Quinton Byfield comes to town
by Randy Pascal
The Sudbury Wolves would rather not brag about being home to the Jack Ferguson Award recipient.
The hardware, after all, is doled out to the player that is selected first overall in the Ontario Hockey League draft, a direct by-product of
finishing dead last in the 20-team loop in the previous year.
But if this is to be their fate in April of 2018, the Wolves are extremely thankful that power forward Quinton Byfield was more than willing to
bring his game to Northern Ontario.
Earlier this afternoon, Sudbury VP of Hockey Operations and GM Rob Papineau confirmed the swirling rumour that Byfield was, indeed, to be
the #1 pick in the OHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
A native of Newmarket, the 6'4" highly skilled centre was the consensus top rated minor midget prospect according to numerous folks in the know. In 34
games with the York Simcoe Minor Midget "AAA" Express this year, Byfield amassed 48 goals and 44 assists, in addition to being recognized as the
OMHA ETA Minor Midget Player of the Year.
Recently highlighted in the Future Watch edition of The Hockey News, Byfield created some separation between himself and the remaining OHL
prospects in the eyes of the scouts, a reality that was not lost on the player himself, even as he competed on the ice with his peer group.
"I think there are a lot of great players out there," he said. "But going up against them, knowing I can win these battles, get around them, that was a
turning point where I knew I could do something here, I have something here."
Like most young "AAA" hockey talent, Byfield is recognized first and foremost for his offensive attributes, although he feels that there is far more to
his game than just that. "I like to get in the defensive zone battles, block shots, sacrifice my body, do a lot for the team down there," he said.
"I'm strong on the walls, getting pucks out, pinning people down in the corners." And should Wolves fans be concerned that there is not, necessarily, a
flair for the spotlight with their newly annointed #55, consider this following recollection of one of Byfield's favourite goals this year.
"I like the one in Peterborough," he recalled. "I came down, toe-dragged the guy, cut to the middle and went backhand. I think that was one of my best
moves right there."
One final bonus for those who would like to know just a little more about the fifth player to be selected first overall by the Sudbury Wolves. Here are
his choices for options on passing the time away on the long bus rides to southern Ontario:
Movie Selection: Pitch Perfect - "that was one of my favourite movies"
Music Selection: Killy (Toronto rapper)
Book Selection: The Hunger Games - "I don't read all that much, but I enjoyed the movies"