The Flint Firebirds announced today (September 6th) that defenseman Rylan Fellinger has agreed to an Ontario Hockey League standard player agreement with the club.
“We’d like to welcome Rylan to the Firebird family,” General Manager Dave McParlan said. “His hard work this summer has paid off, as he really impressed us in training camp. We all knew he had a bright future, we just didn’t expect the future to be now.”
Fellinger was the Firebirds 13th round pick (255th overall) in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection. The 6-foot-3, 183-pound defenseman played for the U18 Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League (GNML).
“I’m still in shock,” Fellinger said. “Even though it was a couple of days ago, it’s been amazing. I always thought of the 13th round as just a number and I put in the work this summer and just came to camp ready.”
The Wawa, Ont.-native played in 25 games for the Jr. Greyhounds this year he produced 14 points (2 G, 12 A), which were the third most among blueliners on the team. He also finished tied 10th among all defensemen in the GNML and added 6 A in 5 GP in the GNML playoff series helping lead the Jr. Greyhounds to a runner-up finish.
“There are so many people I want to thank,” said Fellinger. “My teammates and coaches have really helped me throughout the season. My friends and brothers have helped motivate me and give me someone to look up to. My dad coached me when I was just a little kid. There are so many people I’d like to thank. This is a dream come true.”
Fellinger plans on wearing number 65 for Flint this year and becomes the fifth prospect of the 2023 Priority Selection draft class to commit to the Firebirds.
“I can’t wait to play in front of the Firebirds fans,” he added. “Even at the camp, there were so many fans. I’m definitely ready to give them a performance and hopefully one day take that cup home.”
Scouting Report from Head Scout Mike Oliverio: “They say you earn your job in training camp and that’s exactly what Rylan did. He made it difficult for us not to sign him. Rylan thinks defense first and is a big-body defender who competes hard and will support the offense. He simplifies the game by moving the puck north quickly. His strength is disrupting the opposing team’s offense using his reach and his ability to take away time and space.”
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