Photo By Dan Hickling/Hickling Images
The Lincoln Stars, members of the United States Hockey League, announced today that they have signed defenseman Christian Krygier from Little Caesars (HPHL) to a tender for the 2016-17 season. Krygier, a native of Novi, MI, is Lincoln’s first tender in team history, and will take the place of the Star’s USHL Phase I Draft first round pick. Krygier is the seventh player to sign a tender with a USHL team this season. Eight players signed tender contracts last season.
A tender contract allows USHL clubs to sign a player directly to their team for next season in exchange for their first or second round pick in the USHL Phase I Draft.
“Christian fits the mold in Lincoln,” Stars general manager Jon Hull said. “We feel with his abrasive style he will become an asset to the organization and a pro prospect as well.”
Krygier recently completed his first full season with the Little Caesars U16 program, scoring seven points in 22 games, including one goal. The defenseman is the son of Muskegon Lumberjacks head coach and former NHL forward Todd Krygier. Christian is also the twin brother of USHL Phase I Draft eligible forward Cole Krygier. Christian has also played for the Compuware Bantam program earlier in his career.
“I’m very proud of Christian and all the work he’s put into his game,” Todd Krygier said. “He knows he has work to do, but I’m excited for him to have this opportunity.”
The uncommitted 6’0” 161-pound defenseman recently scored four points in six game en route to a gold medal with Team USA at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. He was also one of 40 players invited to the United States National Development Team Program camp in March.
“I wanted to take the next step in my career and Lincoln is a great place to do that,” Krygier said. “It’s a great organization and I have a lot of respect for the players and staff.”
Christian described his game as offensive, looking to move the puck and distribute in addition to his physical presence that he has become known for.
The announcement of the tender contract is just the next step of many for the USHL Krygier family. Christian and his father both echoed that the work isn’t over yet.
“They’ve been a huge help in my development as a person and player,” Christian said of his family. “This wouldn’t be possible without them.”
Now in its fifth year, the USHL tender process allows teams to sign up to two 2000 birth year players prior to the 2016 USHL Phase I Draft. The first tender for a team would take the place of a first-round pick in Phase I of the USHL Draft, and if the team tenders a second player, that would take the place of a second-round selection in the USHL Phase I Draft. The final day for USHL teams to sign a tender is Sunday May 1, 2016.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.