Atlantic Youth Hockey League


OHL Draft Has Many AYHL Connections

Release Date : 04/12/2013


HAWTHORNE, NJ – The Metropolitan Junior Hockey League is pleased to announce that current players Austin Dittenhafer (’97 birth year/Peguea, PA), Charles McAvoy (’97 birth year/Long Beach, NY) and Steven Ruggiero (’97 birth year/Kings Park, NY) were all selected in the recently completed OHL Priority Selection Draft, presented by State Farm. 

The three current MJHL players were joined by MJHL alumni, Jeremy Bracco (’97 birth year/Freeport, NY), the 2012-2013 AJHL Rookie of the year in being an OHL draft pick.  The four players were also joined by AYHL-only players/alumni Troy Henley (’97 birth year/Paulsboro, NJ) from the Team Comcast organization, Connor Clifton (’95 birth year/Matawan, NJ) from the Jersey Titans organization, Jeremy Brodeur (’96 birth year/Essex Fells, NJ), the son of New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and from the New Jersey Devils Youth organization, Donovan Ott (’97 birth year/Lebanon, PA) from the Philadelphia Little Flyers organization, Kristofer Carlson (’97 birth year/Centreville, VA), Joseph Masonius (’97 birth year/Spring Lake, NJ) from the New Jersey Rockets organization, JC MacLean (’97 birth year/Basking Ridge, NJ) from the New Jersey Colonials and New Jersey Rockets programs, Chris Birdsall (’96 birth year/Glen Rock, NJ) from the Avalanche organization (currently playing in the USHL) and Grant Jozefek (’97 birth year/Chester, NJ), also from the Avalanche organization.

Fresh off being chosen for the USANTDP, Bracco was the highest selected player with an MJHL connection.  Bracco only dressed in 10 games for the Keegan Cup Champion Rockets, picking up 24 points (9G 15A) in those games and was chosen with the fifth overall pick in the fifth round by the Kitchener Rangers.  “It means a lot that a team with the tradition of Kitchener would have interest in me,” shared Bracco.  “It’s an honor to be drafted by such a great organization.”

Kitchener would again come calling for a New Jersey Rocket when it selected Bracco’s future NTDP teammate, McAvoy, with the fourteenth pick in the sixth round.  Like Bracco, McAvoy was excited by the prospects of playing for Kitchener.  “Going to the OHL down the road is an excellent option to have,” added McAvoy.  “The Kitchener Rangers are a great organization with a history of turning out pro players and I’m proud that they’d have an interest in me.”

The Ottawa 67’s would come calling on Long Island for their second pick of the seventh round when they chose Ruggiero.  The Kings Park native had a solid season for the Metro Moose, batting a few early injuries to post nine points (2G 7A) in 20 games in helping to guide the Moose to their first playoff victory in MJHL franchise history.

The SOO Greyhound were the final OHL to come calling on the MJHL when they selected Central Penn’s Dittenhafer with the 12th pick of the 9th round.  The Pequea native was a mainstay on the blueline for the Panthers and recently participated in the OHL Cup.  Dittenhafer picked up 18 points (4G 14A) in 26 games for Head Coach Andy Scott and helped anchor the second stingiest defense in the MJHL.  “The Panthers are proud of Austin’s recognition as an elite ’97 in being drafted by the Greyhounds,” said Scott.  “Austin is talented, hard-working high-potential prospect.  While the Panthers are committed to the USA Hockey development model, Austin’s selection to one of the top development leagues in the world speaks to his ability and the development first model of the Panthers and the MJHL.”

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