Wednesday, May 13, 2009

USHL Entry Draft Preview

I've already told you about the results of the USHL futures draft. If you can't read or are just too lazy, the futures draft was for 1993 birth dates. Most 93's are currently sophomores in high school and most likely, many won't play in the USHL next season (there is obviously exceptions).

Tomorrow, the USHL is holding it's annual Entry Draft. The draft starts at 1PM and should go through probably at least 8 or 9. I don't remember them ever starting the draft this late in the past I thought they used to start it at 8 or 9 in the morning.

Like they were today, Wisconsin should be represented during the Entry draft. The only committed recruit for Wisconsin that is eligible is Madison native and 2009 Wisconsin Mr. Hockey Cody Strang. Strang had an OUTSTANDING season for Madison Edgewood. He racked up 76 points in 23 games for an average of 3.3 points a game which was best among his other committed future Badgers (obviously his competition wasn't as good). I haven't heard a lot of buzz surrounding Strang leading up to the draft but I would peg him as a top 5 round player.

3 other committed recruits have already been selected by USHL franchises. Troy Hesketh, a defenseman from Minnetonka has already been selected by Fargo. He's expected to play his senior season for the skippers at Minnetonka but could be lured away to Fargo by Dean Blais. Tyler Lapic, a senior from New Prague, Minnesota, has been selected by Omaha and should be a force for the Lancers next season. And last but not least, Matt Paape from Appleton has his rights owned by Sioux City.

As for potential recruits and Wisconsin natives, it's really a crap shoot but we should definitely hear some names called from this group. C.J. Eick and Ryan Belonger from the Green Bay Jr. Gamblers program should be drafted. Both are 92's and have had success on the national level. Both were called up to play a few games for the Gamblers big squad this season. Neither played the required 10 games so both are eligible to be drafted and both should.

Team Wisconsin should get a few names called besides Wisconsin commit Cody Strang. I'm guessing at least one of the three junior defensemen, (Shayne McLaughlin, Eau Claire Memorial; Nolan Kirley, Hayward; or Brian Kemp, Fond du Lac) will be selected. Cody Johnson from Hudson has an opportunity to go. Alex Amundson, a defenseman from Brookfield, should hear his name called. He was listed as a player to watch by NHL Central Scouting before the season started. Wes Wauters (Ashwaubenon), Tommy Westmark (Appleton), Ross Anderson (River Falls), and Jordan Tredinnick (Onalaska) and Pat Dalbec (Superior) all have outside shots tomorrow. Goaltender Andrew Martin, who was offered a spot to walk on at Wisconsin, will also be watching intently from his computer screen tomorrow afternoon.

Other potential recruits that have an opportunity to see their name scroll across the computer screen tomorrow: Darren Lapic from New Prague (Tyler Lapic's brother), Eric Johnson and Tyler Lundey from the Madison Capitols, Nick Widing from Hill Murray (originally from Somerset), and Jose Delgadillo from the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals.