By Danielle McPherson
Best friends and former Huntsville Otters teammates Tate Collins and Ewan McChesney have been chasing their OHL dreams for almost a decade, and now finally their hard work is paying off.
During the 2023 OHL Priority Draft Ewan McChesney was selected in the 12th round by the North Bay Battalion, while Collins was selected in the 14th round by the Owen Sound Attack.
Recently, both boys were drafted to the OHL, with McChesney returning home on Monday from rookie camp in North Bay.
As Collins still has a little bit of time before he goes to rookie camp in June, he is nervous but is happy to be following a similar path as his older brother Ty Collins.
Collins’ older brother was drafted to Guelph in 2018. “Seeing my brother go through it … I looked up to him ever since he was playing minor hockey, trying to be like him as much as I can. It has always been a dream of mine.”
Both Collins and McChesney started their hockey careers as Otters at the age of five and continued until they were ten when both families moved to Newmarket where the boys continued playing AAA hockey.
Now they are on separate teams, McChesney playing for the Vaughn Kings and Collins playing with the York Simcoe Express.
While being the second one drafted, Collins says he was excited to see McChesney drafted first, and it made his invite that much better. “It was an amazing feeling. It’s something I’ll always remember for the rest of my life,” he noted.
With both getting drafted the two families celebrated their accomplishments together. “[It] always was a goal and a dream for both of them to be drafted. We’re proud of both boys,” said Tate Collins’ father Jeff.
Both boys agreed that no matter where in life they go they will always be thankful for their start in Huntsville and they will always be there for one another.
McChesney recalled how it all started in Huntsville. “My first time I ever skated, it was on Cann Lake in Huntsville… I wouldn’t have wanted to come out of another town; I love Huntsville.”
Whether it be daily phone calls or their fathers watching them make up games in the backseat on the way to tournaments, Collins and McChesney are described as two peas in a pod.
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