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League Prepares for 2014 USHL Draft

05/04/2014, 11:30am CDT
By bwerger


Phase One scheduled for May 5th and Phase Two for May 6th; League providing free live draft show for Phase One



As the 2013-14 edition of the United States Hockey League season is coming to a close, USHL Member Clubs have already begun their preparations for the future, and the next major step in that process happens when the League conducts the 2014 USHL Draft on May 5th and 6th.



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. 



Multiple players selected in Phase 1 last year suited up during the 2013-14 season, including forward Robby Jackson, the third-round selection of the Chicago Steel who went on to score 28 goals while appearing in all 60 regular season contests.  Defenseman Steven Ruggiero also saw significant time with the Youngstown Phantoms, playing 41 games after the team selected him in the second round a year ago.



Now in its third year, the USHL tender process allows teams to sign up to two 1998 birth year players prior to the 2014 USHL Draft.  The first “tender” for a team would take the place of a first-round pick in Phase 1 of the USHL Draft, and if the team tenders a second player, that would take the place of its second-round selection in Phase 1.  Thus far, six teams have elected to tender players prior to Monday’s draft, including the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders who utilized both of their available tenders.  The Dubuque Fighting Saints, Muskegon Lumberjacks, Omaha Lancers, Waterloo Black Hawks, and Youngstown Phantoms have each tendered one player.  All tendered players will be on their respective teams’ roster next season and play at least 55% of their teams’ regular season games.



The selection order for the USHL Draft: Phase 1 is based on the reverse order of the 2013-14 regular season final standings, meaning the Fargo Force hold the first pick in each round of the 2014 USHL Draft, followed by the Youngstown Phantoms and Tri-City Storm.  The Anderson Cup champion Waterloo Black Hawks will select last in each round.  The expansion Madison Capitols and Bloomington Thunder are also participating in the 2014 USHL Draft and will select after the non-playoff teams in each round.  Both Madison and Bloomington will also have two additional picks at the end of the eighth and final round of Phase 1.



Trades made by teams prior to the draft will affect selections in specific rounds, but the draft order will maintain throughout each round of Phase 1 and continue with Phase 2 of the 2014 USHL Draft.



Team USA does not participate in the USHL Draft as they hold a separate player-selection process that is completed in cooperation with the other USHL Member Clubs.



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.



Last year, the Indiana Ice selected Aidan Muir with the first overall pick in Phase 2.  He would later be selected in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers and then go on to record 41 points (14g, 27a) in 54 games this season for the Ice.  The Sioux City Musketeers selected forward Brandon Hawkins fourth overall in 2013 and he would lead the team with 26 goals this season.  In the second round of Phase 2 in 2013, the Muskegon Lumberjacks selected Matt Iacopelli and the forward set both a team record and led the USHL with 41 goals this season.



 



Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14.  A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).



It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.


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