2020 OHL Draft: Battalion Bypass Fantilli, Take Ty Nelson First Overall

The 2020 OHL Draft is officially underway.

With the first selection in the draft, the North Bay Battalion have announced they will take defenseman Ty Nelson, who was widely considered the best available defenseman in the draft. The team and the player are very happy with the outcome.

The Battalion are getting an all-around defenseman who can play effectively on both ends of the ice. He can shut you down. He’s a scoring threat. And he can do it all at a high rate of speed.

On the conference call announcing the pick, Nelson thanked those that helped him get to this point, including his father, mother and sister as well as coaches, teachers and trainers. He is excited to get going with the Battalion.

Ty Nelson, OHL, North Bay Battalion
The North Bay Battalion announced they will take Ty Nelson first overall in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. (Photo credit: Tim Cornett)

According to the OHL preview guide, here is what was said about Nelson:

“Ty was one of the leaders on his team this year and a big force behind their GTHL championship. He never stops competing and is a bulldog on the ice. He also finishes all his checks which makes him very hard to play against. He is an offensive threat whenever he is on the ice., especially with the puck on his stick., and averaged over a point per game this season. He possesses a very good and accurate shot from the point and also finds lanes well to get the puck on net in order to create rebounds or score. There isn’t much he doesn’t do well and he will be a very impactful player at the next level.”

The Battalion landed an excellent player. But that now means we are officially on Adam Fantilli watch. Will a team in the first round gamble to try to land him? Or will he fall out completely because no one wants to risk taking a player they would get nothing for? I’d watch for a few teams in this process. Maybe Guelph. Maybe London. Maybe even Hamilton. Watch for teams who have an early second round pick coupled with a later first. That seems to be the area where you find the least amount of risk overall.

The 2020 OHL Priority Selection gets underway Saturday morning at 9 A.M. eastern time on ontariohockeyleague.com. You can watch the first three rounds of the draft on YouTube as well.