15-Year-Old Michael Misa Selected First Overall by Saginaw Spirit

Image for 15-Year-Old Michael Misa Selected First Overall by Saginaw Spirit

On Friday night, 15-year-old Michael Misa joined an elite company when he became just the fifth player of his age to be selected first overall in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection Draft. Misa joins NHL superstars John Tavares (2005), Aaron Ekblad (2011), Connor McDavid (2012), and likely 2022 NHL Entry Draft first overall pick Shane Wright (2019) in accomplishing the feat. 

However, despite the fact that the draft didn’t start until Friday it was already known on Thursday that the Saginaw Spirit would be selecting Misa, announcing the first overall pick before the draft day is something that is common in the OHL but not seen in the NHL. 

Exceptional status is defined by the Canadian Hockey League as

“Exceptional player status is granted to a player whose qualities not only on the ice, but as a person, deem the player deserving of the rare privilege of participating … at an early age.”

The jump to the OHL won’t be much of a learning curve for Misa as he is used to competing against players who are a year or more older than him, during his time with the Greater Toronto Hockey League’s Mississauga Senators the 2007 born center regularly faced off against the 2006 age group. 

During the 2021-22 GTHL season, Misa recorded 16 goals and 27 assists for a total of 43 points in just 27 games played and during the recent OHL Cup tournament, which features the top minor league teams from across Ontario, Misa did one better by putting up an amazing 20 points in just seven games and helped lead the Senators to the title while breaking Connor McDavid’s tournament scoring record and being named as MVP of the tournament, becoming just the third underage player to receive the honour. 

Misa’s Senators weren’t originally a part of the tournament but instead joined after an early-round exit in the GTHL playoffs. 

As he prepares for the next stage of his career, Misa is leaning heavily on family and friends as he gets ready to move away from home and his family for the first time at just 15-years-old, something that would be really difficult for any kid that age. Misa said in a recent interview with The Globe and Mail that; 

“Considering it’s been a dream of mine to go to the OHL, I’m excited. It’s a bit nerve-racking to leave home at such a young age, but I think I’m ready for it and it’s something I’m not alone in. I have a great support system. At first, it was all overwhelming, but now I’m just staying focused on hockey and getting better.”

Misa also has his older brother Luke to lean on for advice and support as Luke Misa plays for the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL. With Misa being selected by the Spirit, however, he won’t have the chance to take the ice against his brother in the OHL as the Steelheads are in the opposite conference. 

At the start of the 2022-23 OHL season, Misa will be the youngest player in the entire Ontario Hockey League and he will also have pressure on him to help turn the Spirit into a contender as they went 24-43-1 this past season and have never won an OHL championship. The only time the Spirit got remotely close to a championship was in 2019 when they made it to the third round of the OHL playoffs. 

Despite only being 15 years old, the 5’10”, 161 lb centerman from Oakville, Ontario is already seen by Elite Prospects as one of the top prospects for the 2025 NHL Entry Draft. 

main image credit:

Embed from Getty Images

Share this article