London goalie becomes latest local to make OHL commitment

Another local hockey talent is setting his sights on the Ontario Hockey League.

Michael Simpson, a 10th-round selection in the 2019 OHL draft, has signed a standard player agreement (SPA) with the Peterborough Petes.

In 16 games with the London Minor Midget Junior Knights last season, Simpson registered a 2.24 goals-against average.

“Our scouts were impressed with Michael’s play over the season, into playoffs and at the OHL Gold Cup,” said Petes general manager Mike Oke. “Our goaltending coach, Andrew Verner, is excited to work with Michael and develop him.”

Simpson says committing to an OHL program like Peterborough’s is a dream come true.

“Going to Peterborough is going to be awesome given how much success they’ve had in developing players, especially goalies. I’m really excited for the next couple of years,” he said.

The Petes won’t need to rely on the young netminder right away, as Tye Austin and Hunter Jones are both expected to return to the crease next season. Simpson will likely spend a bulk of the season at a lower level of junior before moving on to the OHL.

The six-foot-one, 201-pound London native also won bronze with Team Alliance at the 2019 OHL Gold Cup and took part in the 2019 OHL Cup with the Junior Knights.

He’s the second player on that Junior Knights team to officially commit to the OHL. Brett Harrison, a first-round pick of Oshawa’s, signed his SPA with the Generals last month.

Another relatively local commitment to be aware of is Deni Gourde, who will be playing for Owen Sound next season. The Grande Point, Ont., native was the 2019 Alliance Minor Midget Player of the Year with the Chatham-Kent Cyclones Minor Midgets.

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