NORTH BAY -- A North Bay high school student has been selected as a prospect by the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

For 17-year-old Alex Little, hockey is a passion.

The West Ferris Secondary School student was drafted as a prospect earlier this year by the North Bay Battalion in the Ontario Hockey League’s annual OHL Under-18 Priority selection, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Little moved to North Bay last year, he chose West Ferris because of the increased program offerings, sports complex, and the positive atmosphere.

The Grade 12 student currently plays for the Powassan Voodoos, a Junior “A” team in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL).

He was drafted 41st overall by the Battalion as they work to build a contender.

“I think they have a great shot at winning in the future. They’re building up a young roster right now," said Little.

Little says hearing his name during the OHL draft was memorable. For him, it’s one step closer to having his dream come true.

“Right now, I’m training and trying to make the Battalion’s camp, so I can show them what I can bring to the team in the future," said Little.

He also acknowledges that having a good support system is key.

“Everyone that I’m surrounded by is always pushing me to be my best, it’s great," he explained.

The Haliburton native ventured further north last year because there were more opportunities to play hockey noting the North Bay Trappers, the Powassan Voodoos, and ultimately the OHL’s North Bay Battalion.

“I’m hoping to have a good year with Powassan and then hopefully get on the Battalion roster and move onto higher levels of hockey in my life,” he said.

The 6’1” defender's dream is to one day play in the NHL.

His favourite player is Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

“Ever since I started playing the game, I loved it, just everything about the sport is amazing,” said Little.

“I keep pushing through and enjoying what I’m doing, that’s a big thing because if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not going to push yourself to the next step."

Battalion General Manager Adam Dennis said being a good student is transferable to be a solid hockey player.

“As a hockey player, it is very important to understand that being a good student can be a big asset to your on-ice game," said Dennis.

"The ability to follow instruction, solve problems and work hard are things we expect from our players."

Dennis says Little is a smart player and that’s what makes him great at the game.