Saturday, May 4, 2013

B³ Draft Coverage: 2013 USHL Futures/Entry Draft Preview

On Monday, May 6th, and Tuesday, May 7th, the Lincoln Stars will participate in USHL's Futures and Entry drafts.  Normally, these two drafts are held a few weeks apart from one another.  Starting this year, however, the two drafts will be held on consecutive days.  The Futures draft (Phase 1) will be held on Monday, May 6th starting at 6pm CST.  The Entry draft (Phase 2) will be held on Tuesday, May 7th starting at 4pm CST.  I'll talk about the differences between the two drafts below for those who may be a little confused.

Before I get started, click here to read a very informative article about the draft process from the USHL website.

Futures Draft (Phase 1): This particular draft consists of eight rounds, as each USHL team will select eight players (and sometimes less, depending on if they've signed any tenders) from the 1997 birth year age group.  Only players born in 1997 can be selected in this particular draft.  USHL teams use this draft to select some of the best young players in North America in hopes that in the future they will develop into full-time players.

Some players on the Stars' roster last season that were drafted in prior futures drafts were Dominik Shine, Zach Frye, Brad Hawkinson, Luke Johnson, Vinni Lettieri, and Daniel Willett.  Very rarely do players selected in the Futures draft play for the team that selected them that same season. Daniel Willet was the last to do it for Lincoln.  Before that, it was Dominik Shine.

Excerpt below from the USHL website about the Futures Draft:

The first step in the two-part draft process will be the 2013 USHL Draft: Phase 1 which will take place on Monday, May 6th beginning at 6:00 PM (CDT), and will be broadcast live and free via FASTHockey, the USHL’s exclusive digital video network.  Formerly referred to as the “USHL Futures Draft”, the USHL Draft: Phase 1 will consist of eight (8) rounds as USHL teams select players from the 1997 birth year.  This single-age portion of the USHL Draft allows teams to choose players who are traditionally not ready to play in the USHL the following season, but will continue to develop at lower levels of hockey in preparation for USHL play in future seasons.  While not yet USHL full-timers, a number of those players will see game action in the coming season. 

Click here to view the players selected by the Stars in the 2012 Futures Draft.  Click here to see the players selected by the Stars in the 2011 Futures Draft.  Click here to see the players picked by the Stars in the 2010 Futures Draft.

Entry Draft (Phase 2):  This is a much longer draft than the Futures, and is where USHL teams will select most of the players that will be on their teams this next season.  Whereas the Futures Draft is used to select some of the up and coming youngsters from a specific birth year who will contribute to the Stars in a few seasons, most of the players selected in the Entry Draft are selected with the intentions they will contribute in 2013-14

Excerpt below from the USHL website about the Entry Draft:

The USHL Draft: Phase 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7th beginning at 4:00 PM (CDT), and all selections will be posted in real-time at www.USHL.com.  Previously known as the “USHL Entry Draft”, Phase 2 of the Draft consists of players from multiple birth years as USHL teams look to fill their protected lists with players who will compete for roster spots for the 2013-14 season.

Phase 2 of the USHL Draft will continue until all USHL teams have 45 players on their Initial Protected List.  That list includes affiliate players from the 2012-13 season and players selected in Phase 1 of the 2013 USHL Draft.

Click here to see the players selected by the Stars in the 2012 Entry Draft.  Click here to view the players selected by the Lincoln Stars in the 2011 Entry Draft.  Click here to view the players selected by the Lincoln Stars in the 2010 Entry Draft.

Because of prior trades made, the Stars only have one draft pick in the first 85 picks of the Entry draft, and will not make their first selection until the fourth round.  Their first and second round picks were traded to Sioux City for Riley Bourbonnais. Their third round pick was traded to Chicago last summer for Jimmy DeVito.  Their fifth round pick was traded to Des Moines for Trent Samuels-Thomas.  The Indiana Ice will have six draft picks made, and the Sioux City Musketeers will have five draft picks made, before the Stars have one.

.As I mentioned in the prospects watch article, the cupboard is very bare right now for the Stars.  They only have a handful of players from last season returning in 2013-14.  If Vinni Lettieri doesn't return to Lincoln next season, the Stars will lose their top 7 scorers from last season going into 2013-14.  So considering their lack of picks in the top five rounds, and the fact that so much scoring is gone from last season, the Stars coaches will have to draft very well in Phase 2 next Tuesday evening.

Because the Stars do not have a goaltender on their affiliate list, and with Jackson Teichroeb and Michael Bitzer leaving for college, I would suspect that the Stars will draft at least one goaltender in the Entry Draft.

I'll be following both drafts live as they occur, and will post the selections made by the Stars in two separate articles (one for the Futures Draft, one for the Entry Draft) here on the blog.  As I mentioned above, the Futures Draft on Monday, May 6th will be broadcast live via FASTHockey.com, so tune in at 6pm for that.

You can follow both drafts live online also via the links below:

Futures Draft (Phase 1)
Entry Draft (Phase 2)

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