Friday, July 5, 2013

Predicting the Stars' 25-player protected roster and affiliate list

I've done this the past three seasons, so I figured I'd do it again this year.  It's interesting to compare my predictions against what the official roster looks like once it is released.  A reminder, each USHL team has until 7/10/13 to submit their protected roster to the league.  I've been told by the league that USHL teams can initially protect up to 30 players on the 7/10 deadline, but I only have listed 25 players below.  

Teams also will submit an 18-player affiliate roster, which consists of  two players born in 1995, six players born in 1996, and ten players born in 1997.  Players protected on the affiliate roster can only be former draft picks of that particular team, and not undrafted "free agents."

Here are my predictions.  I'm just a fan who follows the team, so this is just my educated guess.  I'm in no way affiliated with the Stars.  I have received some insider info on some of the players, and others are just wild guesses on my part after watching the tryout camp.  Some players have stated on Twitter that they made the team, so I use that info also.  The players listed below are in no particular order.

25-player protected roster:
G - Michael Bitzer (Overager)
G - Nick Schmit 
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
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

18-player affiliate list:
F - Casey Linkenheld ('95)
F - Taylor Maruya ('95)
F - Gordie Helmuth ('96)
F - Miguel Fidler ('96)
G - Jacob Dittmer ('96)
D - Joshua Owings ('96)
D - William Scherer ('96)
F - Brenden Dunning ('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)

Because the affiliate list is age specific, and can contain only draft picks, a lot of USHL teams will fill that specific roster up with players they know will make the team next season so they can protect more players (and free agents) on the main 25-player roster.  Players on the affiliate roster can be brought up to play for the Stars at any point in the regular season.

As we've seen in seasons past, the Stars will likely bring players from both the main protected roster and the affiliate list to the USHL Fall Classic in September.  After the Fall Classic, the Stars will have to cut down to 23 total players on the main roster, and that group will start the 2013-14 regular season.  I've stated this before, but a lot can happen to the roster between the 7/10 deadline and opening night of the regular season.  This is just a very small step towards that final cut of 23.

A reminder, each USHL team can only roster four "overagers."  For this upcoming season, any player born in 1993 is considered an overager.  Also, each team can roster a maximum of four "imports."  Imports are players who were not born in the USA.  

Regarding the overagers, my predictions above are a shot in the dark.  I have no clue who the four '93s are going to be next season.  There are five overagers listed in my predictions, so one of those five players would have to be cut before opening night.  I'd have to think the only lock is goaltender Michael Bitzer.  That leaves Magnus Hoff, John Simonson, Jared Kolquist, and Scott Dornbrock fighting for the remaining three overager spots.

Again, these are just my opinions, and in the grand scheme of things, my opinions don't mean much at all.  They are just one fan's observations.  I'd appreciate any feedback!  Feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Thanks for reading.

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