The Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association, affectionately referred to as “BLOMHA,” is one of the oldest hockey organizations in southern Ontario. Since 1951, they have been providing residents with a variety of options for playing our favourite Canadian pastime. Our feature “Grassroots Hockey with BLOMHA” will profile players who have moved on from our organization to bigger and better things. We’re so fortunate that they enriched the BLOMHA program with their talent and skill, and we can’t wait to see where their future "skates" them.
This week we’re featuring Jack Ziliotto, right wing with the Mississauga Chargers of the OJHL. Jack was drafted 201st overall in the 2021 OHL Draft by the Oshawa Generals, but ended up signing with the Mississauga Chargers where he has been tearing it up all season, boasting 32 points, 17 goals and 15 assists. Now, Jack has committed to play Division I hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York where he received an athletic scholarship. We’re so happy to see Jack continue to pursue a career in hockey - and it all started at BLOMHA! We sat down with Jack to ask him a few questions about how his hockey career came to be and what his favourite parts of the game are.
How old were you were you started playing hockey?
I stared around the age of 4 going to public skate with my family and doing laps around the rink.
When did you start playing hockey with BLOMHA?
It was around the same time 4 years of and my Mom was the coach. I loved coming to the rink and getting on the ice.
You then moved on to Rep hockey and in your Minor Midget draft year, did you get drafted?
I was playing Minor Midget AAA and was not sure if I was hoping to get drafted. However, I did in the 10th round, 206th pick to the Oshawa Generals in 20121.
Where did you play after getting drafted?
Well as you know not every kid who gets drafted plays in the OHL so I signed with the Mississauga Chargers of the OJHL Tier II hockey League. I’ve played two years for Mississauga.
What was your goal coming out of minor hockey?
Well I wanted to play I the OHL for the 2022-2023 season but that didn’t happen. I started getting NCAA schools looking at me and RPI College showed lots of interest off the get go. So I accepted a scholarship to play in Troy, NY at RPI.
Why RPI college?
I thought it was a great fit, great academic school and made a connection with coach Dave Smith. I now know that the OHL is not the only route to professional hockey. So many college players are going pro now.
What do you remember about BLOMHA Timbits Hockey?
Going to the rink, the ice looked so big, being with my friends and being excited to play he game.
Favourite Team: Washington Capitals
Favourite Player: Alex Ovechkin
Pregame Meal: Steak
Favourite Movie: All the Star Wars
Pre Game Ritual: Drinking Gatorade