The Saginaw Spirit report this morning that they have signed Stars defensive prospect Jamieson Olekisak, ending a weeks worth of rumors that said as much.
Oleksiak had two big decisions before him after being drafted by the Dallas Stars: Where to play internationally and where to play his regular season. He chose to go Canadian in both instances, leaving Northeastern for Saginaw and turning down the United States invitation for their junior national team camp in favor of Canada's.
In the OHL he'll play 68 games or more, up from 38 at Northeastern, and that's a big reason to make the jump to juniors and continue his development. With the Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, Oleksiak will have frequent meetings with division rival Windsor, and of course, Stars top goaltending prospect Jack Campbell.
Between Stars development camp, Canadian camp coming up in early August and Saginaw's camp starting September 1st, Mr. Oleksiak is having quite a busy hockey summer.
From the official Saginaw Spirit release...
Spirit General Manager and Head Coach Todd Watson and his staff has been recruiting Oleksiak since the team selected him 138th overall in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection. "We have been after him for a couple of years, similar to how we were after Brandon Saad leading up to last season", said Watson, "This is an important signing that helps to strengthen our defense and we look forward to him coming into camp, adjusting to the caliber of OHL hockey and contributing in the 2011-2012 season."
The 6'7", 240 pound native of Toronto, Ontario played for the NCAA's Northeastern University Huskies last season, where he enjoyed a solid season recording 4 goals and 13 points in 38 games as a freshman. Prior to that, he spent time in the USHL with both the Chicago Steel, and Sioux Falls Stampede.
Oleksiak is a dual citizenship with the United States and Canada, and this season he decided to pass on an invitation to the US World Junior Team Camp to try out for the Canadian World Juniors Squad. The Canadian National Junior Team's Summer Development Camp is scheduled for August 3rd to 7th in Edmonton, Alberta. Oleksiak has previous international experience representing the United States in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Stated Spirit Assistant General Manager Jim Paliafito, "Adding an elite defenseman as Jamie is another step to our goal to win an OHL Championship. Oleksiak reminds me of a young Derian Hatcher." [Saginaw Spirit.com]