David Levin can continue to focus on hockey, for now.
Levin, a forward with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves, is in a unique situation. Due to his Israeli citizenship, he is required to serve three years in the Israeli military when he turns 18 on Sept. 16, 2017.
Yahoo Canada Sports has learned Levin has received a deferment on his military service, which can keep him focused on hockey until he is drafted by a National Hockey League club in June 2018.
“What we’re going to do is defer it until his NHL Draft, see how that goes and then make a decision from that point,” said Levin’s agent, Darren Ferris. “I don’t see any complications at all at this point.”
Levin would’ve had to enter military training prior to his 18th birthday putting his dream of playing in the NHL in jeopardy.
The 16-year-old grew up in Netanya, Israel, playing roller hockey and didn’t play organized ice hockey until he moved to Ontario to live with family at the age of 13.
Despite his inexperience, the 5-foot-10, 167-pound forward was the first overall selection at the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, joining the likes of John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid – previous first-round selections at the OHL draft.
In his first season with the Wolves, Levin scored nine goals and 21 assists in 47 games. He missed time due to a broken hand. He also participated at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge, registering an assist in five games with Team Canada.