It’s a long ways from playing ‘CHIPS’ in Ancaster to making it to the big leagues but two 15-year-old Ancaster kids are well on their way to realizing their dream.

It seems like just the other day when David Eccles and I were teammates  for the Ancaster Avalanche Atom AE rep team. Coached by his dad, Dave (and my dad as the team trainer), we went as far as you could go at that level – well almost…

Ancaster Avalanche 2007 OMHA Finalists

The highest award in Ontario Minor League hockey is to win the OMHA championship. After battling our way to the finals and winning the first two out of a ‘best-of-five’ series we dropped the next three games to come in second. For me and many others on the team it was our best and most memorable year of hockey ever – and our eyes are still drawn to to our finalist banner every time we step on the ice at Morgan – but for David that was just the start. From AE, to AA in Ancaster, and finally to AAA level with the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs, David fought hard to earn a spot at each level. He is now considered an OHL draft prospect.

For Connor Murphy, a classmate of mine at Bishop Tonnos, the path was a little more clear. Conner spent most of his hockey career with the Bulldogs and is captain and offensive leader of the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs’ minor midget AAA team. Not only an amazing player, Connor has a natural feel for the game. His play reminds me of Wayne Gretzky who was able to read the game and go to where the puck was going – not where it was. It’s that combination that will undoubtably earn him a top pick in the OHL draft on April 7.

So this weekend  as the Jr. Bulldogs host the OMHA championships at the Mohawk 4 Ice Center, there will be over 200 scouts from all 20 OHL teams, schools, and who knows where else watching our Ancaster boys. For centerman Connor Murphy #14 and #64 Defence-man David Eccles this is their chance to impress and move one step closer to every Canadian boys’s dream – to be a professional hockey player and yes, one day maybe even the NHL!

STORY UPDATE: Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs Minor Midget AAA lost 6-5 in overtime to the Whitby Wildcats in the championship game on Sunday afternoon. Connor Murphy’s had a good show leading the team with 8 points over the weekend tournament.