Lumberjacks trade for veteran forwards, then select more forwards with top draft picks

The Muskegon Lumberjacks started off USHL draft week with a trade that brought three talented veterans to the team in exchange for a top draft choice.

The Jacks sent their first-round, Phase II draft pick (12th overall) to the Tri-city Storm in exchange for three forwards: Wyatt Bongiovanni, Monte Graham and Jonathan Bendorf.

Bongiovanni is a Birmingham, MI native who scored 12 goals and 30 points with Tri-City in his second USHL season in 2016-17.

Currently just 17, Bongiovanni has already played 116 USHL games, the most of any Lumberjack currently on the roster.

Graham, a Hanover, MA native, scored eight goals and 24 points last season with Tri-City.

Bendorf has been a prolific goal scorer in his junior career. In 2014-15, he was named the USPHL 16U forward of the year, scoring 30 goals and 75 points in just 28 games for Team Comcast.

He started last season with Wichita Falls of the North American Hockey League and totaled 13 goals and 24 points in 33 games. He finished the season with Tri-City, getting five assists in 23 games.

“We feel like we got better through this trade” said Vanbiesbrouck. “To bring in three guys with USHL experience for one pick, we feel the Jacks got better.”

In the Phase I USHL draft, the Lumberjacks selected forward John Farinacci with the 12th overall pick.

Farinacci is a Chatham, New Jersey native. He played last season at Shattuck St. Mary’s prep school in Minnesota and scored 28 goals and 63 points in 58 games.

In the second round, the Jacks took another forward in Ryan Robinson. Hailing from Plano, Texas, Robinson played in the Dallas Stars’ U16 program last season, scoring 10 goals and 26 points in 32 games.

In the third round the Jacks selected forward Jeff Burridge, who suited up for the London Jr. Knights last season, scoring 18 goals and 35 points in 31 games.

In the Phase II draft, the Lumberjacks made their first pick in the second round, because of the earlier trade involving their first-round pick.

Their top selection was Donovan Ott, a 6-foot-1, 201-pound forward who scored 57 points last season playing with Johnstown of the North American Hockey League.

Muskegon only selected one goaltender, but it was a very notable one: former Team USA goaltender Dylan St. Cyr was taken by the Jacks in the 17th round.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *