Local Sports Journal

The Muskegon Lumberjacks added three players, two defensemen and one forward, in the dispersal of the Indiana Ice players.

The Clark Cup champion Ice were granted dormancy for the upcoming season which led to the dispersal of its players. Under USHL rules and guidelines, the Lumberjacks obtain the rights of all three players in the event that any leave for either another junior league or move on to the collegiate level and want to return while still being eligible for league participation.

In the first round (seventh overall), the Lumberjacks selected the 6-foot-5 Ryan Mantha (Clarkston), who split this past season with the Ice and Sioux City Musketeers and Indiana. In the second round, Muskegon chose Nick Azar, another defenseman, who is a native of Grosse Pointe Park. With its final pick, Muskegon chose forward Jason Salvaggio from Hanson, Mass.

Mantha had three goals and 12 assists and was plus-11 in 63 games this past season. He is committed to the University of North Dakota following his junior career.

Azar played for Belle Tire and Honeybaked Minor Midget this past season. He had two goals and two assists in 23 games. The Ice affiliate player had one goal and seven assists in 48 games during the 2012-13 season with Belle Tire Minor Midget.

To conclude their picks, the Jacks chose Salvaggio who played 74 career games in the USHL with the Ice. He had 20 goals and 17 assists and was plus-5. Salvaggio is committed to the University of New Hampshire out of the Hockey East Association beginning next season.  However, Muskegon will hold Salvaggio’s rights if he decides to return and is still eligible for USHL participation.