The USHL held both its Futures Draft (1997 birthdays) and Entry Draft this week.
From a UND angle, the most notable part of the draft is that UND commit Chris Wilkie went No. 2 overall in the Entry Draft on Wednesday.
Wilkie played for the U.S. Under-17 team last season, but is leaving the National Team Development Program. When word leaked out Monday that Wilkie was leaving the NTDP, many speculated that he was off to the WHL. But when reached, Wilkie said he wasn’t fully sure of his final destination, but “definitely not major juniors.”
Not only did Tri-City take Wilkie at No. 2, but Wilkie even made the trip to Kearney, Neb., for the draft and posed with photos with a Storm jersey, showing his commitment to Tri-City.
The organization was thrilled to get Wilkie and they are saying that the plan is to develop him for one year, get him selected in the NHL draft and send him to North Dakota for 2014. Read that story here.
A bunch of other locals were taken in the Entry Draft:
In the third round, Des Moines drafted Bismarck’s Alec Rauhauser and Fargo picked Roseau’s Cole Bjugson. In the 10th round, TRF’s Chris Forney went to Indiana. In the 12th round, EGF’s Colton Poolman went to Fargo. In the 14th round, Bismarck’s Aaron Nelson went to Sioux Falls. In the 20th round, GF’s John Simonson went to Lincoln and in the 24th, EGF’s Grant Loven went to Lincoln.
Poolman and Loven are still in high school. Poolman, whose brother Tucker is a UND commit, will be a senior next year. Loven, whose father Tim played for UND, will be a sophomore.
The best story of the USHL draft came in Round No. 28, when the Chicago Steel selected paralyzed player Jack Jablonski from Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
Jablonski posted on Twitter: “Best night ever. #steel”
A day earlier, the USHL held its Futures Draft for 1997 birthdays and two EGF players went in the second round. Des Moines picked Tanner Tweten and Lincoln picked Tye Ausmus.