Thursday, May 04, 2006

USHL Draft Liveblog

Welcome to WCH's second ever attempt at a liveblogging. Today I'll be following every pick made in this year's USHL Entry Draft and trying to give my opinion on the players selected.

8:48: I have no idea why I agreed to wake up this early. For someone that doesn't drink, I feel incredibly hung over. The draft should be starting up in about 12 minutes or so. The Chicago Steel as they say....have a limited amount of time before they must make the next pick! Oh wait, that's not how that goes. The Chicago Steel are on the clock!

8:55: The WHL is holding their bantam draft today as well. I'll update if anything of interest happens there.

8:57: Before we get started, here's your drafting order:
1. Chicago
2. Waterloo
3. Sioux City
4. Columbus
5. Indiana
6. Green Bay
7. Tri-City
8. Des Moines
9. Omaha
10. Lincoln
11. Cedar Rapids
12. Sioux Falls

Every team drafts until they have 23 players on their protected list, then once everybody hits 23, they start drafting again until they hit 30.

9:00: It's 9am on my clock, so we should be underway.

9:05: The USHL website still just has the draft order posted on there website. Hopefully they update they start updating or this is going to be pretty boring.

1st Round Pick 1 Chicago Steel select: Goalie Richard Bachman, Goalie Cushing Academy

Excellent pick. I thought Bachman was the top goalie available. He played for Cushing Prep and has two outstanding seasons for them. Bachman is committed to Colorado College for 2007.

1st Round Pick 2 Waterloo selects: Bill Maday, Forward, Chicago Chill

Another nice pick. Maday is committed to Notre Dame for the 2007 season.

1st round Pick 3 Sioux City selects: Matt White, Forward, LA Jr. Kings

I don't know anything about White. He cant' be bad though if he's going third overall. Here's what the Jr. Kings site had to say about White:

"White is a dazzling forward with boatloads of potential - fantastic quickness and flat out speed, he has the ability to execute highly-skilled moves - all at top speed. All this and the fact that he is a true competitor to boot, not shying away from fierce physical play and able to stand up for himself. While he still has a lot to learn in other areas of the game, White was among the most dynamic players at the event, drawing the attention of numerous Division One schools, Junior programs, and the USNTDP."

It should also be noted that the LA Jr. Kings program is run by former NHLer and Bowling Green alum Nelson Emerson.

1st round Pick 4 Columbus selects: Toby Heaslip, Defenseman, New Jersey Hitmen(EJHL)

He played on the east coast this past year, but is originally from Illinois. It looks like Columbus is choosing to build with defense. I would have taken Derrick Lapoint as the first defenseman. I think it's funny that Columbus doesn't have a logo yet. Heaslip was EJHL rookie of the year this past season. Son of former NHLer Mark Heaslip. He's a little small, but a very good prospect.

Hmmmmm, we've gone quite a while now with no updates on the USHL website. That's never good.

1st round Pick 5 Sioux Falls selects: Matt Lundin, Goalie, Maine

Sioux Falls traded Alex Kangas and the first pick in the 6th round to Indiana for the 5th pick, and the rights to Cushing Prep forward Brad Malone. Malone is a top recruit for 2007 and should be a high NHL draft pick next season.

1st round Pick 6 Green Bay Gamblers select: Derrick Lapoint, Defenseman, Eau Claire North HS

Lapoint stays at home in Wisconsin. I think it's a great pick all-around. The Gamblers get an instate kid and a quality defenseman to replace Eric Gryba.

1st round Pick 7 Indiana selects: Eric Kattelus, Bismarck(NAHL)

Kattelus is a Yooper that scored a ton of points in the NAHL this past season. He's going to Michigan Tech.

1st round Pick 8 Des Moines selects: Kyle Bailey, Bozeman(NAHL)
Bailey is an Anchorage kid. He didn't have a ton of points by NAHL standards this season, but is a very good skater.

1st round Pick 9 Omaha selects: Dennis Urban, D Mahoning Valley(NAHL)

1st round Pick 10 Lincoln selects: Matt Bartkowski, Defenseman, Pittsburgh Predators

1st round Pick 11 Indiana selects: Brent Gwidt, Lakeland HS(Wis)

Another Wisconsin high school kid. Gwidt is a big forward with a lot of potential. I didn't think he'd go that high, but it's a nice pick.

There's a couple trades to update too: GB trades Mark Armstrong to SC for Justin Cseter; WAT trades Kyle Follmer to COL for 4th round pick

1st round Pick 12 Sioux Falls selects: Zach Hansen, Defenseman, White Bear Lake HS(Minn)

Hansen in the first MN HS player to go in the draft. I saw him play at the Ted Brill tournament. He's a solid defender. Not huge, but effective. I didn't think he'd be the first Minnesota kid to go though.

That wraps up the first round of the draft.

In the WHL draft, Landon Ferraro, Ray's son, went second overall. Cross him off the 2009 college recruiting board. Jared Cowan was the top pick, and Ryan Howse, who is supposed to be excellent went third overall. Cole Penner went 4th.

2nd round 1st pick, Chicago selects: Rob Madore G, Pittsburgh Hornets

Chicago takes a goalie with their first two selections. Um ok. Two quality goalies is a nice luxury to have, but they had a lot of holes to fill after a miserable season. Somebody is going to have to put the puck in the net for them.

2nd round 2nd pick Waterloo selects: Bryce Christianson, Fairbanks(NAHL)

Christianson was apparently the player Minnesota assistant John Hill went to go see during his famous "disappearing act" when the Gophers traveled to Anchorage last winter. I doubt the Gophers are interested anymore with Alex Kangas on board, but I'm sure other colleges will be.

2nd round 3rd pick Sioux City selects: Alex Stuart, Defenseman, Shattuck-St. Mary's

I really like this pick. I think Stuart will be a very good player at the college level some day. If the Muskies convince Sam Gagner to stick around, I think they could be very good next season.

2nd round 4th pick Columbus selects: Nolan Ryan, Defenseman, Chicago Chill

No, not that Nolan Ryan.

2nd round 5th pick Indiana selects Eddie Levens, Defenseman, Chicago Chill

Two straight defenseman from the Chicago Chill.

2nd round 6th pick Green Bay selects: Austin Mayer,Forward, Walpole(EJHL)

Eastern kid that I don't know much about.

2nd round 7th pick Tri-City selects: Calle Ridderwell, Forward Chicago Chill

Ridderwell committed to Notre Dame along with teammate and first round pick Bill Maday. Good day so for the Chicago Chill program.

Kellan Tochkin's size didn't prevent from going in the first round of the WHL draft. Cross him off the Prospects Board as well. Same goes for goalie Nathan Lieuwen.

2nd round 8th pick Des Moines selects: Troy Mattila, Forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Mattila had an outstanding Prospects Tournament with the Minnesota Blades where he was the team's leading scorer that really helped increase his stock.

2nd round 9th pick Omaha selects: Zac MacVoy, Forward, Michigan

Yikes. Doesn't help the rumors that he's leaving Michigan. A nice pick up for the Lancers though. I think he's got the ability. He just needs a place to show off his skills.

2nd round 10th pick Lincoln selects: Zach Hitch, Forward, Brighton HS(Mich)

A kid from my own backyard and I don't know anything about him. Brighton had an excellent hockey team this year though.

2nd round 11th pick Cedar Rapids selects: David Grun, White Bear Lake HS(Minn)

I'm surprised he lasted this long. He's a big forward that can put the puck in the net. He'll be joining UMD in 2007.

2nd round 12th pick, Sioux Falls selects: Chris Huxley, Defenseman, Nobles Prep

He was listed on the Central Scouting Bureau ratings, but not ridiculously high, if I recall. Also, he went to the same school as Courtney Sims so he's undoubtedly soft.

And that completes round 2. Not a lot of Minnesota high school kids taken and there's still some good ones like Nick Oslund and Andy Sackrison out there waiting to be picked. It's also interesting that so many Chicago Chill kids have been picked but none from the Michigan AAA programs.

3rd round 1st pick Omaha selects: Andy Taranto, Forward, Chicago Chill

Apparently the Chicago Chill are the University of Miami football of junior hockey.

Ah, beautiful. A server error from the USHL draft site. I guess that means I get a break.

And we're baaaaaaack!(/Jimmy Fallon)

3rd Round 2nd Pick Waterloo selects: Tim Krytosek, Goalie, Bismarck(NAHL)

He just verbally committed to Air Force for 2007 like Monday.

People are overloading the USHL server, so it looks like this is going to hit or miss. Oh well.

Now the USHL's whole website has crashed.

Drew Shore from Englewood, Colorado is the first American to go in the WHL draft. He was the first pick of the second round, 22nd overall and was drafted by Chilliwack.

Here's some stuff from the various team's websites:

Sioux City takes Matt White

Sioux Falls trades for Brad Malone

Sioux Falls takes Huxley and Hansen

The Sioux Falls Stampede are doing a good job updating on their picks.

In the fourth round, they took Joey Miller, a forward from Wayzata HS in Minnesota. In the 5th, they took goalie Jay Clark, who spent a little time in the USHL last season. In the 6th round, they took Texas defenseman Sam Zabkowicz, and then took Belmont Hill forward Matt McCollen in the seventh. In the 8th round, the Stampede took Red Wing(Minn) forward Trevor Doden, and then took Compuware forward Trevor Nill in the 9th round.

I'll try to go through all the picks if they ever get posted.

The USHL website is still going all FEMA on me. But I've made a lot of updates to the 2007 Recruiting Board, including most of the players drafted today, in case anyone is interested.


More picks are being posted. Here are the Tri-City Storm picks. Here all the picks for the Sioux Falls Stampede. Here are Waterloo's draft picks. Sioux City's picks.

I really like the Tri-City Storm's draft. They drafted 6 straight Minnesota HS players. Those players were SCSU recruit Nick Oslund(4th round/47th overall), Minnesota State recruit Andy Sackrison(5th round/55th overall), Centennial teammates Josh Bergren and Jordan Van Guilder(6th/67th and 7/75th respectively). They took two fliers on top prospects in the later rounds. They took Warroad forward Aaron Marvin in the 14th round, and Wisconsin forward Chris Hickey in the 15th.

Minnesota State recruit Mitch Carlson was drafted in the fourth round by Chicago and his former St. Louis Park defensive mate Tyler Pederson was drafted in the 5th round by Sioux City.


Anonymous said...

Not only should LaPoint have been the first defenseman, he should have been the first pick...

Anonymous said...

There is a possibility the Sue may ask LaPoint to suit up for them in the fall which may scare USHL teams away from using a high pick on him. Not sure what the likelyhood is he goes direct to college in the fall, but there is some chance.

Chris said...

I thought about him being the first pick, but Chicago needed a lot of help, and I'm not sure how much impact a defenseman could make as opposed to a top goalie or a scoring forward.

That's a good point about him signing with UND for next season.

Anonymous said...

The Kangas trade surprised me, but there was talk of Frazee being dumped and Kangas coming up early.

Chris said...

I like the Kangas trade. Sioux Falls is losing an excellent goalie, but if they get Lundin, he's at least comparable to Kangas, and the Stampede also get a potentially star player in Brad Malone.

Anonymous said...

FYI, David Toews was drafted by Brandon in last year's WHL draft (fifth round I think). A smart flyer by Brandon, since that's a lot closer to home than Tri-City was for Jon.

Chris said...

Thank you. I just realized that too. I could have swore I saw him on a draft list though.

I'll make the change.

Anonymous said...

Don't most top notch players sign tenders with a USHL team or is this a thing of the past?

Chris said...

The USHL no longer signs tenders with players. The NAHL still does though.