The 2019 NHL Draft took place over the weekend and for a second consecutive year, an MI-HS alum was selected by one of the 31 teams. With the 144th overall pick in the fifth round, the Winnipeg Jets drafted 6-foot-2 goaltender Logan Neaton (Brighton, 2017).
Neaton follows in the footsteps of Alec Regula (Cranbrook, 2018) who was chosen in last year’s draft by the Detroit Red Wings. However, Neaton’s situation is a little more unique in that he finished out his high school career as a senior with the Bulldogs which culminated with a Division-I state title in 2017. Regula, on the other hand, would forego his junior and senior seasons to play in the USHL and OHL respectively before being drafted in 2018.
Two years removed from his time at Brighton, Neaton played his first season of junior hockey in the NAHL with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs before playing the ‘18-19 season with the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL. There, he posted the best goals-against average in the league at 1.92 and backstopped a playoff run that ended with a BCHL championship.
No stranger to MI-HS goaltenders, the Jets add Neaton to their organization already having Commerce native Connor Hellebuyck (Walled Lake Northern, 2011) between the pipes in Winnipeg. The 26-year-old also played out his senior season and was also a fifth-round pick by the Jets in 2012, now set to begin his fifth NHL season with the club this fall. Certainly hoping to continue that trend of commonality with Hellebuyck, Neaton will play one more season of junior hockey — his rights belong to the Madison Capitols of the USHL — before embarking on an NCAA career with UMass-Lowell.