Photo credit: Chicago Steel
The Chicago Steel have signed forward Robert Mastrosimone to a tender for the 2017-18 season. Mastrosimone, 16, is committed to Boston University.
The Steel’s signing of Mastrosimone marks the first time the team has tendered a player since the process began in the USHL in 2012. The USHL tender process allows teams to sign a player prior to the USHL Phase I Draft in exchange for a first or second round pick.
“We are very excited to have tendered a high-quality kid like Robert Mastrosimone,” said Steel general manager Ryan Bennett. “He brings a high-end work ethic and an elite skill set to our organization. Robert’s a very smart player that can either play center or on the wing, which will allow us flexibility in our lineup every night.”
“We are thrilled that Robert has signed a tender and will be joining our organization,” said Steel head coach Dan Muse. “We feel strongly that he will be a great fit both on and off the ice. He is going to be a big part of our future. We are looking forward to working with him and having him as a part of our organization and community.”
The East Islip, NY, native is currently a sophomore at Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Faribault, MN. He recorded 44 points (23G, 21A) in 31 games this season en route to the Sabres’ runner-up finish last week at the USA Hockey National Championships in Pittsburgh, PA.
“I’m very excited to join the Steel organization,” said Mastrosimone. “I cannot wait to get the Chicago Steel jersey on.”
This is the first time Chicago has tendered a player, but three members of the current roster were previously tendered by other teams: Derek Daschke (Cedar Rapids, 2014), Graham Lillibridge (Muskegon, 2015), and Brannon McManus (Omaha, 2015).
Now in its sixth year, the USHL tender process allows teams to sign up to two 2001 birth year players prior to the 2017 USHL Phase I Draft, which takes place next month. Mastrosimone’s signing will take the place of Chicago’s first-round pick in the 2017 USHL Phase I Draft. If the Steel tender a second player, that signing 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, April 30, 2017. Each tendered player will be on their respective team’s roster the next season and play at least 55% of the team’s regular season games.
Mastrosimone is the second player to tender with a USHL team in 2017. Forward Trevor Kuntar signed earlier this month with the Youngstown Phantoms.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 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.
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