With the new recruiting rules preventing players from committing to college because August 1st of their junior season, Phase 1 of the USHL Draft, which features players 16 and younger, has lost much of its intrigue for college hockey followers, at least until those players commit and we can look at where they will develop before college. However, Phase II of the Draft, which enables teams to select players with eligibility from all across junior hockey, is much more interesting for college fans, featuring players known in the pipelines and USHL teams all vying for top talent to reload and restock for next season.
This year, Northeastern saw five recruits taken in the draft- two defensemen and three forwards. We expected at least two recruits to be taken, and saw four selected with one curveball thrown as well. We documented them on our Twitter as the picks came in, but will go into it a little more below.
- James Fisher, Forward, Youngstown Phantoms– The Wilmington, MA, native and star of Belmont Hills’ team this past year, Fisher was selected in the first round of the draft by Youngstown, their second pick. Youngstown is the former home for current Huskies Julian Kislin and Matt DeMelis.
Fisher is a power forward who has a world of upside that he’s just starting to tap into, learning how to blend his abilities as a skater with a power game that can take over games any given shift. He’s a likely candidate to be selected in the 2022 NHL Draft. Youngstown made the USHL Playoffs this year, despite the second-lowest goals output in the East. Expect Fisher to help that number immediately as he works towards a 2023 Northeastern arrival.
- Ryan St. Louis, Forward, Dubuque– The aforementioned curveball, St. Louis is returning to junior hockey for the 2022-23 season to continue his development for the college level. In his freshman year at Northeastern he picked up one goal and one assist in 38 games, often playing in the Huskies’ bottom six. He was selected three picks after Fisher and joins brother Lucas (a Harvard commit) on Dubuque, and after a year in Iowa St. Louis will have the option to return to Northeastern or head to another school to continue college hockey. Whatever he chooses, we wish Ryan the best next year in his development. Dubuque has developed multiple former Northeastern players including the Jackson twins, John Stevens, and Matt Benning.
- Kaden Muir, Defenseman, Tri-City– The first pick of the second round, Muir heads to a Tri-City program that was the top team in the USHL this season and is the favorite for the Clark Cup. Muir is the definition of a defensive defenseman, reliable in his own end in helping prevent offense while getting the puck quick to his teammates who push the puck up towards the offensive zone. We’ve likened his game to recent NU grad Tommy Miller, and expect Muir to develop well with the Storm ahead of a 2023 Northeastern arrival. 2022 defenseman recruit Vinny Borgesi currently plays for the Storm, as did former center Tyler Madden
- Dylan Compton, Defenseman, Green Bay– The first of two Canadian draft picks that are expected to spend next season north of the border rather than in the USHL, Compton is an elite puck-moving defenseman who put up over a point per game for the Shawinigan Lake School U18 Prep team. He got two games in for the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL and is expected to play there next year but that did not stop Green Bay from selecting him in the 7th round, 96th overall, in the USHL Draft. It’s really a no-lose situation for Compton going to the BCHL or USHL, as they are the top two junior leagues to develop in prior to college. He’s a 2024 arrival projection.
- Eli Sebastian, Forward, Green Bay– After developing Cam Lund this season for the Huskies the Gamblers double-dipped into the pipeline, taking Sebastian in the 11th round of the draft. He’s already verbally committed to the Penticton Vees of the BCHL next season, so we’ll see where he ends up. Penticton is usually the class of the league so again, no bad options for him. Sebastian is a 200-foot center with high-end speed, and the BCHL would be a great spot for him to play and develop his offensive game. Another 2023 arrival.
With the USHL Draft in the books, we look forward to the 2022 NHL Draft later this summer. Northeastern placed 7 players and recruits on the final NHL Central Scouting list, so we expect the draft to be one of, if not the most fruitful for Northeastern University ever. Stay tuned to the website and our Twitter for all news related to Huskies players, recruits, and alumni, and we’ll have more feature articles as the summer goes on.
As always, go Huskies!