Petes Prospect Part of the First Family of Hamilton Sports, V2.0

Scott Radley/Hamilton Spectator

Before he stepped onto the ice for the Winnipeg Jets’ morning skate on Saturday, Hamilton’s Ben Chiarot took one last peek at his phone to check on the Ontario Hockey League draft. Then reached for his device again as soon as practice was done.

At St. Thomas More Secondary back here in Hamilton, one-time McMaster career scoring leader — and former European pro basketball player — Taylor Chiarot had her laptop cracked open all morning even as she was convening a tournament. Keeping one eye on the draft and one eye on the games in front of her.

When she stepped away for a few minutes, her younger brother (who was helping her run things) maintained a vigil. That would be Josh Chiarot, who recently finished four years in the Ontario Junior Hockey League including parts of two seasons with the Hamilton Red Wings and plans to play for Brock University next year.

And at their home on the west mountain, Tara and Matt Chiarot — he being a former linebacker at Western, brother of a former linebacker at Mac and son of 1957 Grey Cup-winning Tiger-Cat, Gord — sat fitfully around the kitchen table watching every pick roll past on their screen.

“We were all eagerly watching,” Taylor says.

All waiting to see the youngest member of the family’s name pop up. That would be Aaron, a 16-year-old defenceman with size (6-foot-2 and 190 pounds) and terrific athletic pedigree.

In the ninth round, it finally happened. The Peterborough Petes took him sparking a brief-but-exuberant celebration. One that added another chapter to the Chiarot family story. One that’s already rather long.

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