Last week, the United States Hockey League held its annual biphasic draft, with Phase I consisting of players born in the year 2002, and Phase II consisting of all players with junior eligibility left from any league or school. Phase I is considered the “Futures Draft” for the league, where teams stockpile players for their future. Phase II sees older players drafted as teams look to fill out their rosters to compete this year. This year, every Huskies recruit that was eligible to be drafted saw their names announced, including six future Huskies selected in Phase I.
There was some news in the days leading up to the draft for the Huskies, as Dubuque acquired the rights to Dylan Jackson in a trade with the Fargo Force. Jackson and his twin brother Ty are both Northeastern commits, and Ty was already drafted by Dubuque in last year’s USHL Draft. The twins have played together their whole careers, and had been previously drafted by the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, so having the chance to play together in Dubuque could add more weight to the likelihood that they go that route on their way to playing at Northeastern.
TRADE: We have acquired forward Dylan Jackson from the @FargoForce in exchange for our 2018 Phase II 4th round selection (56th overall).
— Dubuque Fighting Saints (@fightingsaints) May 8, 2018
The Huskies had a recruit off the board before the draft even started when the Omaha Lancers used one of their tenders on forward Chase Bradley. Using a tender allows a team to sign a player to their organization before the draft takes place, and in return the team forfeits their first round pick. A tendered player will be on the team’s roster next season, and will play in 55% of the team’s games next season. Bradley is one of the top 2002-born forwards, and plays in the New Jersey Colonials 16U organization.
The first Huskies recruit drafted was defenseman Brandon Chabrier out of the Long Island Gulls 16U program, going 11th overall to the Lincoln Stars. Lincoln has been a pipeline for the Northeastern program for many years, producing top talent for Jim Madigan’s teams. Former Lincoln Stars to suit up for Northeastern include Kevin Roy, Colton Saucerman, Zach Aston-Reese, and Dax Lauwers. Current Huskies that played for Lincoln include Cayden Primeau and Biagio Lerario.
Charlie DesRoches was the next future Husky off the board, going 37th overall in the third round to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. DesRoches is an elite defenseman with offensive talents currently playing at Selects Academy. He is eligible for this year’s QMJHL Draft as well. Cedar Rapids was the program that gave Northeastern Matt Filipe, Adam Gaudette, and Bobby Hampton. Shortly after, winger Jack Williams was taken 42nd overall by the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Playing out of Selects Academy with DesRoches, the Berwick, Maine native is another supremely talented forward in the Huskies’ pipeline, putting up 37 goals last season with Selects.
Round 5 saw two Huskies get selected, as Cedar Rapids dipped back into the Northeastern pool again to select Nate Hanley, a center from New York playing for the P.A.L Jr Islanders 16U program. Hanley was selected 69th overall. Two picks later at 71 overall, Alexander (Sasha) Teleguine was selected by the Chicago Steel. Teleguine is another center, currently playing for Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA. Thayer produced Gaudette, Lincoln Griffin, and Jon Barry for the Huskies program. Chicago is also where 2019 defenseman Jeremie Bucheler is playing his junior hockey. Chicago would select more Northeastern commits in Phase II of the draft (see below).
The final Northeastern commit that was taken in Phase I of the draft was Stanley Cooley, a centerman from Canada. He was chosen in the 6th round, 82nd overall by the Des Moines Buccaneers, the program that gave us Ryan Ruck and Garret Cockerill. Cooley is an immense talent, but one possible factor in his falling in the draft could have been the fact that he was a third round pick in the WHL Draft. We hope that Cooley will arrive in Des Moines in a couple years, which would make us very confident that he would be honoring his commitment to the University.
On Day Two of the USHL Draft, the Huskies had five future players taken by three different teams. With any player with juniors eligibility able to be taken, the Chicago Steel went back-to-back in round two to select Neil Shea and Sam Colangelo, teammates at Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts who are coming off a state championship last season at Lawrence. Shea is a ’99-born left wing, Colangelo a ’01-born right wing. We would expect Shea to be a key part of Chicago’s offense next season, and we will see if Colangelo will make the team out of his first USHL camp next year.
The next round at 44th overall, the Youngstown Phantoms selected Matt DeMelis, a left-shot ’99 center from Massachusetts. DeMelis was originally drafted by Cedar Rapids in 2015, but has played the last two years with the Northeast Generals in the North American Hockey League. After putting up 43 points in 53 games, DeMelis will be joining a quality Youngstown team next year- the Phantoms are currently in the Clark Cup Finals, competing for the USHL Championship. Playing under an experienced coach and a proven top program next year will be beneficial for DeMelis’ growth. Youngstown currently has one future Husky on it in Julian Kislin (2018 arrival, defenseman), has produced current Huskies defenseman Ryan Shea, and former Huskies Mike Gunn and Ryan Belonger.
The fourth round saw Alex Mella come off the board to join the Madison Capitals. The Shattuck-St. Mary’s product most recently played in the NAHL for the Austin Bruins, putting up 27 points in 50 games. He got a brief stint with Cedar Rapids when the Roughriders were battling a rash of injuries, and Mella proved he belonged at that level by chipping in two assists in three games. Next season Mella will look to be a key part of the Madison offensive attack, and will enroll to Northeastern in the Fall of 2019.
The final Northeastern recruit selected was defenseman Dan Petrick, selected in the 15th round by Madison. Petrick has been in the Northeastern pipeline since he committed as a 15-year-old out of Springfield Cathedral High School. He has had previous stints in the USHL with Omaha and Des Moines before finding a home last season with the Austin Bruins of the NAHL, where he was voted as assistant captain by his teammates. Showing an offensive flair to his game, Petrick put up 20 points in 49 games with Austin.
Northeastern had a clean sweep in the USHL Draft, with every player eligible to be selected having their name announced at some point over the two day event. As things currently stand, every player that in the Northeastern pipeline, with the exception of the 2003-born forwards, either has their USHL rights secured by a team, or have already been playing on a USHL roster. That is an incredible testament to the recruiting prowess of Coaches Madigan, Keefe, and Smith, to have collected premier talent that are all in demand in the best junior hockey league in North America. Playing in the USHL will benefit every one of these players as they look to improve and develop before arriving at Northeastern.
For our current projections of the upcoming NU recruiting classes, please visit our page HERE.
As always, go Huskies!