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2020-21 Season Preview: Green Bay Gamblers

10/29/2020, 2:45pm CDT
By Green Bay Gamblers

Jesse Tucker (Left) and Mason Lohrei (Center) Return to the Gamblers, Joined by Ryan Kirwan (Right) for the 2020-21 Season (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images)

19-20 Record: 24-19-2-3, 53 pts. (3rd Eastern Conference, 7th Overall)

19-20 Top Forward: Jesse Tucker (48 games, 18-25-43)

19-20 Top Defenseman: Mason Lohrei (48 games, 8-29-37)

19-20 Top Goaltender: Nicholas Grabko (27 games, 12-11-0-2, 2.58, 0.917)

19-20 Powerplay: 16.7% (12th Overall)

19-20 Penalty Kill: 84.5% (5th Overall)

The 2020-2021 campaign marks the 27th season that the Green Bay Gamblers have competed in the United States Hockey League. Since 1994, the team has won five Anderson Cups and four Clark Cups. 

Entering his 7th season as Head Coach and General Manager, the Gamblers are led by Pat Mikesch. During his time in Green Bay, Mikesch has recorded 161 wins, placing him second on the organization’s all-time wins list. The Michigan Tech alum, has coached 25 players who went on to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft, including 1st round selections Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis/2012), Nick Schmaltz (Chicago/2014) and Casey Mittlestadt (2017/Buffalo).

The Gamblers roster features 12 players who appeared in 15 or more games last season in the USHL.  Forward Jesse Tucker is the team’s leading returning scorer, tallying 43 (18 goals & 25 assists) points. Ryan Kirwan, who last season was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team after scoring 25 goals for the Madison Capitols, will also be looked upon to make a significant impact. 

Defensively the Gamblers return 2020 Boston Bruins 2nd round draft choice Mason Lohrei. Last season, Lohrei led all USHL Defenseman in assists (29) and was second in scoring (37). The Verona, Wisconsin native, participated in the 2020 Bio Steel All-American Prospects Game and was named 2nd Team All-USHL.

In between the pipes the Gamblers boast 2020 USHL Phase 2 1st round pick Matt Davis and Jed Baloitti. Davis played last season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with Spruce Grove and Baliotti attended the Berkshire School.   

Other players on the roster with USHL experience include forwards; Jake Schmaltz (13-19-32), Kyler Grundy (11-21-32), Camden Thiesing (12-16-28), Alex Servagno (9-12-21), Ryan Greene (3-2-5), Trevor Smith (1-3-4), Braiden Simmons-Fischer (1-2-3), defensemen Michael Ferrandino (1-12-13) a veteran of over 200 USHL games and Xan Gurney, who despite missing the entire season with a shoulder injury, has over 100 USHL games and two Clark Cups to his credit.

Players on the roster who have seen limited action in the USHL include forwards Matt DeBoer, Jackson Kunz, defensemen Dylan Abbott, Jarod Crespo, Tyler DesRochers and Jake Ratzlaff.

Rookies include forwards Jackson Hallum, John Mittlestadt, Sawyer Scholl, Greg Spitznagel, Brayden Stannard, Cam VanSickle, defensemen Dylan Abbott, Damian Carfagna and Cade Penney.

Twenty-four players on the 2020-21 roster are committed to NCAA Division 1 institutions and four have been drafted by an NHL team: Schmaltz (2019/Boston), Lohrei (2020/Boston), Hallum (2020/Vegas) and Kunz (2020/Vancouver).

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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