some UND recruits are on the list.
The first two occur in the 4th round. The first was the Barrie Colts taking Brenden Lemieux with the 6th pick of the fourth round. Seven picks later, UND recruit Nick Schmaltz got selected by Windsor. There may be more, but it is unlikely (this post was written while the OHL draft was in the middle of the 10th round of 15 rounds).
What does this mean?
Hard to tell. I know very little about Barrir and Windsor's tactics. They aren't ultra agressive or perhaps even overtly Anti-NCAA like London of the OHL, Moncton of the QMJHL, or Red Deer of the WHL. However, Windsor has been pursuing Jordan Schmaltz very heavily and drafting his little brother is another tried and true tactic that has worked in the past. That being said, Jordan and Nick have both gone on record saying that they are committed to the NCAA route. I hope that is true, but with all the nefarious tactics and rumored financial incentives that have surfaced as of late, one cannot be too confident.
Of the two drafted, I think Lemieux has the highest probability of bolting for the Major Juniors. His dad went through Major Juniors (though with the QMJHL, not the OHL).
As with most cynical people, I have my predictions and what I hope. I predict the Schmaltzes show up in Grand Forks. I predict Lemieux will go the way of Matteau and go OHL.
It's too bad but it is the reality of the sport. Of course, I hope I'm wrong about Lemieux and he does skate for UND. I just won't believe it until he does. And, for the record, I believe the same will be true for uncommitted blue chipper Seth Jones.
We'll just have to wait and see... or perhaps Brad Schlossman can shed some light post draft.
EDIT: One other interesting development: UNO incoming recruit Alex Broadhurst was drafted in the 2nd round by London, a team that enjoys pressuring players away from the NCAA.