Local product Zack Pelehos among nine players selected by Redblacks in 2022 CFL Draft

Photo courtesy: Greg Kolz/GeeGees Athletics

The Ottawa Redblacks added nine new players during the 2022 Canadian Football League Draft, led by second-overall pick, offensive lineman Zack Pelehos.

The 22-year-old won’t have to stray far from his roots on his path to the CFL. The Gananoque, Ontario native starred for the Gee-Gees, earning first team Ontario University Athletic conference all-star honours and being awarded Gee-Gees Team MVP in 2021.

Pelehos starred at the 2022 Ontario Regional Combine. The six-foot-six, 300-pound tackle finished first among offensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (5.34 seconds), three-cone drill (7.92 seconds), short shuttle (4.69 seconds), vertical jump (29.5 inches), and broad jump (eight-feet-nine-and-three-quarter inches), as well as tying for first place in the bench press (16 reps).

With their first pick of the second round, 11th overall, the Redblacks selected offensive lineman Cyrille Hogan-Saindon of the Laval Rouge et Or. The 24-year-old suited up for his first full season with Laval in 2021, earning a first team Quebec conference all-star nod. At the CFL Combine, Hogan-Saindon hit 26 reps on the bench press, the most among offensive linemen.

The Redblacks selected linebacker Jesse Luketa of Penn State with their territorial selection in the second round. The 24-year-old played four seasons with the Nittany Lions, totalling 151 tackles, eight-and-a-half tackles for loss, an interception, a touchdown, and half a sack. He was selected in the seventh round, 256th overall, by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL Draft.

With the 22nd overall pick, Ottawa selected receiver Keaton Bruggeling of the Carleton Ravens. The 23-year-old starred for the Ravens through six games in 2021, racking up 17 receptions for 225 yards and three touchdowns. At the CFL Combine, he ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, with a 37.5-inch vertical jump, 7.12-second three-cone drill, and 4.33-second shuttle.

The Redblacks selected Western defensive back Daniel Valente at 33rd overall. The 22-year-old recorded 17 tackles in five games with the Mustangs en route to a Vanier Cup victory in 2021.

With the 40th overall pick the Redblacks selected linebacker Woodly Appolon of Tuskegee University. The 25-year-old recorded 79 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and two pass deflections in 2021.

Ottawa selected linebacker Subomi Oyesoro of the Calgary Dinos with the 41st pick of the draft. The 20-year-old is a Calgary native and recorded 33 tackles in 2021.

With the 58th overall pick the Redblacks selected tight end Connor Ross of St. Francis Xavier. The 23-year-old native of Coldbrook, Nova Scotia played a total of 30 games with the X-Men, hauling in 24 receptions for 207 yards.

Finally, the Redblacks selected running back Luca Perrier of the Laval Rouge et Or at 67th overall. The 26-year-old native of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti rushed for 284 yards on 29 attempts and scored three touchdowns in 2021.