Barrie Colts forward Ethan Cardwell could already have a friend in California after being drafted by the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks today.
Cardwell, 18, was selected in the fourth round (121st overall) of the NHL Entry Draft on Saturday, mere hours after Barrie teammate Brandt Clarke was taken eighth overall by the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night. But now they'll be bitter rivals on the ice.
In a Twitter post Saturday evening, Cardwell called being drafted "a dream come true. So happy to join the Sharks organization."
With San Jose, Cardwell joins Colts alumnus Kevin Labanc (2013-16) and Barrie native Brent Burns.
After last year's OHL season was cancelled due to the pandemic, Cardwell played with Surahammars IF in Sweden for the 2020-21 campaign, scoring nine goals and adding 18 assists for 27 points in 18 games.
The five-foot-11, 193-pound right-winger was going at a point-a-game clip after being acquired by the Colts from the Saginaw Spirit in January 2020 in the Ryan Suzuki deal. A native of Courtice, Ont., Cardwell had 11 goals and 15 assists in 26 games with the Colts to finish off the 2019-20 Ontario Hockey League season.
Cardwell was also named to the OHL's scholastic team for the 2019-20 season after receiving marks of over 90 per cent in three of his four university-level courses and over 80 per cent in his fourth.
Heading into this year's NHL Entry Draft, Cardwell was ranked No. 159 among North American skaters, according to Central Scouting’s final rankings, which were released in May.
Two other Colts players were also included in the rankings, including six-foot-four forward Jacob Frasca at No. 120 and six-foot-one defenceman Connor Punnett — who was also part of the Suzuki trade — at No. 148, but neither was selected in the NHL Entry Draft.
Cardwell's Barrie teammate Brandt Clarke was the fourth defenceman taken in this weekend's NHL Entry Draft, behind Owen Power, who went first overall to the Buffalo Sabres, Luke Hughes who went fourth overall to the New Jersey Devils, and Simon Edvinsson who was taken sixth overall by the Detroit Red Wings. Clarke was also the second OHLer taken in the draft, following Peterborough's Mason McTavish, who was picked third overall by the Anaheim Ducks.
The Colts also have links to other players who were taken in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on Friday night.
Right-winger Matt Coronato was selected 13th overall by the Calgary Flames. He was picked 270th overall by the Colts in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, but has played the last two seasons with the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League. Coronato had 48 goals and 37 assists for 85 points in 51 games with the Steel last season.
Meanwhile, right-winger Oskar Olausson was drafted 28th overall on Friday night by the Colorado Avalanche. Olausson was picked 118th overall by the Colts in last month's Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. During the 2020-21 season, he scored three goals and had three assists in 11 games with Sodertalje, as well as three goals and one assist in 16 games with HV71.