Local hockey player selected by Flint Firebirds in OHL draft

Samuel Assinewai

AUNDECK OMNI KANING FIRST NATION – A talented young Manitoulin Island hockey player has been drafted by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Flint Firebirds hockey team. The draft took place this past Saturday.

Forward Samuel Assinewai is almost 16 years old and originally hails from Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, but now lives in the Detroit, Michigan area and plays for the Detroit Compuware Bantams. He was selected in the 13th round of the OHL draft, the 256th player taken in the draft. 

Samuel began his hockey career on Manitoulin Island and played for the Nickel City Sons Bantam AAA Sons in Sudbury. In November 2018 he and his family, father Shaun Assinewai, mother Lauren Abotossaway and his sister moved to Livonia, Michigan, where he played for the Detroit Compuware Bantams in the High Performance Hockey League, one of the top America development leagues for up-and-coming prospects. 

Last season with the Compuware bantams, he collected six points in 20 games but really took a step forward in the 2019-202 season with Compuware’s 15U team, netting six goals and assisting on nine others.

He attends school in Windsor, studying community and justice services.

The 5’11” 155-pound left winger, more comfortable in his surroundings this season, showcased his puck skills and hockey IQ, as well as the strength his physicality toward becoming a budding power forward.

The Recorder was unable to contact Samuel prior to this week’s press deadline, however he told the Sudbury Star in its April 2, 2020 edition that when asked to identify the abilities that may be most attractive to OHL clubs, Samuel pointed to “my skating, as well as my playmaking ability.”

Compuware posted an impressive 10-4-0-1 record in league play this season, good for second overall, and Samuel felt they could have contended for a national championship, but the COVID-19 virus brought their season to an early end. He told the Star he is very committed to play in the OHL.