On Wednesday afternoon, the Barrie Colts made quite the move, acquiring the rights to Flint Firebirds draft pick Riley Patterson. During the 2022 OHL Priority Selection, the Flint Firebirds drafted Riley Patterson in the third round, fifty-seventh overall. Despite being a third-round pick in the Ontario Hockey League, it seemed like Riley Patterson had eyes on the school route instead.
After committing to Michigan State University, this move did come as a surprise. The 17-year-old played his draft-eligible season with the Mississauga Senators (GTHL) in 2022, helping the team win the OHL Cup later that season. With the Senators, Riley Patterson had eighteen goals and twelve assists for thirty points in twenty-eight games, according to EliteProspects.com.
Fast forward to last season, Riley played with the North York Rangers of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League. After playing in fifty-two games with the Rangers, Patterson had thirty goals and forty-three assists for seventy-three points. The Etobicoke, Ontario native had a stellar season which led to being crowned the Canadian Junior Hockey League, Rookie Of The Year.
If Riley Patterson does sign, I love this move for the Barrie Colts. After watching Riley play in his draft-eligible season, it’s quite obvious that the 17-year-old forward is quick, has a strong release, and great puck-handling ability. One of my favourite things about Patterson’s game is how he’s not one-dimensional, either. When Patterson is in the offensive zone, not only is he a threat to shoot, but he also isn’t afraid to drive the net or show off his ability to dangle through opponents. Given his size and speed, as Riley Patterson matures, he could develop into a real weapon offensively for the Colts.
After drafting players like Shamar Moses, Mason Goodfellow, and Justin Handsor in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection and potentially adding Riley Patterson to the mix, things are shaping up quite nicely for the Barrie Colts. Despite losing some key players from last season’s group, like Evan Vierling and Ethan Cardwell, General Manager Marty Williamson is having quite the offseason.
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