This is part five of a multi-part series on previous drafts by the Erie Otters. Each story focuses on a pair of OHL Priority Selections.
2004 OHL Priority Selection
Site: May 1, 2004
First round selection: Left wing Brett MacLean was chosen in the 11th spot from the Grey-Bruce Highlanders. He put up 31 points in 81 games with the Otters until he was traded to the Oshawa Generals in December 2005, and he has played in 18 NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets.
Notable Selections Who Played in Erie: Second round pick Josh Kidd appeared in 232 games with the Otters from 2004 to 2008. A seventh-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2007, Kidd played one season with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs and recently finished up his third year playing for the University of New Brunswick. Third round selection Eric Regan played 86 games with the Otters until he was packaged in the same trade with MacLean to Oshawa. He signed an entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks but was not re-signed after three years in the AHL and ECHL, and he now plays in Germany. Patrick Lee, a sixth round selection, played 119 games in two seasons with the Otters before he finished his OHL career with stops in Plymouth and Niagara. 13th round selection Justin Hodgman ended up as the steal of the draft and Erie’s most prolific player from the class. In 254 games with the Otters, he collected 87 goals and 130 assists. After two seasons in the minors, Hodgman was one of the leading scorers in the top level of Finnish hockey with the Pelicans this season. Another 13th round selection, Ryan Ludzik, was the son of former NHL forward and head coach Steve Ludzik.
Notable Selections Who Did Not Play in Erie: Eighth round pick Joe Sova played three seasons at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks until he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Jersey Devils in 2011. He is now a part of the Carolina Hurricanes system after the Alexei Ponikarovsky trade in January. 15th round selection Mike Fillinger played four seasons at Ferris State University.
2005 OHL Priority Selection
Date: May 7, 2005
First round selection: Physical forward Anthony Peluso was chosen with the tenth overall pick and played in 141 games for the Otters until a trade to Sault Ste. Marie for Sean Jones and a pair of draft picks on Thanksgiving Eve 2008. The 2006 sixth round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues is in the final year of an entry-level contract and he has played most of the last three seasons with the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen.
Notable Selections Who Played in Erie: Second round pick Nick Palmieri collected 126 points in 192 games and was a scoring threat in his three-plus seasons with the Otters. He was traded to Belleville in 2008, and was a third round selection by the New Jersey Devils in 2007. Palmieri has bounced back and forth between the AHL and NHL, and is now a part of the Minnesota Wild farm system with the Houston Aeros. Jordan Nolan, the son of former NHL head coach and player Ted, was chosen in the third round. He only played in 33 games in his rookie season and was traded before the start of the 2006-2007 season to the Windsor Spitfires for two draft picks. Nolan made the NHL in February with the Los Angeles Kings, and has remained in their lineup. Fan favorite Luke Gazdic was picked by Erie in the ninth round and was notable for his work in the community, winning the team’s Humanitarian of the Year award three times. He collected 407 penalty minutes in 188 games with the Otters and he is currently in his third season with the AHL’s Texas Stars.
Notable Selections Who Did Not Play in Erie: Netherlands native Mike Dalhuisen was chosen in the fourth round. A defenseman who moved to Canada at the age of 11 in order to progress his hockey career, Dalhuisen recently finished his third season with Quinnipiac University and he is a mainstay on the Dutch national team. 11th round pick Alex Radojcic played quarterback at Concordia University in Montreal.