Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lincoln Stars release protected roster and affiliate list

The official protected roster is here!  Thanks to the Stars for releasing this today.  Click here to view the press release from the official Lincoln Stars' website.   

I'm going to list all of the players below (in no particular order), and then I'll give my opinions after that.  

I'd like to hear what you think, so please leave a comment, or you can send me an email at  Here we go!

30-player protected roster:
G - Michael Bitzer  (Overager)
G - Nick Schmit 
G - Jacob Dittmer 

D - Zach Frye 
D - Zack Pittman
D - Daniel Willett
D - Luke Shiplo  (Import)
D - Jared Kolquist  (Overager)
D - Scott Dornbrock  (Overager)
D - Tony DeVito
D - Connor Chambers
D - Cody Pettapiece  (Import)
D - Nate Repensky  (Overager)

F - Zach Aston-Reese
F - Garrett Brossart
F - Max Humitz
F - David Parrottino
F - Luke Voltin
F - Dominick Sacco
F - Daniel Kucerovy
F - John Simonson  (Overager)
F - Hunter Anderson
F - Brandon Smith
F - Tommy Marchin
F - Thomas Carey
F - Jonathan Desbiens  (Import)
F - Magnus Hoff  (Overager - Import)
F - Nicholas Monfils
F - Michael Bunn
F - Alex Forsberg  (Import)

18-player affiliate list:
F - Casey Linkenheld ('95)
F - Parker Reno ('95)
F - Gordie Helmuth ('96)
F - Miguel Fidler ('96)
D - Joshua Owings ('96)
D - William Scherer ('96)
D - Michael Prapavessis ('96)
F - Tyler Nanne ('96)
F - Grant Loven ('97)
F - Colton Fletcher ('97)
F - Zach Grzelewski ('97)
F - August Von Ungern-Sternberg ('97)
F - Keegan Ward ('97)
F - Michael Floodstrand ('97) 
F - Angus Scott ('97)
D - Tyler Jutting ('97)
F - Jared Bethune ('97)
F - Tye Ausmus ('97)

In regards to overagers (players born in 1993), the Stars have protected six of them above. Each USHL team can protect a maximum of four overagers next season, so two of those six (Bitzer, Kolquist, Dornbrock, Simon, Hoff, Repensky) will have to be cut before the start of the 2013-14 regular season.  Bitzer is a lock, so he for sure has one of those overager spots locked up.

A lot can happen to the roster between now and opening night, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if the overager "problem" gets sorted out before the Fall Classic rolls around in late September.  If it doesn't, then potentially all six of the '93's will have some preseason games to impress the coaches one more time.

I listed 25 players in my prediction article, and all 25 are on Lincoln's 30-player roster.  I missed Alex Forsberg, Cody Pettapiece, Nate Repensky, Michael Bunn, and Jacob Dittmer.  I had Dittmer on the affiliate list prediction, so I really didn't exlude him.  I believe the Stars will move Dittmer to the affiliate list before the season starts.  He will go back to Moorhead High School (MN) to finish his junior season for the Spuds.  Dittmer is definitely the goaltender of the future for the Stars, though.  But for the 2013-14 season, my bet is on Bitzer and Nick Schmit being the two netminders on Lincoln's roster on opening night.

Of the 18 players listed on Lincoln's affiliate list, I predicted 15 of them correctly.  I missed Parker Reno, Tyler Nanne, and Michael Prapavessis.

First big surprise is the addition of forward Alex Forsberg to the 30-player protected roster.  Forsberg is not a former draft pick of the Stars, nor was he at Lincoln's tryout camp last June.  In 2012-13, Forsberg (no relation to former NHL'er Peter Forsberg), played the first half of the season with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL.  According to this article, Forsberg requested a trade from Prince George halfway through the season.  Prince George could not find a suitor for Forsberg before the January 10th WHL trade deadline, so Forsberg left the team and finished the season with the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL (Junior A).

Forsberg is a former #1 overall pick in the 2010 WHL Entry Draft, and was considered by many at the time to be a potential first round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.  Alex hasn't achieved those lofty predictions (he was not selected in the 2013 NHL Draft), but it's obvious the kid had oodles of talent.  In the articles linked above, he seems to want to stay in Canada, so I don't know how interested he is in playing in Lincoln, NE for a USHL team.  I assume the Stars' coaches know something we don't if they included Alex on the 30-player roster.  If he wasn't interested, and if the coaches hadn't reached out to him, why bother protecting him?

Forsberg was the big surprise for me, but there are a few other minor surprise additions.  First is forward Michael Bunn, who abruptly left the Stars in the middle of the 2012-13 season.  Bunn injured his knee in Lincoln's 2012 tryout camp which delayed his start with the Stars last year.  However, in his very first game in a Stars uniform, Bunn scored a hat trick against the Des Moines Bucs.  Bunn scored four goals in ten games for the Stars before he left the team and went back home to North Carolina.  Bunn has since tried out for the Conneticut Oilers (EHL-Tier III), along with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, so I was a bit surprised to see him listed here.

Another minor surprise is defenseman Nate Repensky, whom the Stars drafted last May in the 2013 USHL Entry Draft.  Repensky attended Lincoln's tryout camp this past June, and looked pretty good in my opinion.  He's an overager (born in 1993), and played last season for the Bismark Bobcats of the NAHL.  I was told that he wasn't protected by Lincoln after their tryout camp in June.  A week or so after Lincoln's tryout camp, Repensky tried out for the Sioux City Musketeers.

Defenseman Cody Pettapiece was a recent draft pick of the Lincoln Stars, but was a no-show at Lincoln's tryout camp.  I didn't list him in my predictions article mainly because he wasn't at Lincoln's camp in June.  Last season, Pettapiece played for the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL, the same team that Alex Forsberg finished the season playing for.  Pettapiece is a University of Alaska-Fairbanks commit (2014).

Defenseman Parker Reno made Lincoln's affiliate list, but everything I've heard indicates he will attend RPI this fall.  He's a former draft pick of the Stars, and played in two regular season games last season for Lincoln.  I'd be shocked if he doesn't start at RPI this fall.

Just my guess, but I think some of the 30 players protected above are a shot in the dark by the Lincoln coaches.  Before this season, USHL teams were only allowed to protect 25 players on the main roster.  Now that teams are allowed to protect up to 30, coaches have a little more leeway to gamble on a few players that in previous years they would have not have.

Lincoln will likely bring 30+ players to the Fall Classic tournament in Sioux City, Iowa in September, so more than just the 30 players listed above on the main protected roster will get their opportunity to impress the coaches one more time.  After the Fall Classic, the Stars will cut down to 23 players, and that group of 23 will start the 2013-14 regular season.

Thoughts on the roster?  Are there any names you expected to see protected that weren't?  Anyone you are particularly excited to see next season?  I'd love to hear your opinions.  Comments are wide open!  You do not need to register to leave a comment, but BT and I will moderate each comment before it is posted.  Thanks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if we didn't protect Bunn because he went to Green Bays camp. Trade bait maybe?