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Ethan Belchetz is a 'slam dunk': Spitfires manager

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After watching Ethan Belchetz named MVP of the recent OHL Cup tournament Windsor Spitfires general manager Bill Bowler says his pick at #1 was “a slam dunk.”

At 6'5, 230 pounds, Belchetz could probably slam dunk but instead the 16-year-old has worked his way to the top of his draft class. “When you guys get to see this firsthand you'll understand why.” Bowler shortly after announcing the team had chosen the Oakville native as the OHL’s first overall pick.

The 16-year-old is just as excited to join the Spitfires.

“It's amazing. They are a prestigious organization and I cannot wait to get started with these guys,” said Belchetz who was a key player for the Oakville Rangers who won the OHL Cup title at the end of March and was named tournament MVP after tallying eleven points in seven games. He had 84 points in 34 games this season.

“When you witness or watch what he does on the ice I don't think it'll take long to be a real impact player,” Bowler said.

Belchetz appreciates the history of the franchise which has produced championships and players that have moved on to the NHL including recent standouts Wyatt Johnston and Will Cuylle.

Belchetz says he wants to improve his first-step speed so he can join them one day. Kathy McLlwain is the team's skating coach who has worked with Johnston, Cuylle, Corey Perry and Bo Horvat to name a few.

“We've already talked about my plan and all that so we'll see what happens over the summer but I'm going to be doing everything possible to work on my first step speed, my speed and every single aspect of my game to improve so I can play at the next level,” Belchetz said.

The Spits are looking to return to a level that see them at the top of the league and not second last like this past season.

“It’s gonna be exciting,” said Spits’ captain Liam Greentree. “We got a lot of picks in the first three rounds. Hopefully we can be better next year.”

Bowler feels with Belchetz and the first and third pick in the second round, a rebound back to the top of the league is possible. He would like to see his team contending for an OHL title like they did two short years ago.

“We fully anticipate being back there,” Bowler said. “I'd like to put a timeline on it but we think with Ethan here it's gonna be a lot quicker for sure.”

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