Tuesday, May 22, 2012

B³ Draft Coverage: 2012 USHL Entry Draft Results

The 2012 USHL Entry Draft is complete.  Scroll down to read bios on each of the players drafted by the Lincoln Stars today.  If there are any blog readers who have further information about the players below, please feel free to leave a comment.  If you'd prefer to remain anonymous you can email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com. Just because the Stars drafted these players doesn't mean that all of them will attend the tryout camp next month in Minneapolis, MN. The Stars just own their USHL rights.  It's up to them if they want to attend camp and compete for a roster spot.  You can click on any of the links below in blue to read more about the players.  Okay, off we go!

2nd Round: Michael Bitzer - Goaltender -  5'11", 205 pounds - 10/23/93
Originally from Moorhead, MN, Bitzer played last season for Moorhead High School where he had a record of 22-8 with a 1.80 goals against average, a .933 save percentage, and seven shutouts.  Bitzer was considered by many to be the best goaltender coming out of Minnesota high school hockey last season.  Due to his outstanding season with Moorhead, Bitzer won the Frank Brimsek Award for Minnesota’s best senior goaltender.  After finishing the season with Moorhead, Bitzer played a handful of games with the Alexandria Blizzard of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) where he went 3-0-1 in four regular season games with a 2.00 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.  In the playoffs for the Blizzard, Bitzer went 1-1-1 with a 1.50 goals against average and a .958 save percentage.  Click here to read number of articles about Bitzer by reporter-extraordinaire Ryan S. Clark.  Bitzer is uncommitted to a college at this time.

3rd Round: Jake Wood - Forward - 5'8", 165 pounds - 8/6/93
The native of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada played for Gunnery Prep School in Washington, CT last season.  I was informed via email that Jake scored 38 points (12g, 26a) in 33 games for The Gunnery.  Wood graduated from The Gunnery in 2012, so I assume he'll play for the Stars next season (if he makes the team after the tryout camp).  Wood has committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institution (RPI) for the fall of 2013.

4th Round: Zack Pittman - Defense - 6'2", 195 pounds - 7/17/95
Pittman is a native of Macomb, MI which is also the hometown of former Stars forward John McCarron.  Last season, Zack played 28 games for Detroit Honeybaked Minor Midget where he scored 20 points (6g, 14a) and added 49 penalty minutes.  One of Pittman's teammates on the Honeybaked squad is Stars 2011 Futures Draft pick Max Humitz.  Pittman was the youngest player selected by the Stars in the entry draft today.  Zack was drafted by the OHL's Ottawa 67's in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection Draft.  Pittman is uncommitted to a college.

5th Round: Ross Olsson - Forward - 6'4", 200 pounds - 11/22/94
Olsson, a native of North Billerica, MA, played for Williston Northampton School located Easthampton, MA last season as a junior.  I was informed via email that Ross scored 14 points (4g, 10a) in 24 games played for Williston.  Click here to read a great interview of Olsson courtesy of Russ Bitley at Examiner.com.  Olsson is being talked about as a possible NHL draft pick in 2013.  Ross has committed to play for Northeastern University, beginning the fall of 2013.  From what I've been told, Olsson will not return to Williston next season.

5th Round: Mike McCarron - Forward - 6'5", 220 pounds - 3/7/95
So you should all recognize the last name.  Mike is the "little" brother of former Stars forward John McCarron.  Mikey played for the Team USA U-17 squad last season where he scored 17 points (3g, 14a) in 35 games to go along with 112 penalty minutes.  Mike has committed to Cornell University, where big brother John plays, starting the fall of 2013.  Honestly, I don't understand this selection at all.  McCarron is set to play for Team USA U-18 next season, and he tweeted as much this evening after the Stars selected him.  Mike is set to start at Cornell in 2013, so the only reason why I think the Stars drafted McCarron is in the hopes that Cornell won't want him until 2014.  Mike would age out of Team USA after the 2012-13, and then be able to play for the Stars in 2013-14.  Seems like a longshot to me, but the coaches obviously know something I don't.

6th Round: Craig Skudalski - Forward - 6'6", 205 pounds - 5/12/95
Skudalski is a native of Wyoming, PA where he played for Wyoming Seminary last season, which is located in Forty Fort, PA.  Like many players from prep schools, it's very hard to find stats online.  It appears he also played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Jr. Knights where he scored 10 points (4g, 6a) in 33 games played.  I'm trying to remember if the Stars have ever drafted a player who is 6'6".  As far as I know, Skudalski is uncommitted to a college.  Skudalski will be a senior next season so he has some options.  If Craig ever suits up for the Stars, I have the perfect nickname:  "The Skud Missle."

7th-14th Rounds: No picks (Phase one of draft complete)

15th Round: Louie Nanne - Forward - 5'10", 165 pounds - 7/18/94
This should be yet another familiar last name.  Louie is the grandson of hockey legend Lou Nanne, and the cousin of current Stars forward Vinnie Lettieri and Stars Futures Draft pick Tyler Nanne.  All of a sudden, the Stars are trying to draft every grandson belonging to Lou Nanne.  Anyway, Louie was a junior last season for Edina High School, located in Edina, MN.  In 28 games last season for the Edina Hornets, Louie scored 27 points (15g, 12a) to go along with 34 penalty minutes.  Two of his teammates at Edina are also draft picks of the Stars: defensemen Parker Reno (2011 Futures Draft pick) and Jack Walker (2012 Futures Draft pick).  Nanne will also have some options next season.  He could return to Edina, tryout and play for the Stars, or go to the BCHL and play for the Penticton Vees.  Like Vinni Lettieri, Louie has committed to the University of Minnesota (2013).

16th Round: Michael Bunn - Forward - 6'0", 175 pounds - 7/19/94
Bunn, a native of Raleigh, NC, played  last season for Culver Military Academy where he was a junior.  This is another player that I wasn't able to find a lot of good information on.  According to the link above (name), Bunn scored three points in six games for Culver.  As far as I can tell, Bunn is uncommitted to a college.

17th Round: Brandon Morley - Forward - 5'9", 160 pounds - 4/17/94
Morley, who is originally from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, played for the South Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) where he scored 47 points (14g, 33a) in 49 games and 63 penalty minutes.  In 2010-11, Morley also played for the South Surrey Eagles where he scored 29 points (11g, 18a) in 57 games played.  According to this article, Brandon has committed to Merrimack University, but I don't see his name listed on Chris Heisenberg's NCAA Recruit website.

18th Round: Austin Yano - Defense - 5'9", 165 pounds - 10/30/93
Last season, Yano played for the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.  The native of White City, Saskatchewan, Canada, Yano scored 27 points (9g, 18a) in 50 games to go along with 47 penalty minutes.  I'm unaware if Yano has committed to a college.

19th Round: Zach Pochiro - Forward - 6'2", 168 pounds - 3/6/94
Pochiro played for the Wichita Falls Wildcats of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) last season where he scored 34 points (18g, 16a) in 52 games to go along with 154 penalty minutes.  Pochiro was in the Top 10 in penalty minutes in the NAHL last season.  The native of Las Vegas, NV was actually a 2011 USHL Entry Draft selection of the Fargo Force.  Click here to read an article about Pochiro from the Fargo Force website after he was drafted last year.  Zach tried out for the Force but did not make the team out of their tryout camp last year.  Click here to view a video interview of Pochiro made by the USHL prior to the 2011 USHL Entry Draft.  According to this article, Pochiro signed a contract with the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars for next season.  It appears that the signing came two days after the Stars drafted him.  Not great timing.  I highly doubt Pochiro ever plays for the Stars.  The WHL is considered major junior, so if Pochiro plays with the Cougars next season, he will forfeit his NCAA college eligibility.

20th Round: Charles Guevremont - Forward - 6'0", 176 pounds - 1/14/95
Charles is a native Iles Des Soeurs, Quebec, Canada.  Last season he played for the Magog Cantonniers of the Quebec Midget AAA league.  In 31 games for the Cantonniers, Guevremont scored 23 points (11g, 12 assists) and accumulated 16 penalty minutes.  According to this video, Charles was selected by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in June of 2011.  I have been informed via email that Charles is very much interested in playing in the USHL.

21st Round: Garrett Brossart - Forward - 5'11", 145 pounds - 6/4/94
The last player selected by the Stars, Brossart is a native of Fargo, ND.  Last season he played for the Chicago Fury Major Midget team.  According to the link above, Brossart scored 22 points (9g, 13a) in 40 games for the Fury last season.  Before playing for the Chicago Fury, Brossart was a member of the Fargo South Bruins high school team.  According to this article, he was the only freshman on the varsity squad.  I believe Brossart is uncommitted to a college.

That's it!  Almost five hours after it started, a total of 13 players were selected by the Lincoln Stars.  10 forwards, 2 defensemen, and 1 goaltender.  I'm not too surprised Lincoln only drafted two defensemen considering the d-men from last year who could return, and the d-men already on their affiliate list.

I was a little surprised that they selected a goaltender with their first draft pick, but from what I've read online about Bitzer, he's the real deal.  Everything I've heard about the kid is positive.  A lot of scouts think he can come in next season and be starter at the USHL level, which makes me wonder about the status of current Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb, who will be an overager ('92) next season.  I don't think the Stars drafted Bitzer to sit on the bench.  Bitzer has already commented on Twitter that he's excited about being part of the Stars family.

Another player I've heard nothing but positive things about is forward Ross Olsson.  I think he can come right in next season and be one of the top point producers on the team and add a physical element as a power forward.  I've had a few people tell me that they were surprised he fell to the fifth round.  As I mentioned above, he could very well be selected in the 2013 NHL entry draft.

Well, the next step is hopefully watching all of the above players at the Stars' tryout camp this June in Minneapolis.  I'll highlight all of the players that should be at that camp later in a blog article.  Thanks for reading.  Sorry for the length.

Go Stars.

Edit:  Click here to see what the Lincoln coaches think about some of the draft picks made yesterday.  According to the article, former Stars forward Eric Scheid has left the University of Alaska-Anchorage and will play for Lincoln next season (if he makes the team after tryouts).  Eric scored 36 points (15g, 21a) in 57 games for the Stars during the 2010-11 season.  Scheid is a '92, so he would count as an overager next season.  Each USHL team can roster only four overagers (players born in 1992) next season.


Brandon Anderson said...

Good to see the Stars pick up Johnny Macs little brother

Jason said...

Is it September yet? I'm already jacked. Seeing the value of good goaltending in the playoffs, I'm glad the Stars went after someone like Bitzer. JT can get it done, but I think the two goalie system worked well, esp. with the good Defensive core Lincoln should bring back.