Thursday, May 29, 2014

10 questions with Lincoln Stars Head Coach Chris Hartsburg

Chris Hartsburg
First off, much thanks to Stars head coach Chris Hartsburg for agreeing to this round of 10 questions.  I very much appreciate his willingness to help out with content on this blog.  My friend Jason who is helping me with the blog thought of this idea, and I knew our readers would appreciate it.

These are the type of questions that the local newspaper probably isn't ever going to ask.  These are more of the "getting to know you" type of questions that might not be as "hard hitting" as what you'd see in the paper.

Please let me know if these types of articles are something you are interested in as a reader.  If so, maybe we can do the same thing during the season with players on the team, and the other coaches.


1.  What is your first hockey memory growing up?

C.H.  - Growing up the way I did, I have so many fond memories early. I think certainly the one that sticks out the most is being able to have my own rink in our backyard on Neil Lake in Minnesota. My dad would go out and shovel it off and I was able to skate around by myself for hours.


2.  What was the last book you read?

C.H. - I am guilty of starting books and stopping them halfway through if I find something I am more interested in reading. But the last book I read cover to cover was, "For One More Day" by Mitch Albom. And it is certainly something I think about a lot after the passing of my grandfather 5 years ago, and how I would spend one more day with him.


3.  Who are some of your closest hockey friend(s)?

C.H. - I have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of great people in my lifetime of involvement in this sport. And certainly a lot of great friendships built beyond sports. If you are looking for name guys and such you might be a little disappointed, haha. Jay Varaday (Sioux City head coach), Alex Brooks (scout for the Chicago Blackhawks), Steve Kariya (retired), Mike Stuart (teammate at Colorado College)  Scott Polaski (retired). Like I said, no huge name but lifelong friends who I can call at the drop of a hat. 


4.  Three favorite athletes you like to follow, and why.

C.H. - There are a lot of athletes I admire just because I know how hard it takes to get to that point and continue to be there best day in and day out. The first for me is Peyton Manning- at his age and what he has accomplished is amazing to me, his preparation is unbelievable and his knowledge and understanding of the position blow me away. Tim Duncan- he is the epitome of how the be a pro, goes about his business quietly and consistently and does not need the accolades to know he gets the job done. Ryan Murray – Although Ryan just finished his first year in the NHL, his work habits on and off the ice and the person he is make me really admire him. He is extremely talented yet extremely humble.  The things you love about hockey players. 


5.  If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

C.H. - Always a tough question, the first one is easy. My grandfather George Hill. He passed away just over 5 years ago and was my biggest fan when I played and would love to hear about everything that has happened in my life since he passed away. The second one is another easy one, my wife. I am very fortunate to have supportive woman in my life who is going through the ups and downs and long moves with me and she always deserves a nice meal! The third is a little out of left field but Eddie Vedder.  I am huge Pearl Jam fan and would love to hear him talk about his career and the transitions he had made throughout the years with his different music collaborations.


6.  If you could have a different career, other then what you're doing now, what would it be?

C.H. - First off I could never imagine doing anything else. I truly love my job and everything it entails, but if I was to choose another profession I would probably be a teacher or something else in social services. I love to teach and improve people, on the ice or off it.  To me it is the most rewarding part of any job, so teaching would allow me to get that fix.


7.  Who do you count as your mentor(s)?

C.H. - Certainly my father Craig is someone I look up to a great deal and someone I am able to bounce ideas off of. My mother Peggy, as well. She pretty much raised my sister and I by herself during the hockey season, so the person you see today has a lot to do with her.  


8.  What are some personality qualities you most admire?

C.H. - 
Selflessness, loyal, passionate, hardworking, ambitious 


9.  You're alone on an island in the middle of the ocean.  You can bring one music CD, one book, and one movie to entertain yourself.  What would they be?

C.H. - I am going to cheat a little bit on the CD. I would have mix of Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Sublime and Zac Brown Band. For the book, something by Bear Grylls. I will need survival techniques because I would have no idea what I would be doing out there. As for the movie, pretty much anything with Chevy Chase in it from the 80’s. Great stretch of movies that include, Fletch, Caddyshack, Family Vacation, Funny Farm, Christmas Vacation and Fletch Lives.


10.  What is one of your favorite quotes?

C.H. - I was raised on this one:  "Good things happen to those that work hard."


Thanks again to Chris Hartsburg for helping out with this article.  It is much appreciated!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

10 questions with Lincoln Stars GM/Pres. of Hockey Operations Jon Hull

Jon Hull
First off, much thanks to Stars GM Jon Hull for agreeing to this round of 10 questions.  I appreciate his willingness to help out with content on this blog.

My friend Jason who is helping me with the blog thought of this idea, and I knew our fans would appreciate it.

These are the type of questions that the local newspaper probably isn't ever going to ask.  These are more of the "getting to know you" type of questions that might not be as "hard hitting" as what you'd see in the paper.

However, I'd like to think what we're doing here gives fans a more personal look at what's going on with the team.  That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.


Be on the lookout later this week for a "10 questions with Lincoln Stars head coach Chris Hartsburg" blog article.  Please let me know if these types of articles are something you are interested in as a reader.  If so, maybe we can do the same thing during the season with players on the team, and the other coaches.

1.  What is your first hockey memory growing up?

J.H.  - Watching CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada."  It's hard to believe this but growing up we only had 2 television channels in our home and with 6 kids in the house you rarely got to watch something of your own.  For me, "Hockey Night In Canada" was my own and what really spawned my love for the game.


2.  What was the last book you read?

J.H. - "Eleven Rings" by Phil Jackson.  I always like to read sports biographies.


3.  Who are some of your closest hockey friend(s)?

J.H. - John Erskine, who is a defenseman for the Washington Capitals.  We were both each other's best man in our respective weddings.  Also, Sheldon Keefe who is the head coach of the Soo Greyhounds (OHL).


4.  Three favorite athletes you like to follow, and why.

J.H. - Jonathan Toews, whom I believe is the best captain/leader in sports.  Secondly, Peyton Manning.  Peyton thinks the game at the highest level.  Lastly, Floyd Mayweather.  Probably the most talented athlete on the planet.


5.  If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

J.H. - Hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky, Actor Anthony Hopkins, and Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski.


6.  If you could have a different career, other then what you're doing now, what would it be?

J.H. - Psychologist.


7.  Who do you count as your mentor(s)?

J.H. - I think I've been extremely fortunate to have many influential people in my life.  I've had great coaches and friends in hockey help guide me, and some of my biggest influences in my life have come away from hockey.   


8.  What are some personality qualities you most admire?

J.H. -
Loyalty, Honesty, Humor


9.  You're alone on an island in the middle of the ocean.  You can bring one music CD, one book, and one movie to entertain yourself.  What would they be?

J.H. - CD would be anything by Jay Z.  The book would be anything related to Star Wars.  The movie would be "Shawshank Redemption."


10.  What is one of your favorite quotes?

J.H. - "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." 


Thanks again to Jon Hull for helping out with this article.  It is much appreciated!

Friday, May 23, 2014

3 players selected by Lincoln Stars in USHL's dispersal draft

The Lincoln Stars participated in the USHL’s dispersal draft this morning for players on the Indiana Ice main and affiliate rosters.

For those unaware, the Ice will be going dormant starting the 2014-15 season.  So because of that, all players previously drafted or protected by the Ice had to be made available in today’s dispersal draft.  Players heading off to college this fall were drafted as well.


Click here to view all of the picks made today in the dispersal draft.  I will highlight the three players drafted by Lincoln below.

1st round:  Troy Terry (’97) - Forward - 5’10”, 160 pounds
A native of Highlands Ranch, CO, Terry was originally selected by the Indiana Ice in the 3rd round of the 2013 USHL Futures Draft.  Last season, Troy played for the Colorado Thunderbirds U16 program where he scored 41 points (16g, 25a) in 31 games played.  Terry has committed to play his college hockey at Denver University.  Troy’s linemate with the U16 Thunderbirds last season was Brian Hawkinson, the younger brother of former Stars forward Brad Hawkinson.  I’ve been told that Troy has a very good opportunity at making the Stars' roster in 2014-15.  Click here to follow Troy on Twitter.

2nd round:  Tyler Augustinsen (’97) - Forward - 6’0”, 185 pounds
A native of West Hartford, CT, Augustinsen was originally selected by the Indiana Ice in the 18th round of the 2013 USHL Entry Draft.  Last season, Tyler played for the Selects Hockey Academy U16 program where he scored 28 points (11g, 17a) in 24 games played.  Tyer just finished up his junior year at South Kent School in South Kent, CT.  Tyler is has not committed to a college to my knowledge.  Click here to follow Tyler on Twitter.

3rd round:  Joe Sullivan (’94) - Forward - 5'10", 187 pounds
Sullivan played 58 games for the Indiana Ice last season and scored 22 points (6g, 16a).  He will be enrolling at St. Lawrence University this fall where he will play his college hockey.  There's very little chance Joe will play for the Lincoln Stars next season.  As I stated above, every player on the Ice main and affiliate rosters were drafted today, even those set to enroll at colleges this fall.

Hopefully we see both Troy Terry and Tyler Augustinsen at Lincoln's tryout camp next month.

Go Stars.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Former Stars defenseman Justin Woods battling bone cancer

Quick blog article with some unfortunate news.

Former Lincoln Stars defenseman Justin Woods has been diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, which is a form of bone cancer.

Justin played for the Lincoln Stars during the 2012-13 season.  This past year, he was a freshman on the University of Alaska-Fairbanks hockey team.

Click here to read more about Justin's illness , and how you can help.  I'll post a quote from the link below: 

On May 7, 2014, Justin Woods, Fairbanks Alaska's hometown hockey hero was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. Ewing Sarcoma is a primary bone cancer that affects mainly children and adolescents. Justin was diagnosed early before it spread to other parts of his body, and has since moved down to Seattle with his mother Marsha where he will begin chemo treatments.

Justin has been playing hockey for as long as he can remember. He is a member of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Men's Hockey Team and was such an influential defensive player as he just wrapped up his freshman year with the Nanooks. Justin is a healthy young man who will fight this and come back so much stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally. His family, friends, and teammates are ready to help him fight for the goal and bring him back home!

Lets stand together and DO IT FOR JUSTIN. With the help from our communities and the complete healing from God, we know that this sweet young man will live a full and wonderful life. On behalf of the Woods family, thank you for everyone who is willing and able to make that possible.
 
Sending good vibes and prayers to Justin and his extended family.  For those of you out there in #StarsNation, please share this blog article or the link above with as many people as you can.  Just needs our support, so we need to pull together and do what we can to help.

Thank you.

Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp Schedule Released

The official Lincoln Stars website released the schedule for the 2014 tryout camp this week which will be held at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.  

The invite-only tryout camp will take place from June 12th-15th.  Pictured to the left is a shot of the inside of Ridder Arena I took from 2012.  

Click here  to view the schedule in a .pdf format.  I will post the schedule below, also.


Thursday, June 12th:
2:00pm - 4:30pm:  Check in at Ridder Arena
5:00pm - 6:10pm:  Practice Teams Backes, Dzingel
6:25pm - 7:35pm:  Practice Teams Bollig, Boll
7:50pm - 9:00pm:  Practice Teams Bartkowski, Johnson

Friday, June 13th:
7:00am - 8:45am:  Game 1 Team Backes vs. Team Dzingel
9:00am - 10:45am:  Game 2 Team Bollig vs. Team Boll
11:00am - 12:45pm:  Game 3 Team Bartkowski vs. Team Johnson
2:00pm - 3:45pm:  Game 4 Team Dzingel vs. Team Boll
4:00pm - 5:45pm:  Game 5 Team Bollig vs. Team Johnson
6:00pm - 7:45pm:  Game 6 Team Backes vs. Team Bartkowski

Saturday, June 14th:
7:00am - 8:45am:  Game 7 Team Boll vs. Team Johnson
9:00am - 10:45am:  Game 8 Team Dzingel vs. Team Bartkowski
11:00am - 12:45pm:  Game 9 Team Bollig vs. Team Backes
2:00pm - 3:45pm:  Game 10 Team Bartkowski vs. Team Boll
4:00pm - 5:45pm:  Game 11 Team Johnson vs. Team Backes
6:00pm - 7:45pm:  Game 12 Team Dzingel vs. Team Bollig

Sunday, June 15th:
9:00am - 10:30am:  Goalie Practice
12:00pm - 2:30pm:  All-Star Game Blue vs. White

First of all, you've got to love the team names.  At past tryout camps, team names were just colors.  I like that the organization is using this opportunity to honor some former players, and the Johnson family.  Well done.

Click here to read some background information about Ridder Arena, which is where the University of Minnesota women's hockey team plays their home games.  Mariucci Arena, where the men's University of Minnesota team plays, is located right next door to Ridder Arena. 

Click here to view a Google maps view of the area.  Minneapolis is a 6-7 hour drive from Lincoln, NE.

The University of Minnesota campus is beautiful, and the facilities within Ridder Arena are top notch.  The campus is very close to downtown Minneapolis, but not too busy.  The Mall of America isn't too far away, and there are plenty of food options near the rink in between scrimmages.  The only negative is lack of on-street parking around Ridder Arena.  

This will be the fourth straight year that the Stars will hold their tryout camp at Ridder Arena..  This will be the seventh straight year for me attending Lincoln's tryout camp (6 years for the blog).

Regarding the schedule itself, it is much different than in years past, but that's to be expected with a new general manager and head coach on board.  Instead of jumping right into tryout games the first day, the team will hold three practices on Thursday.  Actual games don't start until Friday.  So excluding the camp all-star game, there will be a total of 12 games, down from 15 in past years.  Also, instead of two camp all-star games, there will be only one.

However, the actual games this year are 1:45 long, which is about 35 minutes longer than in years past.  So even though there will be three less games, there will more hockey to watch because the games are longer.  I did the math, and compared to the last two camps, there will be roughly three more hours of hockey played at the 2014 camp.  I like that very much.

The only thing I really don't like about the schedule is the short amount of time in between the morning and afternoon sessions on Friday and Saturday.  In past years, I had about 2.5 hours to find someplace with free wifi to update the blog with full recaps of the morning session.  I won't have time to do that this go around, so full recaps will have to wait until the evening sessions are complete on Friday and Saturday.  That's just me whining. :)

I'm really getting excited for this event!  Can't wait to make the trek up there to watch the future of this proud program.  I will be posting a number of articles related to the camp in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Stars trade Tom Marchin to Muskegon for Dylan Malmquist, Cam Lee

Tom Marchin
This past Monday, the Lincoln Stars traded ('95) forward Tom Marchin to the Muskegon Lumberjacks ('96) forward Dylan Malmquist and ('96) defenseman Cam Lee.

This trade was sort of buried on Monday with the announcement of Chris Hartsburg as the new head coach, and the beginning of the USHL Phase 1 (Futures) draft on the same day.

Marchin, who is originally from Algonac, Michigan, was a 6th round draft pick of the Stars in the 2013 USHL Phase 2 (Entry) draft.  In 52 games last season for Lincoln, Marchin scored 18 points (6g, 12a) along with 41 PIM's.  As a '95, Marchin potentially could play two seasons with the Lumberjacks.

Dylan Malmquist
Dylan Malmquist just finished his junior season at Edina (MN) high school where he scored 47 points (17g, 30a) in 32 games played for the Hornets.  Malmquist was originally drafted by the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the 1st round (10th overall) of the 2013 USHL Phase 1 (Futures) draft.

Click here to watch a video of Dylan in action for Edina HS from last year.  Incredible speed shown by Malmquist (#20) in the video with that partial breakaway goal, which was his third of the game.


Malmquist was ranked #182 in the final rankings of the NHL central scouting services list which was released last month.  He has a very good shot at being drafted by a NHL team this spring.  Click here to read a scouting report of Malmquist from the OverTheBoards website.

It is unknown if Malmquist will return to Edina to play his senior season, or if he'll wear a Stars uniform in 2014-15.  Forward Migel Fidler, who was Dylan's teammate the past three seasons at Edina, will play for the Stars this next season, so hopefully that will help Dylan lean towards playing for Lincoln.  We'll see.

Cam Lee
As for the last piece of this trade, Cameron "Cam" Lee is a puck-moving defenseman who is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Lee just finished his junior season at Northwood Prep School which is located in Lake Placid, NY.

Cam was originally drafted by the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the 4th round of the 2013 USHL Phase 1 (Futures) draft.  Lee has committed to play college hockey at Providence College.  

Although he still has yet to play his senior season at Northwood, I've been told there's a good chance we'll see Lee in a Stars uniform this fall.


On paper, I think this could be a good trade for Lincoln especially if Hull/Hartsburg can get Malmquist to report.  Malmquist is the more highly ranked prospect, but I've heard that Lee is an elite offensive defenseman.  I suppose if the Stars were going to trade Marchin, I'm glad it was to an eastern conference team.  Less opportunities for him to burn Lincoln in the future.  

All the best to Tom Marchin from everyone in #StarsNation.  It was a pleasure watching him wear the Stars uniform this past season.  I'm happy he will get an opportunity to play closer to home this next season.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

B³ Draft Coverage: 2014 USHL Phase 2 (Entry) Draft Results

The 2014 USHL Entry Draft (Phase 2) is complete.  Scroll down to read bios on all 20 players drafted by the Lincoln Stars.

Click here to view all of the USHL team selections made today.

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 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!

1st round:  Anthony Wyse ('96) - Defenseman - 6'3", 210 pounds
The fifth overall player taken in this draft, Wyse is a big, rugged defenseman from Newton, Massachusetts.  In 31 games last season for the Boston Advantage MM team, Wyse scored 27 points (7g, 20a) to go along with 18 PIM's.  Three of his seven goals on the season were game-winners.  Anthony has committed to play his college hockey at Dartmouth College.  In the article I just linked, it states that Wyse will start at Dartmouth the fall of 2016, so there a possibility he could play up to two seasons in Lincoln if everything works out.  In 2012, Anthony was selected by Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the 12th round of the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft.  According to some of the scouting reports I've read online, Wyse is described as a big kid with above average skating, long reach, and very good hands.  The "Hockey Scouting News" Twitter account described Anthony as a "big strong defenseman with a lot of skill for his size. Good skater with good vision."  Considering he was Lincoln's first pick in this draft, and the fifth player taken overall, I assume GM Jon Hull and Head Coach Chris Hartsburg are counting on Anthony coming in next season and eating up a ton of minutes.  I could not find a Twitter account for Wyse.

2nd round:  Dylan Woolf ('96) - Defenseman - 6'2", 205 pounds
The 23rd overall player selected, Woolf hails from Victoria, Minnesota where he just finished up his senior season at Holy Family Catholic High School.  In 27 games for the Holy Family "Fire" hockey team, Woolf racked up 31 points (6g, 25a) along with 56 PIM's.  On paper, Woolf looks a lot like Lincoln's first pick in this draft: a big, rangy, rugged defenseman who can put up points when needed.  Chris Wilks, who is the managing editor of the SBN College Hockey website, described Dylan as a "tough, physical defenseman who had a strong senior season."  Considering the amount of defensemen the Stars lost last season, Woolf (and Wyse) should be able to contribute right away in 2014-15.  Woolf is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Dylan on Twitter.

3rd round:  Hunter Shepard ('95) - Goaltender - 6'0", 200 pounds
The first of back-to-back goaltender selections made by the Stars in this draft, Hunter just completed his senior season at Grand Rapids High School  in the "iron range" area of Minnesota.  In 27 games for the Thunderhawks, Hunter had a record of  18-9-0 with a 2.64 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.  At the end of this past season, Shepard won the "Mr. Goalie" Frank Brimsek award which is given to the top senior goaltender in Minnesota high school hockey.  Former Stars standout Michael Bitzer won that same award for Moorhead in 2012.  Click here to watch a video profile of Hunter.  Chris Wilks stated that Hunter was "easily the best goaltender in Minnesota this year."  Shepard was one of only two players born in '95 taken by the Stars in this draft, so I can only assume that Hull and Hartsburg expect him to battle for the #1 position next season.  Shepard is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Hunter on Twitter.

4th round:  Peyton Jones ('96) - Goaltender - 6'3", 200 pounds
The second of back-to-back goaltenders drafted by Lincoln, Peyton is originally from Langhorne, Pennsylvania.  In 19 games for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (MM) this past season, Jones sported a record of 16-3-0 with a 2.35 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.  It appears that Peyton may have also played his senior season at Holy Ghost Prep in Bensalem, PA where he had a 11-1-1 record with a 1.65 goals against average.  For that, Peyton was named the Bucks County Courier Time Player of the Year.  I would anticipate Peyton being at Lincoln's tryout camp fighting for the two positions on the team with Hunter Shepard, Jacob Nehama, and the other goaltenders present.  Jones is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Peyton on Twitter.

5th round:  Quin Foreman ('96) - Forward - 6'2", 182 pounds
It took until the fifth round before the Lincoln Stars selected their first forward of the Phase 2 draft, but when they did, it was Massachusetts native Quin Foreman.  In 36 games last season for the Boston Advantage MM team (the same team that first round pick Anthony Wyse played on), Foreman scored 35 points (17g, 18a) to go along with 6 PIM's.  Apparently, Foreman and Wyse are two peas in a pod as Quin has also committed to play his college hockey at Darmouth University.  In the article I just linked, Foreman is described as having, "good vision, strong skill set, good playmaking ability, a knack for scoring and is slippery out of the corners for a big kid out there."  Click here to follow Quin on Twitter.

6th round:  Austin Cho ('96) - Defenseman - 6'0", 175 pounds
The first non-American selected by the Stars today, Cho is originally from  Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.  In 52 games this past season for St. Andrews College private school in Aurora, Ontario, Cho put up a respectable 46 points (13g, 33a) along with 24 PIM's.  Austin was selected by the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds in the 12th round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection draft.  OHL scout Scott LaFortune said that Austin is a "good skater, smooth on his edges. Plays a safe and controlled game."  Austin has committed to play college hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY.  Most college hockey websites I've seen indicate that Cho is set to arrive at RPI in the fall of 2016.  So if he's interested in playing here, there's a possibility that Austin could play two seasons for the Stars.  Click here to follow Austin on Twitter.

7th round:  Michael Gillespie ('97) - Forward - 5'9", 165 pounds
The native of New City, New York played for the New Jersey Rockets (Eastern Hockey League) last season where he scored an impressive 54 points (14g, 40a) in 41 games played.  Michael's play last season earned him the EHL's Rookie of the Year award.  In 85 total games last season for the New Jersey Rockets program (EHL and U19), Gillespie racked up 101 points (29g, 72a) and 101 PIM's.  Sounds like a gritty, explosive forward to me.  Scout Nick Perri describe Gillespie as a "small center with a lot of skill. High hockey-sense, gritty."  Click here to read an article from the New York Hockey Journal about Gillespie.  Michael has committed to play college hockey at Niagara University, starting the fall of 2015.  Click here to follow Michael on Twitter.

8th round:  Wyatt Kalynuk ('97) - Defenseman - 6'1", 168 pounds
The second non-American chosen by Lincoln today, Wyatt hails from Virden, Manitoba, Canada.  In 56 games for the Virden Oil Capitals of the MJHL, Kalynuk scored 13 points (1g, 12a).   In 10 playoff games for the Oil Capitals, Wyatt scored 3 points (1g, 2a).  For his efforts, Kalynuk was named to the MJHL All-Star Rookie Team.  Kalynuk also played in five games for Canada West at the 2014 World U17 Challenge in Nova Scotia, Canada.  Wyatt has committed to play college hockey at Western Michigan University, starting the fall of 2016.  I've been told that Wyatt's strengths are his skating ability and his hockey IQ.  Wyatt is also a list player with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL.  I've been told to expect Wyatt at Lincoln's tryout camp next month, which is good news.  Click here to follow Wyatt on Twitter.

9th round:  Josh Bell ('97) - Forward - 5'10", 157 pounds
I could not find any information online that states where Bell is originally from, but last season he played for the St. Louis Blues AAA (MM) team that also produced Stars futures pick Tommy Nappier, and entry pick Ethan Stahlhuth.  In 37 games for the Blues last season, Josh scored 30 points (17g, 13a) along with 20 PIM's.  7 of his 17 goals last season were game-winners.  Bell is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Josh on Twitter.

10th round:  Nathan Dingmann ('96) - Forward - 6'3", 175 pounds
Dingmann just finished his junior season at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, MN.  In 25 games last season for the Trojans, Nathan potted 10 points (4g, 6a) along with 11 PIM's.  Another tall, rangy defenseman drafted by the Stars today.  Other than his high school stats, I really wasn't able to find much about Dingmannn online.  So if you have something you'd think the readers here would be interested in, please let me know.  Dingmann is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Nathan on Twitter.

11th round:  Cade Gleekel ('97) - Forward - 6'1", 182 pounds
Cade is from Minneapolis and attended The Blake School (located in Minneapolis, MN) last season.  In 25 games as a sophomore, Gleekel scored 52 points (25g, 27a) along with 36 PIM's.  10 of his 25 goals on the season came on the powerplay.  On paper, Cade has pretty good size for a '97 sophomore.  Gleekel is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Cade on Twitter

12th round:  Luke Jaycox ('97) - Defenseman - 6'1", 185 pounds
Jaycox is from Warroad, MN (aka Hockeytown) where he just completed his junior season at Warroad High School.  In 27 games for the Warriors, Luke scored 27 points (4g, 23a) and added 33 PIM's.  Luke's teammate at Warroard HS is Stars affiliate forward, and former futures pick, Jared Bethune.  I had two separate scouts contact me about Jaycox after he was drafted by the Stars to say that Lincoln got a very good player.  So that's encouraging.  Jaycox is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Luke on Twitter.

13th round:  Ethan Stahlhuth ('98) - Forward - 6'0", 201 pounds
Ethan was the first of only three players born in 1998 that the Stars selected today.  In 37 games last season for the St. Louis Blues AAA (MM) program, Ethan scored 25 points (10g, 15a) and added 16 PIM's.  4 of his 10 goals were game-winners.  As stated above in this article, Ethan was teammates last season with Stars draft picks Tommy Nappier (Futures draft) and Josh Bell (Entry draft).  I've been told that Ethan is very aggressive with the puck, and should develop nicely into a power forward.  At 6'0", 201 pounds as a '98, Ethan is already a good-sized 16-year old.  Ethan's older brother Thomas is a former draft pick of the Des Moines Buccaneers.  Stahlhuth is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Ethan on Twitter.

14th round:  Chris Klack ('97) - Forward - 5'10", 152 pounds
Klack hails from Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, so he became the third non-American drafted by the Lincoln Stars today.  In 45 games with the Ancaster Avalanche of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL), Chris scored 39 points (12g, 27a) to go along with 25 PIM's.  Klack was drafted by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 6th round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection draft.  Clack is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Chris on Twitter.

15th round:  Ryan Jones ('96) - Defenseman - 6'2", 185 pounds
Ryan is originally  from Crown Point, Indiana and I believe he played for the Indiana Jr. Ice U18 squad last season.  I had a really tough time finding statistics online for the 2013-14 season for Ryan, but I was able to contact him on Twitter and he said that he had 11 goals and 14 assists last season for the Indiana Jr. Ice U18 team.  I did see that Ryan also played one game for the NAHL's Minnesota Wilderness in late March.  Jones is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Ryan on Twitter.

16th round:  A.J. DiCesare ('98) - Defensemen - 6'1", 200 pounds
DiCesare calls Morristown, New Jersey home and in 2013-14, he suited up for the New Jersey Rockets U19 program where he scored 4 points (all assists) and added 22 PIM's in 40 games played.  At 6'1" and 200 pounds, DiCesare is a monster at such a young age (born in 1998).  Just looking at the stats on paper, A.J. certainly comes across to me as a big, shut-down defensemen.  I'm not sure if he's ready to make the jump to the USHL this fall, but A.J. is definitely a kid to keep your eye on.  DiCesare is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow A.J. on Twitter.

17th round:  Kyle Weller ('98) - Forward - 6'0", 155 pounds
The last '98 selected by the Lincoln Stars in this draft, Kyle is from  Langhorne, PA, which happens to be the same hometown as Lincoln's fourth round draft pick, goaltender Peyton Jones.  Last season, Kyle played for the Team Comcast MM team where he scored 14 points (7g, 7a) in 26 games played.  Weller is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Kyle on Twitter.

18th round:  Evan Johnson ('97) - Forward - 5'10", 170 pounds
The only California native selected by the Lincoln Stars today, Evan hails from Huntington Beach.  In 34 games last season for the L.A. Jr. Kings MM squad, Johnson scored 36 points (19g, 17a) along with 24 PIM's.  Evan was his team's second leading scorer behind forward Kailer Yamamoto, who was selected yesterday by Dubuque in the futures draft.  Evan is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Evan on Twitter.

19th round:  James LaDouce ('95) - Defenseman - 5'10", 170 pounds
LaDouce is originally from Saginaw, Michigan was was one of two players born in 1995 drafted by the Lincoln Stars today.  In 22 games last season for the Honeybaked U18 program, LaDouce scored 5 points (1g, 4a) and added 34 PIM's.  In 2012, James played 11 games for the Amarillo Bulls of the NAHL where he scored 4 points (1g, 3a) and 20 PIM's.  James is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow James on Twitter.

20th round:  Casey Dornbach ('97) - Forward - 5'9", 150 pounds
The last player selected by Lincoln today, Casey comes from Edina, MN where he plays for Edina High School.  In 32 games last season for the Hornets, Casey scored 11 points (7g, 4a) and added 9 PIM's as a sophomore.  Edina HS is a popular place among former Lincoln draft picks.  Over the past few years, the Stars have drafted Edina players such as Louie Nanne, Tyler Nanne, Jack Walker, Miguel Fidler, and now Casey Dornbach.  Unfortunately, Tyler Nanne is the only player listed above to ever wear a Lincoln Stars uniform, and that was for two games.  However, it sounds like Miguel Fidler will play for the Stars next season, and hopefully Casey will follow suit in the next couple of years.  Dornbach is undecided on a college.  Click here to follow Casey on Twitter.

Whew!  That was a another long draft (6+ hours).  20 total players drafted today.  2 goaltenders, 8 defensemen, 10 forwards.  One more defenseman was drafted this year compared to the 2013 entry draft when the Stars selected 7 defensemen in 28 picks.  Definitely an emphasis today on defensemen.

I stated this on Twitter, but I really liked how the Stars drafted today.  With two big, mobile defensemen and two quality goaltenders selected in the first four picks, it was obvious to me that Stars GM Jon Hull and Head Coach Chris Hartsburg were building from the net out.  I like that.  The majority of the 8 defensemen drafted today are at least 6'0" tall, and close to or over, 200 pounds.  I like that also.

Another thing I noticed today was how young the Stars drafted.  Only two players born in 1995 were drafted, and none born in 1994.  The majority of players selected came from the 1996, 1997, 1998 birth years.  Hull and Hartsburg are definitely looking towards the future with some of these picks.

I'm already stoked to see all of the 27 players the Stars drafted the past couple of days at Lincoln's tryout camp next month in Minneapolis.  I can't wait for that.

Congratulations to all 27 players drafted by the Lincoln Stars these past two days.  Welcome to #StarsNation!

FYI:  I will post another article soon which will highlight the trade the Stars made yesterday (Monday).  Lincoln acquired prospects Dylan Malmquist (F) and defenseman Cam Lee (D) from the Muskegon Lumberjacks for forward Tom Marchin.

Thanks for reading!  - Tim

Monday, May 5, 2014

B³ Draft Coverage: 2014 USHL Phase 1 (Futures) Draft Results

The Lincoln Stars selected a total of seven players tonight in the 2014 USHL Phase 1 (Futures) draft, and I'll highlight each and every one below.

Click here to check out the league's draft website to view the selections made by all of the USHL teams tonight.

All of the players selected by the Stars tonight were born in 1998, and are considered the best at their age group.  Although they may not play for Lincoln next season, these players very well could be in a Stars uniform in the next couple of years.

1st round (4th overall):  Dominick Mersch (F) - 6'0", 180 pounds
Lincoln's first selection in this draft is a player whom a few scouts told me that they were surprised he fell to the Stars at the #4 pick.  One scout told me he thought Mersch would be one of the top two players selected.  As a member of the Chicago Mission U16 team last season, Mersch scored 24 points (11g, 13a) in 23 games to go along with 66 PIM's.  Dominick has already committed to play college hockey at the University of Wisconsin, starting the fall of 2017.  Dom's older brother Michael Mersch played four years at the University of Wisconsin and is a Los Angeles Kings draft pick.  So good hockey genes abound in that family.  Dominick describes his game as, "I'm not a 1-on-1 guy that's going to go out and beat a bunch of guys. But I'll get the dirty goals and I'm physical, have good vision and can make plays.  I'm a blue-collar guy."  My kind of player.  OHL scout extraordinaire Scott LaFortune described Mersch as a "game breaking offensive forward with soft hands and good mobility."  The SBNation article I linked above indicates that Dominick will likely spend another season in midget hockey, then two years in the USHL before enrolling at Wisconsin.  Click here to follow Dominick on Twitter.

2nd round (21st overall):  Ethen Frank (F) - 6'0", 165 pounds
I believe Frank is the second Nebraska native drafted by the Lincoln Stars (first was Matt Bruneteau) in the club's history.  Ethen is originally from Omaha, and last season played for the highly regarded Omaha AAA U16 program.  The stats included in the link above are incomplete, but I've been told that Ethen scored 79 points (25g, 54a) along with 104 PIM's in 74 games played.  With the 104 PIM's, I assume Ethen plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder and isn't afraid to mix it up.  Frank was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft by the Victoria Royals.  From what I've been told, Frank is more interested in playing college hockey than going the major junior route, but we'll have to wait and see how that turns out.  Not sure if he's ready next season to make the jump to the USHL, but he is certainly is a player who could be ready in 2015-16.  Click here to follow Ethen on Twitter.

3rd round (44th overall):  Liam Schioler (D) - 6'2", 195 pounds
The only defenseman selected by the Stars in this draft, Schioler hails from West St. Paul, Manitoba, Canada.  Last season, Liam played for the world-renowned Shattuck St. Mary's U16 program where he racked up 19 points (3g, 16a) and a whopping 102 PIM's in 68 games played.  At 6'2", and close to 200 pounds, Liam has great size for a 16-year old.  He obviously has some skill to go along with his big frame if he's playing hockey at Shattuck.  Like Ethen Frank, Liam was also selected in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, going in the 2nd round to the Regina Pats.  Here's a "profile prospect" video of Liam from the Regina Pats' website.  Pats GM Chad Long: "Liam is a big body and a well built kid.  He has a good skating stride, excellent agility and makes a good first pass.”  Click here to follow Liam on Twitter.

4th round (52nd overall):  Jack Badini (F) - 5'11", 170 pounds
The native of Greenwich, CT suited up for the Long Island Gulls U16 (AMHL) squad where he potted 35 points (15g, 20a) and 42 PIM's in 25 games played during the 2013-14 season.  In 2012-13, Jack played for the Connecticut Oilers U16 team where he scored 51 points (28g, 23a) in 54 games played.  Click here to follow Jack on Twitter.

5th round (68th overall):  Sam Field (F) - 6'1", 180 pounds
Field hails from Tenefly, NJ and last season played for the east coast prep school Choate Rosemary Hall, which is located in Wallingford, CT.  As only a sophomore on the varsity team, Field scored 4 points (1g, 3a) in 26 prep games.  The "Over The Boards" scouting Twitter account said that Sam is a "well-framed power forward finding his way in prep school."  OHL scout Sean LaFortune described Sam as "a quick, energetic pivot who plays a competitive 200ft game."  Field was selected by the Kingston Frontenacs in the 6th round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection draft.  Good size for only a sophomore, and sounds like someone who could develop into a solid two-way forward.  Sam was the youngest player on the Choate varsity prep team last season.  Click here to follow Sam on Twitter.

6th round:  No Selection (pick traded to Sioux Falls)

7th round (100th overall): Tommy Nappier (G) - 6'1", 170 pounds
Nappier was the only goaltender selected by the Stars in this draft.  In fact, I had to go way back to 2007 before I could find another goaltender that the Stars selected in a USHL Futures draft.  Back in '07, the Stars drafted goaltender Ryan Walsh in the fourth round of the futures draft.  That six straight futures drafts without a goaltender selected by the Stars.  Useless, random trivia...I know.  Anyway, Nappier played for the St. Louis AAA Blues (midget major) program last year where he had an impressive 16-2-3 record with a 1.65 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.  Stingy numbers, for sure.  Goaltenders normally take some time to develop compared to forwards or defensemen, so I would expect to see Nappier in a Stars uniform in the next season or two.  Click here to follow Tommy on Twitter.

8th round (116th overall):  Jacob Harris (F) - 5'7", 159 pounds
The Toronto, Canada native played for the Toronto Marlboros Minor Mdgt AAA squad where he scored 25 points (9g, 16a) in 27 regular season games played.  In 16 playoff games, Harris scored 20 points (10g, 10a).  Jacob's team this past season was coached by NHL hall of fame defenseman Paul Coffey.  OHL scout Ryan Yessie said on Twitter that Harris has a "great work ethic, battles hard for pucks & has good offensive upside."  Jacob was selected by the Missasauga Steelheads in 10th round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection draft.  So like the players listed above who have been drafted by a OHL, or WHL team, Jacob will soon need to make the decision of either playing major junior hockey (and voiding his college hockey eligibility), or playing in the USHL.  Time will tell.  Click here to follow Jacob on Twitter.

That's it for the Futures Draft!  If you have any more information about the players noted above, or if I have posted incorrect info, please email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Thanks for reading!  Check back here tomorrow morning for the results of the USHL Phase 2 (Entry) draft.

-Yeti (Tim)

Chris Hartsburg named head coach of Lincoln Stars

Photo courtesy of Ali Pearson
Here's the news we've been waiting patiently for.

Stars GM/President of Hockey Operations Jon Hull today announced that Chris Hartsburg has been named head coach of the Lincoln Stars.  Click here to read the official press release.

Hartsburg becomes the fourth head coach of the Lincoln Stars in their 18-year history in the USHL.

Hartsburg is 33 years old, and was born in Edina, MN.  Chris played one year of juniors with the Omaha Lancers (gasp!) in 1997-98 before moving on to play college hockey for Colorado College from 1998-2002.  Hartsburg was selected in the 7th round of the 1999 NHL draft by the New Jersey Devils.

After college, Hartsburg played 6 years of minor pro hockey (two in the AHL, four in the CHL) before hanging up the skates at the end of the 2007-08 season due to multiple injuries.

Once his playing days were cut short, Hartsburg immediately entered into the coaching ranks, first with the CHL team (Colorado Eagles) he last played hockey for.  After the one year as an assistant coach with the Colorado Eagles, Hartsburg was hired as an assistant with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.

After two seasons with the Oil Kings, Hartsburg moved on to the Everett Silvertips (WHL), also as an assistant coach.  While with the Silvertips, Hartburg coached along side current Sioux City Musketeers head coach Jay Varady, who was also an assistant with Everett.

His most recent position was with the Erie Otters (OHL) as an assistant coach.  In his one year with the Erie Otters, the team improved from its 2012-13 record of 19-40-4, to a record of 52-14-2 in 2013-14.  According to this article, Hartsburg focused on defense and the penalty kill as an assistant coach with the Otters.

Click here to watch a video interview of Chris Hartsburg that was taken at the beginning of the 2013-14 season when he was with the Erie Otters.

Chris' father Craig Hartsburg is a former NHL defenseman and currently is an assistant coach with the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets.

The contract Chris Hartsburg signed with the Lincoln Stars is for 3 years, per GM Jon Hull.  On a side note, Jon Hull also told me that assistant coach Mick Berge will be retained, which is great news.  I thought the players really responded well to Berge at the end of last season.

I've asked around to people I trust in the hockey world, and I've received nothing but positive feedback regarding Chris Hartsburg.  He's a young guy, but he has a lot of experience both as a player and a coach that should help.  I can tell you that he is very well respected by those I talked to in the hockey community.

I like that he has experience at many levels within hockey.  He has playing experience at the USHL, college, and professional level, along with coaching experience at the professional and major junior level.  I'm willing to bet Hartsburg has developed a lengthy list of contacts he will use as head coach of the Lincoln Stars to benefit the team.  He's a young guy who should be very hungry to make a name for himself in the USHL.

I don't know much about the style of hockey that Hartsburg likes to play, but I can only assume he shares the same thoughts of GM Jon Hull, otherwise he wouldn't have been hired.

Thoughts on this new hire, Stars Nation?  Please leave a comment below.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

B³ Draft Coverage: 2014 USHL Futures and Entry Draft Preview

On Monday, May 5th, and Tuesday, May 6th, the Lincoln Stars will participate in USHL's Futures and Entry drafts.

The Futures draft (Phase 1) will be held on Monday, May 5th starting at 5pm CST.  The Entry draft (Phase 2) will be held on Tuesday, May 6th starting at 8am 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 prior trades or if they've signed any tenders) from the 1998 birth year age group.  Only players born in 1998 can be selected in this particular draft.  USHL teams utilize this draft to select some of the best young players in North America or Europe in hopes that they will develop into full-time players over time.

Some players on the Stars' roster last season that were selected in prior futures drafts were Zach Frye, Max Humitz, and Keegan Ward.  Very rarely do players selected in the Futures draft play for the team that selected them that same season. Keegan Ward was the last to do it for Lincoln.  Before that, it was Daniel Willett.

Excerpt below from the USHL website about the Futures Draft:

The two-part draft starts with Phase 1 taking place on Monday, May 5th beginning at 5:00 PM (CDT).  For the third consecutive year, picks in Phase 1 will be announced on a live broadcast at www.USHL.com. The USHL Draft Show is being provided for free via FASTHockey, the USHL’s exclusive digital video network.

Phase 1 consists of eight (8) rounds as USHL teams will select players from the 1998 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 2013 USHL Futures Draft.  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 (7+ hours long last year) than Phase 1, and is where USHL teams will select most of the players that will be on their rosters 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 likely contribute in a few years, most of the players chosen in the Entry Draft are selected with the intentions they will contribute right away in 2014-15

Excerpt below from the USHL website about the Entry Draft:

Phase 2 of the 2014 USHL Draft is scheduled for Tuesday, May 6th beginning at 8:00 AM (CDT).  All selections will be posted in real-time at USHL.com.  In this phase, USHL teams will select players from multiple birth years as they look to fill their protected lists with players who will compete for roster spots for the 2014-15 season.  Phase 2 continues until all USHL teams have secured 45 players on their Initial Protected List.  That list includes affiliate players from the 2013-14 season, players selected in Phase 1, and players signed to a tender.

Click here to see the players selected by the Stars in the 2013 Entry 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.

There's a lot of uncertainty right now in terms of who will be wearing a Lincoln Stars jersey to start the 2014-15 season.  New GM Jon Hull has the task of picking the players in these two drafts based on his scouting knowledge, as well as the advice he is getting from assistant coach Mick Berge and the Stars' scouts throughout North America and Europe.  

Although he has not hired a head coach as of yet (or he has and it has not yet been announced), I'm sure Hull has a very good idea on the type of player(s) he wants to draft and play next season.  I've had a numbers Stars fans ask me this, but I don't think it's a bad thing to not have a head coach hired before these two drafts.  There is still plenty of time in the next few weeks to make that decision and have that person in place when the tryout camp in Minneapolis rolls around in June.

So it will be interesting to see the type of players that are selected by the Stars in these two drafts next week.  The Stars will have an opportunity to draft early in the first round of both drafts, surprisingly.  I guess as a Stars fan I've gotten used to not having first round picks due to prior trades.  However this year, Lincoln will draft 4th overall in the Futures draft and 5th overall in the Entry draft (unless those picks are traded here in the next few days before the drafts).  Those top players picked in the entry draft in particular will be counted on to contribute right away next season.

Because the Stars do not have a goaltender on their affiliate list, and with only Jacob Nehama potentially returning from last year's team, I would expect 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.  

I will also be very active on Twitter during those two drafts, so make sure you follow along.  I will tweet every draft selection made by the Stars, as well as statistical information about each player drafted.  If you're not already on Twitter, give it a shot.  You won't regret it.

As I mentioned above, the Futures Draft on Monday, May 5th will be broadcast live via FASTHockey.com, so tune in at 5pm CST for that.