Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lincoln Stars in 2011 NHL Entry Draft

I thought I'd touch on this topic briefly since there is a chance that a former, and a prospective Lincoln Stars player might be selected this weekend at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  The draft will take place from June 24-25, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.  Round one of the draft will take place Friday night, starting at 6:00pm CST, and will be televised on Versus.  Rounds two through seven will take place on Saturday, starting at 10:00am CST, and will be televised on the NHL Network.

Former Stars forward Ryan Dzingel is a '92 birth date, and was eligible to be drafted last year at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but he was not selected.  Coming into the draft last year, Dzingel was more of an unknown, after playing only part of the 2009-10 season in Lincoln, scoring 26 points in 36 games and was -18.  This past season with the Stars, Dzingel established himself as one of the top point-getters in the entire USHL, scoring 67 points (23g, 44a) in 54 games and was +19.  Ryan will begin his freshman season at the Ohio State University this fall.  I've come across some articles online which state Dzingel has a shot at being drafted this weekend, so we'll have to wait and see if a NHL team picks the Wheaton, IL native.  In my opinion, Dzingel is certainly deserving of being selected by a NHL team.

A name that might not be that familiar with Stars fans is defenseman Mike McKee.  McKee, the "Man Child" from New Market, Ontario, Canada, is a physical specimen standing at 6'5", 235 pounds, and is only 17 years old (8/17/93 DOB).  Because of his size and skill, McKee has been getting a lot of attention by hockey scouts around the world.  The last few years, McKee has been playing prep hockey in Connecticut at Kent School.  McKee has already committed to play collegiate hockey for Northeastern University in Boston, and will enroll there starting the fall of 2012.  Click here to read more about McKee.

McKee was drafted two years ago by the Stars, and was a surprise attendee at the Stars' 2011 tryout camp a few weeks ago in Minneapolis.  McKee could stay at Kent next season, as he still has a year left of high school.  The fact that he was at the Stars' tryout camp is a good indication that he is interested in playing in Lincoln next season.  I think the coaches at Northeastern may have told McKee to step up his game against much better opponents in the USHL compared to what he was playing against in Connecticut.  

So if you are watching the draft this weekend, hopefully you'll hear the names of Dzingel and McKee both be called.  It would be nice to see both in a NHL uniform someday.

Speaking of the NHL, I ran across this article online today about former Stars forward Jason Gregoire.  Gregoire just completed his junior season at the University of North Dakota, but decided recently to go pro.  Gregs was originally drafted in 2007 by the New York Islanders, but due to a new rule which you can read more about in the article I linked, he now has the opportunity to sign with whatever NHL team is interested in him.  Because Gregoire is a native of Winnipeg, there is some talk that he might sign with the new Winnipeg NHL team will which begin play in 2011-12.


markj said...

The Chicago Blackhawks like Ryan a lot and you should hopefully hear them call his name!!!

Yeti said...

That's good to hear, markj! I'm sure Ryan would be very excited to play for his hometown Blackhawks.

MacAttack said...

Ottawa must like Stars players cause they just picked Ryan in the 7th round