By Ron Rop
Six USHL players heard their names called on Friday at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
Three players came from Team USA, who from Dubuque and one from the Clark Cup champion Green Bay Gamblers.
Jacob Trouba (Team USA) was the first USHL selection. He went ninth to the Winnipeg Jets. Dubuque’s Zemgus Girgensons went 14th to the Buffalo Sabres.
The Florida Panthers drafted Dubuque’s Michael Matheson with the 23rd pick and the St. Louis Blues drafted Green Bay’s Jordan Schmaltz with the 25th pick.
The final two USHL picks in the opening round were Team USA players Brady Skjei (New York Rangers) and Stefan Matteu went to the New Jersey Devils. Skjei was the 28th pick overall and Matteau was 29th.
Former Muskegon Lumberjack centerman Matt DeBlouw also is in Pittsburgh for the draft. He is hoping to hear his name called on Saturday when the draft resumes.
Just prior to the start of the draft, DeBlouw texted, “This is pretty sweet. Put in a good word for me down there.”