KEARNEY, NE. – Three Tri-City Storm players were selected today in this year’s NHL Draft held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Current Storm forwards Daimon Gardner, Cole O’Hara, and Cameron O’Neill, were each drafted this afternoon by NHL member clubs in the 2022 NHL Draft. Gardner was selected 112th overall in the 4th round by the Vancouver Canucks, O’Hara was drafted 114th overall in the 4th round by the Nashville Predators, and O’Neill was selected 143rd overall in the 5th round by the Ottawa Senators. The Storm has had sixty-one players drafted by NHL member clubs in its twenty-two-year history. Twenty-six of those players have played during the last five seasons under Head Coach Anthony Noreen. Tri-City has had at least one player selected in thirteen of the last fourteen NHL Drafts.
Daimon Gardner, 18, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was the first Storm player to be chosen in today’s NHL Draft. The Vancouver Canucks selected him 112th overall in the 4th round. He is the third player in Storm history to be drafted by the Canucks organization (Patrick White, 25th Overall, 2007 & Tyler Madden, 68th Overall, 2018). Gardner was acquired by Tri-City on February 8th, 2022, in a transaction with the Omaha Lancers. He made his debut with the Storm on April 8th, 2022, in the team’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Sioux City Musketeers at the Viaero Center. Gardner netted his first goal with the organization on April 23rd, 2022, in the Storm’s 4-3 overtime road victory over the Lincoln Stars in the final game of the 2021-2022 regular season. He scored one goal and notched one assist in seven regular season games played with the team this season. Gardner also skated in thirty games during the 2021-2022 season with Warroad High School (MN). He scored a team-leading forty-five goals and notched thirty-eight assists for eighty-three total points. Prior to his time with the Storm, Gardner was selected 56th overall by the Lancers in the 4th Round of the 2020 USHL Phase I Draft. Gardner made his USHL debut with Omaha on November 21st, 2020, in the Lancers’ 6-3 road victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede. He scored his first career USHL goal on April 16th, 2021, in Omaha’s 7-3 home win over the Lincoln Stars. Gardner skated in twenty-five games during the 2020-2021 regular season with the Lancers. He scored one goal and notched three assists for four total points. He has appeared in seven games with Omaha during the 2021-2022 regular season. He scored two goals and was named the 1st Star of the Game in the Lancers’ 4-1 win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on September 23rd, 2021, at the 2021 USHL Fall Classic. Gardner previously announced a commitment to play collegiate hockey in the future for Clarkson University.
Cole O’Hara, 20, of Toronto, Ontario, was selected two spots after Gardner, and became the 60th player in the organization’s history to be drafted in the NHL Draft. O’Hara was selected by the Nashville Predators with the 114th overall pick in the 4th round of today’s draft. He joins former Storm forward Chase McLane as the second player in the organization’s history to be drafted by the Predators (209th overall in the 7th round of the 2020 NHL Draft). O’Hara skated in one hundred and seven career USHL games from 2020-2022, all with the Storm organization. He scored thirty-six goals and notched sixty-five assists for one hundred and one total points. O’Hara netted three goals and recorded six assists in eight career Clark Cup Playoff games for the Storm. O’Hara was a Captain for Tri-City during the 2021-2022 Anderson Cup Championship season. He was selected 142nd overall in the 10th round of the 2019 USHL Phase II Draft by the Storm, and made his USHL debut on November 7th, 2020 in Tri-City’s 5-1 road victory over the Sioux City Musketeers. O’Hara scored his first career USHL goal on January 6th, 2021, in the Storm’s 3-2 shootout road loss to the Lincoln Stars. He notched five game-winning goals during the 2021-2022 Anderson Cup Championship season, and finished the year with a plus/minus rating of +27. O’Hara scored eleven powerplay goals this season, and was part of the Storm’s most successful powerplay in organizational history. Prior to joining the Storm at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, O’Hara skated in one hundred and four regular season games for the North York Rangers (OJHL) over two seasons. He scored thirty-two goals and notched seventy-four assists during his career with the Rangers. O’Hara skated for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens AAA organization prior to his time with North York. He scored twenty-four goals during the 2017-2018 season. O’Hara previously announced a commitment to play collegiate hockey in the future at the University of Massachusetts.
Cameron O’Neill, 18, of Odenton, Maryland, was the Storm’s final selection in this year’s edition of the NHL Draft. O’Neill was selected 143rd overall in the 5th round by the Ottawa Senators. He joined former Storm forward Shane Pinto as the second player in organization history to be drafted by the Senators (32nd Overall, 2019). O’Neill was selected 111th overall by the Storm in the 8th round of the 2021 USHL Phase I Draft. He appeared in four games during the Storm’s 2021-2022 Anderson Cup Championship regular season. O’Neill also skated for Tri-City in two games during the team’s run in the 2022 Clark Cup Playoffs. O’Neill made his USHL debut with the Storm on April 16th, 2022, in Tri-City’s 8-2 road loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede. He scored his first career USHL goal in the same game. O’Neill also appeared in seventy-one games this season with Mount St. Charles Academy (AAA,RI). He netted sixty-six goals and notched seventy-nine assists for one hundred and forty-five total points. O’Neill led the team in scoring, and also led the team in scoring during the 2020-2021 season. He scored twenty-four goals and notched thirty-three assists for fifty-seven total points in twenty-six games played for Mount St. Charles during the 2020-2021 season. Prior to his time with Mount St. Charles Academy, O’Neill skated for the Rhode Island Saints (AAA, RI), and Team Maryland (AAA, MD) organizations. O’Neill previously announced a commitment to play collegiate hockey in the future at the University of Massachusetts.
“We are proud of the Storm players taken in today’s draft and happy for both them and their families. Daimon Gardner had a very good showing for us at the end of the season, and we are excited to see what he will be able to do in a Storm jersey full-time next year. We expect him to be an impact player and someone who quickly becomes a fan favorite. Cole O’Hara followed in the line of the last few captains we have had in that he is an elite leader who also took tremendous steps in his development throughout his time here. His combination of character, skill, and work ethic should allow for him to continue to be impactful as he moves up in the game. We will miss him and look forward to watching him make us proud in the future. Cam O’Neill spent the latter part of the season with our group and showed why he has the potential to play at the next level. His ability to finish, his tenacity, and character should make him an impact player for the Storm next season and beyond.”- President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Anthony Noreen
“We are extremely proud and excited for these three players and their families! It is truly a wonderful day for them after all of their time, hard work, and sacrifice over the years. Cole O'Hara was an outstanding player for us the past two seasons, and was a key part of our top line and Anderson Cup team. We look forward to watching his development at UMass-Amherst this Fall. Daimon Gardner and Cam O'Neill are two young men who had a taste late in the season with us and will be full-time players next year. We are anxious to see what they can bring to our club and the impact they have next season. The future looks very bright for them and our team.” – General Manager Jason Koehler