By Matt Stefano
They were teammates on the Soo Thunderbirds last season, but tonight they will play against each other in the opening game of the Ontario Hockey League season.
Tonight former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Robert Calisti and the Hounds will be in Saginaw to take on former Soo Thunderbirds forward Camaryn Baber and the Saginaw Spirit.
Calisti, who was drafted by the Hounds in the 3rd round (44th overall) in last year’s Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, played six games with the Hounds last season before being re-assigned to the Thunderbirds.
During the 2017-2018 season, Calisti led all Thunderbird blueliners in goals (6) along with setting up 14 others in 33 regular season games.
The Toronto, Ontario product also led the Thunderbirds in scoring during the postseason with 2 goals and 10 points in 13 games.
Baber, who was selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the 3rd round (57th overall) in last year’s Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, spent last season with the Thunderbirds, where he finished second in team scoring with 15 goals and 46 points in 46 regular season games along with leading the team in penalty minutes (67).
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario product was also named the Thunderbirds Rookie of the Year.
During the 2017-2018 season, Baber also suited up for eleven games with the Saginaw Spirit, where he had 1 goal and 2 assists.
Baber scored his first Ontario Hockey League goal on February 9th, 2018, when the Spirit defeated the Guelph Storm 4-3 in overtime at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph.
Calisti and Baber, who are both getting set for their first full seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, are both eligible for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, which will be held next June in Vancouver.
The last Thunderbird graduate to get drafted by an NHL team, was Boris Katchouk, who was taken in the 2nd round (44th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2016.