April 20, 2011
USHL Futures Draft selections Max Domi (20th overall) and Mitch Jones (84th overall) are both sons of former NHL players. (photos by Terry Wilson and Honeybaked Hockey)
USHL Futures Draft Notebook
- Among the 90 players selected were 68 forwards, 28 defensemen, and four goaltenders.
- The players represent 21 different states* coast to coast, from New York to California and Oregon to Florida. Eight of the players came from outside of the United States – seven from Canada (Quebec - 4,Ontario - 3) and one from Slovakia (Matej Paulovic, 76th overall to Muskegon)
- The drafted players came from 53 different teams and organizations, led by five players each from the Buffalo Regals, Honeybaked, and Team Illinois hockey programs.
Oh brother…The Dubuque Fighting Saints drafted a pair of players that have older brothers who played in the USHL this season. Defenseman Michael Downing (3rd pick overall) is the brother of Omaha Lancers defenseman Jake Downing while the sixth round pick of the Saints, defenseman Garret Cecere (73rd overall), is the brother of Lincoln Stars defenseman Nick Cecere.
With the seventh overall pick, the Des Moines Buccaneers drafted defenseman Michael Brodzinski. His brother, Jonny Brodzinski, is a member of the Fargo Force. The two were teammates earlier this season at Blaine High School (MN).
Early birthday gift…One day before turning 16 years old, defenseman Griffin Foulk was selected in the third round (44th overall) by the Tri-City Storm.
NHL bloodlines…A handful of players selected on Tuesday have fathers who once skated in the NHL. The second round pick of the Indiana Ice, Max Domi (20th overall), is the son of Tie Domi who spent parts of 16 seasons in the NHL. Forward Cole Cassels was the third-round pick (45th overall) of the Muskegon Lumberjacks and his father Andrew is also a veteran of 16 NHL seasons. Defenseman Mitch Jones, taken by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the sixth round (84th overall), is the son of Brad Jones who spent parts of five seasons in the NHL after a four-year collegiate career at the University of Michigan.
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders selected forward Michael Babcock in the fifth round (68th overall). He is the son of Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. Nine picks earlier in the fourth round, the Chicago Steel drafted defenseman Jacob McNamara who is the son of Bob McNamara, the general manager of the Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.
Teammates again?...There were a few occasions in the Futures Draft that a USHL team selected players who spent the past season as teammates.
- The Chicago Steel looked in their own backyard to select Chicago Mission teammates Biagio Lerario (32nd overall) and Andrew Burton (62nd overall).
- A pair of players from Team Illinois were selected by the Omaha Lancers – forwards Daniel Vanderwiel (15th overall) and Anthony Louis (65th overall).
- Two players from the Michigan-based Honeybaked program will have the opportunity to stay in their home state after being drafted by the Muskegon Lumberjacks – defenseman Alex Smith (5th overall) and Alex Talcott (16th overall).
- The Dubuque Fighting Saints selected teammates from Quebec with their picks in the second and third round – forwards Anthony Duclair (18th overall) and Jonathan Drouin (43rd overall) from the Lac St-Louis Lions.
College bound…While most USHL players are working towards a hockey career at the NCAA level, several players selected in Tuesday's draft have already made their collegiate commitments. A pair of forwards from the upper peninsula of Michigan are staying close to home when their collegiate careers begin as they have committed to Northern Michigan University – Levi Erkkila (17th overall to Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) and Brett Heikkila (21st overall to the Fargo Force).
*Futures Draft Selections by State
Michigan – 13
Minnesota – 11
Illinois – 10
California – 7
New York – 7
Massachusetts – 4
Florida – 2
Missouri – 2
North Carolina – 2
Ohio – 2
Texas – 2
Colorado – 1
Connecticut – 1
Iowa – 1
Maryland – 1
Nevada – 1
New Jersey – 1
North Dakota – 1
Oregon – 1
Pennsylvania – 1
Wisconsin – 1