Except for the two-minute separation at their birth, twins Spencer and Matt Watson have rarely been apart.
The Watson boys wanted to keep it that way going into the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
“That was our main goal and we let teams know we wanted to go together,” said Spencer, the elder of Brad and Julie Watson’s twins by those two minutes.
The Kingston Frontenacs accommodated the Watsons’ wish, picking Spencer in the second round — 24th overall — and following in the fifth round by selecting Matt Watson.
Spencer is the scorer, piling up 91 goals in 71 games for the London Knights Gold minor midget squad coached by Rob Simpson. Matt is a defenceman with a good offensive side, too. He played up front until his peewee hockey years.
“We’ve wanted to go together from Day 1. Who wouldn’t want to be on a team with your brother by your side?” Matt said.
“We feel we are a huge package too. We see each other so well on the ice. We push each other. Why wouldn’t you want your brother with you,” chimed in Spencer.
The Watsons have been playing for the London Nationals, helping that team advance to the Ontario Hockey Association junior B Sutherland Cup finals.
Coach Simpson, who also saw Jared McCann from his club go fourth overall to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, had high compliments for the Watson twins.
“Personally, I think (Spencer) was the purest goal scorer (available) in the draft,” Simpson said.
“He’s a little bit like a Phil Kessel (of the Toronto Maple Leafs) but with more tenacity and grit than Phil. Spencer
has the knack for finding open ice and his release and shot are second to none.”
Simpson said the twins both have great character and a positive attitude.
“Their parents did a real good job raising them and teaching them the right way to be,” Simpson said.
“Matt doesn’t have the dynamics of his twin brother, but he will play in the OHL. He has all the skill.”
Brad Watson credits a backyard rink for speeding up the hockey skill development for his sons.
Watson and his neighbour combined to build the 90-by-30-foot rink, which would be the arena where the love for the game was nourished.
“That’s where they learned their (soft scoring hands) skills, too. Mostly it was them and their friends out there having fun,” Brad Watson said.
“Back then that was our life, going out there every day. That would be the biggest attribute to my game, being out on the backyard rink,” Spencer said.
“We were out there every night being kids, growing up to love the game more and more,” Matt said.
Brad Watson said Matt was a prolific scorer before dropping back to play defence at the request of his peewee coach.
“I think it’s helped him to see the ice and make plays off of that. I wouldn’t be surprised (if he ends up) be a swing man (playing both defence and offence at times),” Brad Watson said.
“One thing about it though, Spencer is certainly not a defenceman.”
Although the hometown London Knights were in line to draw Spencer Watson, he wasn’t disappointed to slip out of the first round and land with the Frontenacs.
“Honestly I couldn’t be more excited. It is almost like a dream,” he said.
“We feel it is a good fit for the both of us. I feel (Kingston) wanted us the most together. I’m glad we have that opportunity together.”
Simpson, who ended up having 10 players selected off his team, said Kingston got a first-round pick in Spencer Watson.
“He’s a real nice player and it is good for the city as well,” Simpson said.
“When I look at what they got (through the draft), Kingston won big on draft day.”