News Staff Report
Patrick Kane, Justin Bailey and Dylan Blujus are just a few of the Western New Yorkers who have caught the eyes of National Hockey League scouts over the years by playing for teams in the Ontario Hockey League.
Owen Green hopes to follow in their footsteps.
Green, a 17-year-old Williamsville resident, has signed an education contract to play with the North Bay Battalion of the OHL for the upcoming season.
Green, a ninth-round pick of the team in the 2013 OHL Priority Draft, played for the Buffalo Junior Sabres/Regals Under-16 team last season, helping Buffalo reach the national quarterfinals at the USA Hockey Championships.
He’ll attend a school in North Bay while playing for the Battalion, whose alumni include Blujus, who played four seasons with the club and signed a three-year entry-level contract with Tampa Bay last May after being a second-round pick of the Lightning in 2012.
“I’ve talked to a lot of guys from this area who have played in the OHL, and they’ve told me it’s awesome,” said Green, who recorded 23 goals and 68 points in 64 games last season. “I’m just like everyone else. My dream is to get drafted and play in the NHL. Playing in the OHL is the best way to get there. … Hopefully that happens to me.”
Green is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound center/left winger who comes from good athletic bloodlines.
His father, Sean, who coaches at Williamsville South, graduated from Oswego State in 1990 as that program’s all-time leading scorer (his marks for goals and points have since been broken). Green’s older brother, Tyler, was a member of the Vanderbilt University team that won the College World Series last June and is currently playing in the New England summer baseball league for the Newport (R.I.) Gulls.