Greely’s Cam Crotty drafted by Arizona

GREELY – Two local hockey players who are both headed to Boston University in the fall saw their dreams come true in Chicago late last month.

Greely’s Cameron Crotty was selected 82nd overall by the Arizona Coyotes. The Upper Canada Cyclones grad spent last season with the Brockville Braves. Mike Carroccetto photo

Cam Crotty of Greely and Ryan O’Connell of Riverside South were both selected in the NHL draft.

Crotty, a 6’2”, 182-pound defenceman, was picked 82nd overall by the Arizona Coyotes. Crotty is a graduate of the Upper Canada Cyclones AAA program. He played in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) for the Brockville Braves last season.

“Could not be more excited to be a member of the pack! Such a great feeling to be drafted by the @ArizonaCoyotes. Absolute dream come true,” Crotty tweeted from the draft floor in Chicago.

Crotty developed a reputation as a defensive-minded, puck-moving defenceman. His rating for the draft rose steadily throughout the 2016-2017 season.

Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News described him as an “interesting sleeper pick” with an “intriguing skill set that will emerge over time and could be very valuable.”

Crotty has accepted a full scholarship to Boston University and will play for the Terriers in the fall.

“He is a lanky, defensive defenceman with a decent first pass,” NHL Network Hockey Prospect Radio co-host Shane Malloy said. “He skates well and competes. He shows good effort. He could project into a solid AHL defensive defenceman.”

Malloy, like Kennedy, was intrigued by Crotty’s upside.

O’Connell, meanwhile, will be joining Crotty in Boston. The Toronto Maple Leafs selected him in the seventh round, 203rd overall.

The 6’2”, 175-pound defenceman turned down the Nepean Raiders of the CCHL two years ago to play for St. Andrew’s College in the Greater Toronto Area. He is excited about the opportunity to play at Boston University.

“Not only does BU have a fantastic hockey team, coaching staff, and facility, they also have a strong academic presence,” O’Connell said in an interview with NeutralZone.com. “I was watching this year’s NHL draft and when they kept calling BU players in the first round and beyond – it confirmed what an awesome hockey program they offer. I was so hopeful that they would offer me a commitment. I was offered other commitments from NCAA schools and chances to play with other Canadian teams, but I told myself that I would wait until this summer to decide. I am so happy to be part of this great organization and I am over the moon on how things turned out for me.”