The USHL held its Phase II Draft on Tuesday, which takes place each year during the first week of May. Michigan High School Hockey saw nine of its current and former players selected by various teams in the top junior league in the United States.
Among the nine players selected were former MI-HS hockey and Team Michigan members Derek Schaedig(14th overall, Chicago Steel) and Logan Jenuwine(93rd overall, Fargo Force). Both Schaedig and Jenuwine spent the 2016-17 season in the NAHL after graduating from high school last year.
Jenuwine (Romeo High, 2016) played 19 games for Aberdeen and scored eight goals and 17 points in the regular season, and is currently in the second round of the NAHL playoffs with the Wings. Schaedig (Chelsea High, 2016) is also competing in the NAHL playoffs with the Janesville Jets after a regular season in which he appeared in 29 games, posting 15 wins, a goals-against average of 2.98 and .902 save-percentage.
Also selected in the USHL Draft were MI-HS seniors Jake Crespi(Brighton, 2017), Jack Clement(Brother Rice, 2017), Connor McGinnis(Country Day, 2017), Adam Pitters(Grosse Pointe South, 2017) and Rory Anderson(Calumet, 2017).
Crespi—selected 32nd overall in the second round by Tri-City Storm—earned 2017 Mr. Hockey honors in a season that included 30 goals and 59 points in route to a Division-I state championship with Brighton High as well as a verbal commitment to NCAA Lake Superior State.
In his senior season, Clement totaled 19 goals and 50 points, as the Warriors took the Division-II state championship. Clement tendered with NAHL Shreveport earlier this season before being selected 100th overall in the seventh round by the Chicago Steel.
McGinnis was taken by the Lincoln Stars in the 12th round with the 186th pick overall. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior scored 15 goals and 29 points in 25 games for Country Day and was one-of-six defensemen selected to represent the seniors for Team Michigan at the CCM NIT in April.
Muskegon selected Pitters in the 14th round with the 223rd pick, making 2016-17 a very busy season for the Grosse Pointe South senior. Pitters scored 27 goals and 66 points in 26 games during the MI-HS season. After being eliminated by Brother Rice in the D-II state tournament, Pitters joined Aberdeen for the remainder of the NAHL season. Pitters played five regular-season games but did not register a point. However, like Jenuwine, has played in all six of the Wings’ playoff games and has two goals and three points in the second round of the NAHL playoffs.
A day after signing his tender contract with NAHL Topeka, Rory Anderson then got drafted by the Green Bay Gamblers in the 19th round with the 299th pick overall. Anderson led Calumet to the Division-III state final, scoring 29 goals and 71 points in 31 games for the Copper Kings. He was also a member of the Team Michigan Seniors, scoring one goal and two points as the team took second place in Minnesota last month.
Adam Conquest was the youngest MI-HS player selected in the draft with a 2000 birth year. The junior tallied three assists in four games with the Team Michigan HP-18s after a regular season in which he totaled 17 goals and 38 points in 29 games with Brighton.
Conversely, the most senior player selected with a 1997 birth year, forward Ryan Burnett(Detroit Catholic Central, 2015) was selected in the 10th round with the 153rd pick by the Bloomington Thunder. Burnett played the past two seasons for NAHL Wichita Falls, appearing in 102 games, scoring 30 goals and 68 points.
Having nine current and former high school hockey players drafted into the USHL is a significant accomplishment for everyone involved. From players to coaches, being recognized by the top junior league in the country is a stamp of approval for high school hockey statewide. The collection of players is also an improvement from last year’s numbers, up two from the seven players drafted in 2016.
While being selected in the USHL Draft is a tremendous accomplishment, it is only the beginning of the process, as these players will set their sights on their respective teams’ main-camp tryouts in late May and early June. If successful, players will then advance to each team’s training camp, looking to earn spots on opening-day rosters for the upcoming USHL season, which begins October 6th, 2017.