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Seven Selected In USHL Draft

By Craig Peterson, 05/06/20, 12:30PM EDT


Current and Former MI-HS players’ names called during the 16-team event

The 2020 USHL Draft took place earlier this week in two phases, beginning with Phase I on Monday for the 2004-birth year only and Phase II the next day for all remaining birth years. During this two-day event, two current players and five alumni from seven different MI-HS programs were selected and will be set to join their respective teams’ 45-man player list.



Brayden Stannard, Round 2, Green Bay

The one-time Escanaba Eskymo, Stannard finished second on the team in scoring as a freshman in 2017-18, with 20 goals and 27 points during his rookie campaign. From there, he spent one season with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies’ 16U team before playing last season in the NAHL with the Maryland Black Bears. Stannard is currently committed to NCAA Nebraska-Omaha for the 21-22 season.


Jake Beaune, Round 3, Lincoln

The right-handed defenseman scored 35 goals and 71 points during his three-year career with Livonia Stevenson. Beaune played the last two seasons in the NAHL with the Aberdeen Wings, and finished in the top 15 among defensemen with 29 points in 51 games. As a 2000-birth year, Beaune has one more year of junior hockey eligibility for the Stars this season.


Cooper Black, Round 6, Omaha

Just one year removed from his 22-win senior season with Alpena, Black continues his meteoric rise as one of the top Michigan-based goalie prospects. The 6-foot-7 goaltender went 9-6-3 with a .916 save percentage and 2.58 goals-against average in his first season of junior hockey with the NAHL’s Maryland Black Bears. 


Connor McGrath, Round 12, Youngstown

Another member of the Class of 2019, McGrath concluded his career at Cranbrook with 71 points in 56 games. After graduation, he split time this season between Little Caesars’ 18U team and the Chippewa Steel. The 01-birth year forward scored 13 goals in 26 NAHL games.


Andrew Garby, Round 18, Cedar Rapids

In one season with Plymouth, Garby scored 10 goals and 29 points from the blue line for the No. 6 ranked Wildcats. Since then, he’s spent the last two seasons in the NAHL with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, accumulating three goals and 29 points during his 95-game junior career. 


Jacob Thomas, Round 21, Sioux Falls

A four-year senior for Country Day, Thomas could go down as one of the winningest players in high school history, having been a part of two state championships and a third final four this season. He’s one of the top prospects among MI-HS defensemen this season and for good reason. Thomas has great size at 6-foot-4, he’s a strong skater and efficient puck mover who should excel at the next level.


Kyle Gaffney, Round 23, Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls doubled down on seniors by taking Gaffney out of Detroit Catholic Central. The 6-foot forward was arguably the top forward prospect in all of MI-HS this season, accumulating 12 goals and 46 points in 27 games for the No. 1 ranked Shamrocks. Gaffney has also signed a tender agreement with the Aberdeen Wings in the NAHL for next season.


Last season, five former MI-HS players suited up for USHL teams. With seven players selected in the draft this week, the United States’ top junior league continues to feel a significant presence from the top prospects that Michigan High School hockey has to offer. 

Craig Peterson’s comments and opinions are that of his own, and are in no way directly tied to that of the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches’ Association (MHSHCA), its member coaches, or board members. Any questions, comments or concerns regarding his work can be addressed directly to the author of the article.