FIRST-OVERALL PICK MATTHEW SCHAEFER COMMITS TO ERIE OTTERS
Erie, Pennsylvania – The first overall pick is the first to commit to the Erie Otters from the 2023 Draft Class. Matthew Schaefer, the dynamic 200-foot defenseman and recipient of the Ontario Hockey League’s 2023 Jack Ferguson Award, has officially committed to his draft club ahead of his rookie season.
The announcement of the Schaefer signing was made official by Erie General Manager Dave Brown on Saturday afternoon ahead of the first scrimmage of 2023 Erie Otters Orientation Camp.
“Matthew is dynamic and brings great energy to the game, and we are excited about Otters fans seeing him when the 2023-24 season begins.” said Brown, “We are thrilled to share in Matthew’s exciting journey as a member of the Otters’ organization, and can’t wait to see his contributions on the ice and in the Erie community.”
A breakout star in his draft-eligible season, Schaefer earned top-prospect status from scouting services like HockeyProspect.com, Neutral Zone, Recruit Scouting, and more thanks to a point-plus-per-game regular season (12G+20A in 25GP), and nearly a three-point-per-game post-season (6G+8A in five GP). The defenseman’s status a top-scorer for the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s Halton Hurricanes saw his team earn the SCTA league championship. Playing in the prestigious OHL Cup tournament, the scoring touch of the season would continue for the blueliner with a point-per-game (1G+3A) in the four games played for the Hurricanes.
Erie won the opportunity to select Schaefer thanks to a luck of the draw at the third-annual OHL Priority Selection Lottery Process in March, which saw the Otters boost their draft stock to the top spot. Erie would officially announce its third all-time first-overall selection on April 20, 2023 with a special introductory press conference welcoming Matthew Schaefer and family. The pick was formally made the following night during the 2023 OHL Priority Selection Draft.
“I’m a hardworking player that will compete every day and will play whatever role the Erie Otters want me to. I promise to learn, I promise to grow as a person and a player, and I promise to involve myself in the community.” said Schaefer, “I truly wish it was August [for] Training Camp so I could start my journey to try and earn a spot on the opening night roster.”
Schaefer will wear the #48 for the Erie Otters, with fans having their first-look at the team’s #1 overall pick during Orientation Camp. Intrasquad scrimmage games will be open to the public and played at the ERIEBANK Sports Park at 8159 Oliver Road. Please note all scrimmages are 4 vs. 4. The schedule is as follows:
- Saturday, May 20
- 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. – Scrimmage #1
- 8:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. – Scrimmage #2
- Sunday, May 21
- 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M – Scrimmage #3
If you’re unable to attend the weekend’s scrimmages, or would like to keep up with Camp as it unfolds, please follow along on the Erie Otters social media pages.
The Erie Otters are thrilled to officially welcome Matthew Schaefer to the Flagship City, and look forward to his first time in an Otters jersey on the ice.
Matthew Schaefer Scouting Report from OHL Central Scouting: “A powerful defender that has speed to burn and he uses it in all three zones. He can be a one-man breakout as his foot speed allows him to beat forecheckers and make a good heads-up pass or continue though the neutral zone with the puck as he isn’t afraid to lead the play and create offence. He uses his outstanding skating ability to defend with the best of them as he closes on players fast and gives them little time and space to make plays. He has a great understanding of the game and knows what each situation calls for.”
For the latest Otters news, visit OttersHockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters), and Instagram (@ErieOtters).
For further information on the Erie Otters and for media inquiries, please contact Shawn Bednard at firstname.lastname@example.org.