Local Sports Journal
The Muskegon Lumberjacks added 30 new players to the roster in Tuesday night’s 2013 USHL Phase Two Draft.
Add in the 15 that were drafted on Monday and the Jacks have 45 new players in two day’s time.
The Lumberjacks’ first pick in the Phase Two Draft came third overall (trade with Des Moines) and the Jacks selected defenseman Tommy Panico from Wall, New Jersey. Panico spent this past season with the Team Comcast Under-18 Team totaling 34 points (12 goals and 22 assists) in 42 games played and is committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
Muskegon’s second first-round pick was eighth overall and it selected forward Haralds Egle from Liepaje, Latvia. This past season, Egle played with the Portland Jr. Pirates out of the Eastern Junior Hockey League and tallied 48 points (22 goals and 26 goals) in 39 games played.
Prior to playing for Portland, Egle spent the 2011-12 season with the Green Mountain Glades of the Empire Junior Hockey League and recorded 47 points (18 goals and 29 assists) in 32 games played.
In the second round, the Lumberjacks had a pick via the Tri-City Storm. The Jacks chose forward C.J. Smith from Richfield, Minnesota at 17th overall. Smith spent the past two seasons with the Austin Bruins out of the North American Hockey League and scored 92 points (47 goals and 45 assists) to go along with a plus-35 rating in 129 games played.
With their second pick in the second round at 23rd overall, the Lumberjacks picked forward Matheson Iacopelli out of Brownstown, Michigan. Iacopelli spent the 2012-13 season with the Belle Tire Midget Major Team and recorded 53 points (31 goals and 22 assists) in 47 games played.
Muskegon chose forward James Winkler from York, Maine in the third round (37th overall). Winkler is a Northeastern commit and scored 25 goals this past season with Berwick Academy (Maine).
With their lone pick in the fourth round at 53rd overall, Muskegon selected defenseman Jake McCarthy from Dedham, Massachusetts. McCarthy appeared in 25 games this past season with St. Sebastian’s (Massachusetts).
In the fifth round, the Lumberjacks would make a trade with the Sioux Falls Stampede and move up to draft forward Michael Pontarelli from Laval, Quebec, Canada. Pontarelli spent the 2012-13 season with the Cornwall Colts out of the Central Canada Hockey League and racked up 107 points (52 goals and 55 assists) in 53 games played to go along with 26 points (15 goals and 11 assists) in 19 playoff games.
The Lumberjacks had the 71st overall pick in the fifth round which they received from the Lincoln Stars in an earlier trade and chose forward Ryan Stevens from Euless, Texas. Stevens spent the previous two seasons with the Dallas Stars Midget Major Team and totaled 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists) in 40 games played during the 2011-12 season.
Muskegon had the first pick in the sixth round at 76th overall from an earlier trade with the Indiana Ice and selected defenseman Brendan Smith from Centennial, Colorado. Smith spent this past season with the Colorado Thunderbirds Midget Minor Team and totaled 41 points (14 goals and 27 assists) in 45 games played.
Later in the sixth round at 83rd overall, the Lumberjacks picked defenseman Carson Gatt from Farmington Hills. Gatt is committed to Michigan State University has spent the last three seasons playing for Detroit Catholic Central High School.
Muskegon had three picks in the seventh round and picked forward Patrick Russell from Birkerod, Denmark. Russell spent the 2012-13 season with the Linköping Under-20 Team out of the Swedish SuperElit League and totaled 39 points (18 goals and 21 assists) in 42 games played.
With their second pick in the seventh round at 98th overall, the Lumberjacks chose defenseman Cameron Cooper out of Fraser. Cooper spent the last two seasons with the Belle Tire Under-18 Team recording 40 points (6 goals and 34 assists) in 84 games played.
The Lumberjacks chose defenseman Daniel Billett out of Highlands Ranch, Colo. with their third pick in the seventh round. Billett spent the previous two seasons playing for Culver Military Academy out of the High Performance Hockey League.
With their lone eighth round pick, the Lumberjacks drafted defenseman Johan Steen from Colleyville, Texas. Steen spent the last two seasons with the Dallas Stars Midget Minor Team.
In the ninth round, Muskegon sent the goaltender route with Jeremy Wik from Naperville, Ill. Wik has spent the previous two seasons with the Chicago Fury hockey program, compiling a 1.94 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage in 16 games played in 2011-12. Last season, Wik had a 1.88 goals-against average to go along with a .925 save percentage.
In the 10th round, Muskegon drafted forward Charlie Parker from Verona, Wis. Parker has spent his first three years with the Verona Wildcats in the Wisconsin High School Hockey League where he accumulated 121 points (46 goals and 75 assists) in 83 games played.
In the 11th round, Muskegon picked defenseman Sean Lang with their 158th overall pick out of Apple Valley, Minn. Lang spent the 2012-13 season with the Coulee Region Chill out of the North American Hockey League where he totaled 21 points (7 goals and 14 assists) in 55 games played.
The Lumberjacks picked Sam Berg in the 12th round. He is from Beamsville, Ontario, Canada. Last season, Berg spent time with both the Buffalo Junior Sabres and Hamilton Red Wings out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League where he accumulated 15 points (3 goals and 12 assists) in 38 games played.
Muskegon would use the 188th overall pick (13th round) on defenseman Spencer Cage out of Fishers, Ind. Last season with Culver Military Academy, Cage totaled 21 points (6 goals and 15 assists) to go along with a sparkling plus-40 rating in 42 games played.
In the 14th round, the Lumberjacks chose forward Colin O’Neill out of Odenton, Maryland. O’Neill spent last season with the Washington Little Capitals, where he accumulated 46 points (21 goals and 25 assists) and spent the 2011-12 season with the D.C. Capitals totaling 39 points (15 goals and 24 assists) in 40 games played. O’Neill is committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
The 15th round would feature the Lumberjacks drafting 218th overall and picking defenseman Stefan LeBlanc from Oakville, Ontario, Canada. LeBlanc spent last season with the Oakville Blades out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, where he tallied 35 points (4 goals and 31 assists) in 55 games played.
Muskegon would pick 233rd overall in the 16th round and select defenseman Connor Frantti, who spent last season with Culver Military Academy.
The Lumberjacks picked another goaltender in the 17th round with the selection of Ryan Larkin out of Clarkson. Larking spent the previous two seasons with the Honey Baked hockey program in which he compiled a 2.27 goals-against average to go along with a .895 save percentage and three shutouts in 21 games played.
Muskegon picked defenseman Jean Sebastian Taillefer out of Clifford, Pa. in the 18th round. Taillefer spent the past season with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights out of the American Junior Hockey League.
In the 19th round at 278th overall, the Lumberjacks drafted a winger in Robbie DeMontis out of Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. This past season, DeMontis played for The Hill Academy (Canada) and piled up 95 points (36 goals and 59 assists) in 49 games played.
The 20th round saw the Lumberjacks pick 293rd overall and selected defenseman Jack Sloan out of Zionsville, Ind. In the 2012-13 season, Sloan played for the Springfield Junior Blues out of the North American Hockey League, where he totaled 21 points (7 goals and 14 assists) in 47 games played.
The Lumberjacks would march on to the 21st round at 308th overall and pick forward Kevin Dineen from Faribault, Minn. The past two seasons, Dineen attended Shattuck St. Mary’s and recorded 152 points (68 goals and 84 assists) in 95 games played.
Muskegon chose forward Bryce VanHorn in the 22nd round. VanHorn spent the previous two seasons with Port Huron Northern out of the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League in which he tallied 35 points (19 goals and 16 assists) in 29 games played during the 2011-12 season.
With the 338rd overall pick in the 23rd round, Muskegon drafated a Michigan product in forward Josh Lammon out of Jackson. Lammon has spent the last two seasons with the Victory Honda hockey program in which he totaled 28 points (15 goals and 13 assists) in 43 games played during the 2011-12 season followed by racking up 36 points (18 goals and 18 assists) in 44 games played during the 2012-13 season.
The Lumberjacks would use their final pick of the Phase Two Draft (24th round, 353rd overall) to select forward Adam Brodecki from Stockholm, Sweden. Brodecki spent the last two seasons with the Brynӓs hockey program in Sweden, where he piled up 62 points (31 goals and 31 assists) in 46 games played during the 2011-12 season and 74 points (29 goals and 45 assists) in 59 games played this past season.