Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
3rd Round, 67th overall
Center · 5-11 · 180 lbs
Born: January 2, 1997 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Speers is New Jersey’s third-ever selection from Sault Ste. Marie, joining Steve Sullivan (9th round/1994) & Jeff Toms (9th round/1992).
• Finished with 24g-43a-67pts in his second OHL season, including 4g-9a-13pts on a seven-game point streak to start the campaign.
• Served as alternate captain and helped the Greyhounds capture the Hamilton Spectator Trophy as top team in the regular season for the first time in 30 years.
• Recorded 18 multiple-point games, including first career hat trick December 14 vs. Windsor.
• Added 3g-6a-9pts in 14 playoff games.
In his sophomore campaign in the Ontario Hockey League, Speers finished with 67 points (24-43—67) – including 4-9—13 on a seven-game point streak to start the campaign – to help the Greyhounds capture the Hamilton Spectator Trophy as top team in the regular season for the first time in 30 years. He added nine points (3-6—9) in 14 playoff games.
Playing the majority of his rookie season as a 16-year-old, Speers ranked fifth among OHL rookies with 40 points (19-21—40) in 62 games in 2013-14. He represented Team Ontario at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, collecting four points (1-3—4) in five games.
In 2012-13, Speers captained the Soo Thunder Minor Midget AAA team and paced the club with 113 points (43-70—113) in 61 games.
Speers, a Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native who frequented Greyhounds games with his father, was selected by the club in the first round (11th overall) in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection. He became the first local player drafted by the club in the opening round since 2002 (Tyler Kennedy).
His aunt, Sharon Speers, played field hockey at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.