The 2013 USHL Entry Draft (Phase 2) is complete. Scroll down to read bios on each of the players drafted by the Lincoln Stars. I will be updating the info below in the next couple of days, so please be patient.
If there are any blog readers who have further information about the players below, please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the article. If you'd prefer to remain anonymous you can email me at email@example.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!
4th Round : Garrett Hehir ('93) - Forward - 6'1", 190 pounds
Originally from Auburn, MA, Garrett was a senior last season at Cushing Academy PS which is located in Ashburnham, MA. In 29 games for Cushing, Hehir scored 37 points (9g, 28a). Looking at his stats, he appears to be a pass-first type of forward. Garrett was born in 1993, so that means he's an "overager" in the eyes of a USHL for next season. Each USHL team can roster only four overagers each season. The fact that the Stars used their first overall pick on an overager indicates to me that they expect Hehir to come in right away and contribute next season. I have not found any information online that Hehir has committed to a college. Click here to follow Garrett on Twitter.
6th Round: Tommy Marchin ('95) - Forward - 6'2", 200 pounds
The native of Algonac, MI played 29 games for the Detroit based Honeybaked MM program last season where he scored 33 points (19g, 14a) in 29 games, along with 25 PIM's and was his team's leading scorer. Marchin also played three games for the NTDP Team USA U-18 squad last season, and one game with the NTDP Team USA U-17's. For a 17-year old, Tommy has very good physical size. I have not found any information online that indicates he has committed to a college. Click here to follow Tommy on Twitter.
6th Round: Thomas Carey ('95) - Forward - 5'11", 165 pounds
Thomas was a senior last season for his hometown Moorhead Spuds (MN) high school team where he scored 42 points (21g, 21a) in 28 games. I found this video online which shows Carey scoring a nice wrister in a game from last season. I have not found any information online that indicates Thomas has committed to a college. Thomas was the first of three players from Moorhead, MN that the Stars selected in the entry draft on Tuesday evening. Click here to follow Thomas on Twitter. This particular draft pick came in a trade with the Sioux Falls Stampede at the beginning of last season in which the Stars traded defenseman Vinny Muto.
7th Round: Jonathan Desbiens ('96) - Forward - 5'7", 153 pounds
Jonathan was the first non-American born player drafted by the Stars yesterday and is a native of Rosemere, Quebec, Canada. In 41 games last season for the St-Eustache Vikings AAA, Desbiens scored 37 points (16g, 21a) and was his team's third leading scorer. He also accumulated 48 PIM's in those 41 games. A bit undersized, but he's also very young. It doesn't appear that Desbiens has been drafted by a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team, so there may be some interest there from him to play USHL hockey in the USA. If Jonathan were to tryout out and make the Stars roster, he would count has an "import" in the eyes of the USHL. Like overagers, each USHL team can roster only four imports next season. I have not found any information online which states that Desbiens has committed to a college. Click here to follow Jonathan on Twitter.
8th Round: Cody Pettapiece ('94) - Defenseman - 6'0", 180 pounds
The Stars didn't waste any time selecting another Canadian as they took their first defenseman of draft in Cody Pettapiece from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 47 games with the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) last season, Cody scored 20 points (4g, 16a) and 20 PIM's. According to this link, Cody has committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for 2014. In 2009, Pettapiece was drafted by Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam Draft. Click here to follow Cody on Twitter.
9th Round: Taylor Maruya ('95) - Forward - 5'11", 163 pounds
The only native of California (Los Angeles) drafted by the Stars today, Maruya scored 33 points (15g, 18a) in 40 games last season for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings MM. He also racked up 48 PIM's. I have not found any evidence online which states that Maruya has committed to a college. Not a ton of information out there that I could find in regards to Maruya. Click here to follow Taylor on Twitter.
10th Round: Brett Boehm ('94) - Forward - 6'3", 160 pounds
Boehm, who hails from Martensville, Saskatchewan, was the third Canadian selected by the Stars in this draft. In 49 games for the Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL) last season, Brett scored 54 points (25g, 29a) along with 22 PIM's. Only 160 pounds at 6'3" seems a bit skinny, but again, those weight numbers could be off. In the 2012 USHL Entry Draft, Boehm was selected by the Fargo Force in the 22nd round. According to this article, Boehm has committed to play hockey for the University of Minnesota-Duluth starting the fall of 2014. Click here to follow Brett on Twitter.
11th Round: Joshua Owings ('96) - Defenseman - 6'4", 175 pounds
The Saline, MI native was the second defenseman picked by the Stars, and also the youngest. Owings scored 5 points (2g, 3a) in 23 games last season for Detroit Little Caesars MM. He also accumulated 65 PIM's, but 34 of those came in one game. He's got some size, but I'm sure the Stars are going to want him to fill out a bit. He's still only a '96, so plenty of time to add more muscle. A friend of mine who has seen Owings in person told me that Josh is a "tall, lanky defenseman that plays with an edge, and is a potential shutdown type of player." I have not found any information online about Owings committing to a college. Click here to follow Josh on Twitter.
12th Round: Eric Brenk ('94) - Forward - 6'2", 200 pounds
Brenk is another Moorhead, MN native who last season played for the Brookings Blizzard of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). In 59 games with the Blizzard, Eric potted 44 points (22g, 22a) and 108 PIM's. 8 of his 22 goals last season came on the powerplay. In 2011-12, Brenk played 43 games for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL where he scored 7 points (2g, 5a) and added 25 PIM's. With his size and grit, and considering his prior USHL and NAHL experience, Brent should be able to come in right away next season and play a power forward role for the Stars. I did not find any information online which indicates Brenk has committed to a college. Click here to follow Eric on Twitter.
13th Round: Miles Gendron ('96) - Forward - 6'2", 175 pounds
Gendron is originally from Shrewsbury, MA and played for The Rivers Prep School out of Weston, MA last season. In 28 games for Rivers, Miles scored 28 points (12g, 16a). Pretty good size for a '96. Unfortunately, I didn't find a lot of info about Gendron online. No information online either that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Miles on Twitter.
14th Round: Jacob Dittmer ('96) - Goaltender - 6'2", 195 pounds
The first goaltender taken by the Stars in this draft, Dittmer is another Moorhead, MN native. In 27 games for the Moorhead Spuds high school team last season as a sophomore, Dittmer had a record of 13-7-2 with a 2.39 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. Stars goaltender Michael Bitzer is also from Moorhead, MN and played for the Spuds before coming to Lincoln. Dittmer has very good size for a '96. Since goaltenders normally develop a little slower compared to forwards or defensemen, it still may be a year or two before Dittmer is ready for the USHL. He definitely looks like a very good prospect for the future, however. Uncommitted to a college, from what I could find online. Click here to follow Jacob on Twitter.
15th Round: Miguel Fidler ('96) - Forward - 6'1", 185 pounds
As a junior last season for the Edina Hornets (MN) high school team, Fidler scored 11 points (5g, 6a) and added 28 penalty minutes in 23 games played. Fidler's hometown is Edina, MN as well. Two of Miguel's teammates last season are former draft picks of the Stars: defenseman Parker Reno, and forward Tyler Nanne. Edina won the Minnesota 2A state championship last season. A friend of mine who has seen Fidler play in person a few times said that Miguel had "lots of grit and sandpaper, and was overshadowed by some very good players on Edina's roster." At 6'1", 185 pounds he has very good size. My friend thought that Fidler's style would fit in nicely with the Stars. I assume Fidler will finish his senior season next year at Edina, so this pick may be for 2014-15. I did not find any information online about a college commitment. Click here to follow Miguel on Twitter.
16th Round: Kenny Citron ('95) - Defenseman - 6'1", 186 pounds
The third defenseman chosen by the Stars in this particular draft, Citron hails from Hartsdale, NY and played for Team Comcast MM (Midwest Elite Hockey League-MWEHL) last season, where he was his team's captain. In 40 games with Team Comcast, Citron scored 14 points (2g, 12a) and added 74 PIM's. Looks like a good-sized, physical, shutdown type of defenseman to me. According to this article, Kenny has committed to play college hockey at Colgate University starting the fall of 2015. The article I just linked to mentions that Citron is 195 pounds, which is a little bigger than what was noted on the USHL's website. Click here to follow Kenny on Twitter.
17th Round: Conor O'Neil ('94) - Forward - 6'1", 190 pounds
O'Neil hails from Hummelstown, PA, and last season he played for the Wichita Falls Wildcats of the NAHL. In 41 games for the Wildcats, Conor scored 39 points (21g, 18a) along with 36 PIM's. O'Neil actually started the 2012-13 season with the NAHL Amarillo Bulls and played 8 games with them before he was traded to the Wildcats. Last year around this time, O'Neil was drafted in the 12th round of the 2012 USHL Entry Draft by the Des Moines Buccaneers Much like Eric Brenk, O'Neil is forward who has some good juniors experience, and was nearly a point-per-game player in the NAHL. I'm sure the Lincoln coaches are hoping O'Neil can come in and contribute right away. Before his time in the NAHL, O'Neil played a season with the New Jersey Rockets program, which is where Stars forward Zach Aston-Reese and defenseman Daniel Willett played before coming to Lincoln. Uncommitted to a college from what I found online. Click here to follow Conor on Twitter.
18th Round: Nick Rutigliano ('96) - Defenseman - 6'2", 190 pounds
Is the town of Shrewsbury, MA a hockey hotbed? Surprisingly, Rutigliano was the second player from Shrewsbury, MA (population 31,640) selected by the Stars in this draft. In 39 games for Boston Advantage Minor Midget program last season, Rutigliano scored 27 points (4g, 23a) along with 43 PIM's. Three of his four goals came on the powerplay. Nick just turned 17 years old last month, so he's got really good size at that age. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Nick on Twitter.
19th Round: Rylan Cratsenberg ('96) - Forward - 6'3", 195 pounds
The native of Federal Way, WA (south of Seattle) played 47 games for Team Seattle AAA U16 where he scored 57 points (44g, 13a) in 47 games played along with 116 PIM's. Rylan averaged almost a goal per game for his team last season. Cratsenberg's head coach at Team Seattle AAA U16 happens to be former Lincoln Stars hall of fame defenseman, and former assistant coach, Nick Fouts. Cratsenberg also played two games for the NAHL's Minot Minatauros this past season. Rylan has terrific size for a 16-year old who doesn't turn 17 until December. I'm a Washington native, and I used to live very close to Federal Way, so I'm an instant fan of Rylan and hope he makes the team next season. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Rylan on Twitter.
20th Round: John Simonson ('93) - Forward - 5'10", 170 pounds
The second overager picked by the Stars in this draft, Simonson hails from Grand Forks, ND which is the hometown of Stars head coach Chad Johnson. Because of that, I'm sure Simonson has been on Chad's radar for quite a while. Last season for the Austin Buins of the NAHL, John scored 57 points (27g, 30a) in 59 games. 24 of Simon's 57 points came on the powerplay. Jason Feldman, who covers the Austin Bruins for The Post-Bulletin newspaper, described Simonson as "Not dynamic, but doesn't make mistakes. Can play PP, PK, all situations. Very solid all-around player, great team leader." Considering the Stars don't return any players born in 1993 (overagers ) from last season, Simonson should have a good shot at making the team and providing a leadership role. I really, really like this draft pick. John's older brother Alex played hockey for the USHL's Chicago Steel, and currently plays for the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. Click here and here for a couple of articles I found online about Simonson. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow John on Twitter.
21st Round: Brenden Dunning ('96) - Forward - 5'11", 175 pounds
Although his hometown is Buffalo, NY, Dunning last season played for the Cleveland Barons Minor Midget team where he scored 37 points (17g, 20a) in 40 games along with 47 PIM's. Former Stars who have played for the Cleveland Barons program are forwards Kyle Gibbons (now at Canisius) and Tucker Brockett (now at Princeton). In the 2012 OHL Priority Draft, Brenden was selected by the Niagara Ice Dogs in the 10th round, so he has options to possibly play major juniors as well. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Brenden on Twitter.
22nd Round: Dawson MacAuley ('94) - Goaltender - 6'6", 212 pounds
This giant of a goaltender hails from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada and was the second goaltender selected by the Stars in this draft. Last season, MacAuley split the season between the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers and the Yorktown Terriers of the SJHL. Dawson started the season with the Tigers where he went 1-3-0 with a 3.84 goals against average and a .881 save percentage. Dawson was cut by the Tigers and his WHL rights were acquired by the Calgary Hitmen. MacAuley finished the 2012-13 season with the Terriers where he went 16-6-1 with a 2.14 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. According to this article, MacAuley recently had his WHL rights traded from the Calgary Hitmen to the Regina Pats. Because he's played major junior hockey, Dawson cannot play college hockey in the United Stats. I'm thinking this was a flyer pick by the Stars, meaning it was kind of a shot in the dark. According to this tweet by MacAuley, he was surprised to hear he was drafted by the Stars and doesn't seem all that excited about it. I doubt we'll see him at Lincoln's tryout camp next June, but you never know. Click here to follow Dawson on Twitter.
23rd Round: Patrick Condon ('93) - Defenseman - 6'1", 195 pounds
The third overager selected by the Stars, Condon played for the Bay State Breakers of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) where he potted 22 points (6g, 16a) in 43 games played and added 64 PIM's. Condon hails from Merrick, NY. Patrick has played his entire hockey career in the Northeast, so it will be interesting to see if the Stars can convince him to report to Lincoln's tryout camp next month in Minneapolis. Click here and here to read a couple of articles from last year about Patrick. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. I could not find Patrick on Twitter.
24th Round: Dominick Sacco ('95) - Forward - 5'10", 160 pounds
The second straight New Yorker chosen by the Stars, Sacco (from Brooklyn, NY) could be a name that some Lincoln Stars fans remember. During the 2011-12 season, Sacco played 24 games for the Omaha Lancers where he scored 10 points (4g, 6a). Dominick stated the 2012-13 season with Omaha and he played six games for the Lancers before he was cut. He finished the 2012-13 hockey season with the New York Apple Core Select Jr. B team where Sacco scored 18 points (9g, 9a) in 16 games. We'll not try to hold his time with the Lancers against him. :) No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Dominick on Twitter.
25th Round: Colton Fletcher ('97) - Forward - 5'10", 155 pounds
It wouldn't be an USHL entry draft if the Lincoln Stars didn't select at least one player from Alaska. Fletcher hails from Wasilla, AK, which is the hometown of former Stars forward Matt Friese. According to the limited stats I could find online, Colton scored 9 points (5g, 4a) in 10 games for the Mat-Su Eagles 16U team. He's also accumulated a whopping 75 PIM's in those 10 contest. Fletcher was the second-youngest player chosen by the Stars in this draft, so I'm assuming he's someone the Stars hope to bring in next season or after that. Not a lot of info online that I could find in regards to Fletcher. No information online either that indicates he's committed to a college Click here to follow Colton on Twitter.
26th Round: Grant Loven ('97) - Forward - 5'10", 165 pounds
Loven was the youngest player selected by the Lincoln Stars in this draft, coming in at only 15 years old. As a freshman last season for his hometown East Grand Forks (ND) high school team, Grant scored a very impressive 24 points (10g, 14a) in 31 games played. Damn good numbers for a freshman. One of Grant's teammates last season for EGF was defenseman Tye Ausmus, who was Lincoln's first overall pick in the 2013 Futures Draft. This is obviously a player the Stars want to groom and hopefully call up in a few years. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. I was not able to find Grand on Twitter.
27th Round: Casey Linkenheld ('95) - Forward - 5'11.5", 170 pounds
The only Illinois native selected by the Stars in this draft, Casey calls Bartlett, IL his hometown. In 61 total games for Team Illinois Major Midget last season, Casey scored 63 points (30g, 33a) along with 32 PIM's. Linkenheld scored 31 points (14g, 17a) and added 12 PIM's in 31 High Performance Hockey League (HPHL) games. I've been told that Casey was a U17 select and 17 USA camp invite, and is a late bloomer. Former Stars who have played for the Team Illinois program are Chris Forfar, Rick Carden, and Garrett Peterson. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Casey on Twitter.
28th Round: Joe Grabowski ('94) - Defenseman - 6'3", 210 pounds
Grabowski is a big, mean, physical defenseman who hails from Lawrenceville, NJ and is currently playing for the juggernaut Amarillo Bulls of the NAHL. In 48 regular season for the Bulls, Joe scored 18 points (2g, 16a) and added 96 PIM's. He was also +34 in those 48 games for an Amarillo team that finished the regular season with a eye-popping record of 46-7-7. The Bulls are currently fighting for the Robertson Cup in the NAHL playoffs, so Joe's season is still going. In May of 2012, Grabowski was selected by the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the 5th round of the USHL entry draft, but he did not make the team after trying out for them. He later tried out for the Fargo Force but wasn't able to stick there either. Grabowski has been described to me as a "poor man's Mike McKee," which isn't a bad thing. Grabowski has committed to Princeton University for the fall of 2014. Click here to follow Joe on Twitter.
29th Round: Kevin Fiala ('96) - Forward - 5'9", 178 pounds
This is one player I have had a really hard time finding information on. I believe he is originally from Switzerland, but his name makes me wonder if he could be from somewhere else but is just playing hockey in Switzerland. In 33 games last season for the Malmo IF Redhawks Jr.team, Fiala scored 28 points (9g, 19a) along with 28 PIM's. I did find a couple of videos here and here of Kevin scoring some nifty shootout goals. Like the MacAuley pick, this may be another shot in the dark for the Lincoln Stars. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college, and I wasn't able to find Kevin on Twitter.
30th Round: Nick Schmit ('94) - Goaltender - 6'0", 175 pounds
Schmit, who is originally from Fargo, ND, was the third and last goaltender selected by the Lincoln Stars in this draft. This may be another familiar name to some Stars fans as he served as an emergency goaltender for the Stars this past season in November, I believe. Schmit has a very interesting story, as he has overcome a lot in the last year. In July of 2012, he was critically injured in a boating accident in which suffered "broken bones, a fractured hip and multiple deep cuts." Schmit spent a lot of time last summer and fall rehabbing, and he finished the 2012-13 season with the NAHL's Wenatchee Wild where he went 4-2-3 with a 2.01 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Nick's come a long way since his accident less than one year ago, so I hope this young man gets a good shot at making this team. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Nick on Twitter.
31st Round: Nate Repensky ('93) - Defenseman - 5'10", 185 pounds
Repensky gets the honor of being the last player selected in the entire USHL entry draft this past Tueday. The native of Duluth, MN played last season for the Bismark Bobcats of the NAHL where he scored 27 points (6g, 21a) in 37 games played and added 50 PIM's. 18 of his 27 points come on the powerplay, so Repensky is obviously a good PP quarterback. Despite only playing 37 games, Repensky was the highest scoring defenseman on the Bobcats. One of Nate's teammates this past season with Bismark was former Stars forward Bob Kinne. In the 2010 USHL entry draft, Repensky was chosen in the 16th round by the Chicago Steel. He may have been the last player chosen in the 2013 entry draft, but after looking at his stats, I think Rapensky has a pretty good shot at making the Stars' roster this next season as an overager. He's a quality puck-moving d-man who has some good experience in the NAHL. Click here to read an article from the Bismark Bobcats' website which highlights Repensky. No information online that indicates he's committed to a college. Click here to follow Nate on Twitter.
Wow....that was a long draft. Much longer than I expected (7+ hours). 28 total players drafted this evening. 3 goaltenders, 7 defensemen, 18 forwards.
Origin breakdown of the 28 players drafted by the Lincoln Stars:
1 each from CA, WA, AK, IL, NJ, PA & Switzerland
I will post another article soon which talks about the two trades the Stars made on draft day. Lincoln picked up forward Luke Voltin and defenseman Luke Shiplo from the Des Moines Bucaneers, as well as defenseman Jared Kolquist from the Sioux City Musketeers.
Thanks for reading! -Yeti