Winnipeg Jets select Colby Barlow at 18th overall in NHL Draft

The Winnipeg Jets drafted a Canadian with their first pick of the draft for the first time in three years.

The Jets used their first round selection in the 2023 NHL Draft on forward Colby Barlow with the 18th overall pick.

Barlow is the youngest captain in the history of the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack.

“Super surreal,” Barlow told 680 CJOB. “Such a special moment to be drafted by Winnipeg, especially as a Canadian boy on a Canadian team. It’s pretty incredible and the thing I’ve been dreaming about my entire life.

“Honestly, I had no idea where I was going to go and I just wanted to go to a team that wanted me and I was fortunate enough to get selected by Winnipeg, but I had no expectations coming into tonight.”

He scored 46 goals with 33 assists in 59 regular season games last season and was named to the OHL’s First All-Star Team.

“I think I just crash the net real hard,” he said. “I have a shot that I like to get off in tight areas. But I also like to tip pucks, drive the net, and crash and bang, and put those pucks in anyway I can.”

The 18-year-old also played at the IIHF U18 World Championship and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Barlow was the 12th ranked North American skater in the final Central Scouting rankings. He was also the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year.

It’s just the fourth time in 13 drafts the Jets have taken a home grown product with their first choice. The last time the Jets selected a Canadian with their first pick was Cole Perfetti in 2020. They also drafted Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey with their first selections.

The Jets used their first picks on U.S. National Team members Rutger McGroarty and Chaz Lucius the past two years.

The Jets have a total of five selections in the seven-round draft with no picks in the second, fourth, or sixth round.

As expected, the Chicago Blackhawks used the first overall pick on young phenom Connor Bedard. The Anaheim Ducks made a surprise selection at number two, passing over Adam Fantilli to select Swedish forward Leo Carlsson. Fantilli fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets with the third pick.

After three were taken last year in the opening round, no Manitobans were selected in the first round in 2023.

Brandon Wheat Kings centre Nate Danielson went to the Detroit Red Wings with the ninth choice.

Zach Benson, who played the last three seasons for the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice, joined his Ice teammate Matthew Savoie with the Buffalo Sabres after being taken with the 13th pick.

The final six rounds of the draft will be held on Thursday in Nashville.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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