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USHL Phase I Futures Draft: Team-by-Team Results and Analysis

A team-by-team breakdown of every USHL Futures Draft pick.

Des Moines first round selection Mitch Lewandowski
Des Moines first round selection Mitch Lewandowski
Matt Christians

The USHL held their Phase I Futures Draft on Monday evening, selecting players born in 1998 for their affiliate lists. Here's a team-by-team breakdown of the most recent additions to each USHL team.

Bloomington Thunder

Mitchell Mattson-F-Grand Rapids(North Dakota)

Anea Ferrario-D-Colorado Thunderbirds

Vladislav Dzioshvilli-D-Wilkes-Barre

Konstanin Cherynuk-D-Wilkes-Barre(Maine)

Carson Briske-D-Colorado Rampage

Aiden Beck-F-Pittsburgh Penguins

Quaid McBean-D-Phoenix Coyotes

Tyson Jost-F-Okanagan

Dante Fabbro-D-Vancouver NW Giants

Jake Theis-F-Chanhassen HS

Some good picks by Bloomington in their first ever draft. They started things off with a long-term project in Mitch Mattson, who will likely stay in Grand Rapids for another year or two. Players like Ferrario and Beck aren't flashy, but will play the hard-nosed style Bloomington is looking for. They also took two Russians from the Wilkes-Barre program that has sent some very successful players to the league. And as some interesting wildcard picks, they picked Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro, two first round picks in the 2013 WHL Draft, but neither have signed, and could be looking at the NCAA route.

Cedar Rapids Rough Riders

Hugh McGing-F-Chicago Mission(Tender)

Derek Daschke-D-Oakland Grizzlies(Tender)

Alec Semandel-D-Chicago Mission

John DeRoche-F-Boston Jr. Bruins(Quinnipiac)

Shaun Bily-F-New Jersey(Northeastern)

Mike Young-D-River PS

NIcholas Prestia-F-Southern Tier

Cody Christofferson-G-Rocky Mountain

I really love Cedar Rapids locking down Daschke and Semandel early in the draft. They got two potential top pairing defenseman that could step in and play right away, and be big-time players in the future.

Chicago Steel

Matt Kiersted-D-Elk River HS(North Dakota)

Jake Nielsen-F-Milwaukee Admirals

Brett Callahan-D-Chicago Mission

Austin Grzenia-F-Victory Honda

Kenny Johnson-D-Shattuck-St. Mary's

Alex Frye-F-St. Mary's Prep

Cole Koepke-F-Hermantown HS

Not that many picks for Chicago this year, but I really liked them taking Brett Callahan with their third pick. They loaded up with some really solid defensemen in this draft, and got a nice mix of offensive skill in Kiersted, defensive play in Johnson, and a nice mix with Callahan.

Des Moines Buccaneers

Mitch Lewandowski-F-Honeybaked(Michigan State)

Nick McKeeby-D-Honeybaked(Western Michigan)

Noah LaLonde-F-Honeybaked(Michigan State)

Keenan Suthers-F-Compuware

Dalton Gally-D-Omaha

Christopher Berger-F-Buffalo Sabres

Logan Drevitch-F-Boston Bandits

Mark Senden-F-Wayzata

Des Moines obviously liked Detroit Honeybaked's team this year, going there for their first three picks. If you were going to pick three kids off the same team, Detroit Honeybaked was as good a choice as any. I really liked the picks of Berger and Senden; both are smart hockey players, good skaters, and play bigger than their size would indicate.

Dubuque Fighting Saints

Willie Knierim-F-Chicago Mission(Tender)

Kailer Yamamoto-F-Los Angeles Kings

Casey Staum-D-Hill-Murray

Paul Washe-F-Victory Honda

RJ Murphy-F-St. Sebastiens

John Stampohar-D-Grand Rapids

Edgars Treijs-F-Linkopings

After locking up a big player in the tender process in Knierim, Dubuque added Kailer Yamamoto with their next pick, which was a great pick. They also added a pair of good puck-moving defensemen for the future in Minnesotans Casey Staum and John Stampohar.

Fargo Force

Riley Tufte-F-Blaine(MN) HS(Minnesota-Duluth)

Cole Gallant-F-Detroit Honeybaked

Ryan Bederka-D-Honeybaked(Michigan State)

Max Gerlach-F-Colorado Thunderbirds

David Melaragni-D-Team Comcast(Northeastern)

Luke Cowan-F-Detroit Honeybaked

Ben Meyers-F-Delano HS

Jack LaFontaine-G-Don Mills

The Force took a bit of a long-term gamble with the first overall pick in selecting Riley Tufte. Tufte's combination of size and soft hands make him an intriguing player with sky-high upside, but Tufte seems set on returning to Blaine for his junior season after turning down an offer from the NTDP, and it may take a few years of adding some weight to his frame before Tufte really starts to pan out.

The Force also added three solid players from the Honeybaked program. Northeastern commit Dave Melaragni slipped a lot farther than many thought he would, but he could potentially be an immediate contributor.

Green Bay Gamblers

Josh Dunne-F-St. Louis

Andrew Peeke-F-Selects Academy

John Leonard-F-Springfield Catholic

Christopher Grando-F-Long Island Gulls

Casey Mittelstadt-F-Eden Prairie

John Pesek-D-Chicago Fury

Brandon Puricelli-F-St. Louis Blues

Gabriel Sylvestre-D-College Esther

Green Bay took some gambles on players that didn't necessarily have big years this past year, but showed tremendous upside and potential, including their first round pick in Josh Dunne. They landed two top prospects from out East with their next two picks in Peeke and Leonard.

Lincoln Stars

Dominick Mersch-F-Chicago Mission(Wisconsin)

Ethen Frank-F-Omaha

Liam Schioler-D-Shattuck-St. Mary's

Jake Badini -F-Long Island Gulls

Sam Field-F-New Jersey

Tommy Napier-G-St. Louis Blues

Jacob Harris-F-Toronto Marlies

The new regime in Lincoln is looking to rebuild their team with some good skaters, and they picked up one of the best available in Dominick Mersch. Liam Schioler was a high WHL Draft pick, but is a fantastic pick if Lincoln gets him to report.

Madison Capitols

Simon Butala-D-Long Island Gulls(Maine)

Evan Wisocky-F-Long Island Gulls

Ryan Edquist-G-Shattuck-St. Mary's(Minnesota)

Ryan Carlson-D-Chicago Mission

Connor Ford-F-Pittsburgh Penguins

Augie Burkhardt-F-New Jersey Devils

Travis Schneider-F-Chicago Fury

Joey Kubachka-F-Philadelphia Flyers

Brendan Less-D-Long Island Gulls

Cole Hults-D-Madison Capitols

The expansion Capitols took three players, including their first two picks out of the Long Island Gulls program. Butala and Wisocky are both high-skill players and nice picks.

Muskegon Lumberjacks

Mitch Eliot-D-Detroit Honeybaked(Tender)(Michigan State)

Keeghan Howdeshell-F-Compuware

Dante Palecco-F-Long Island Gulls

Jamie Armstrong-F-Neponset Valley

Michael Latorella-G-Honeybaked

Collin Adams-F-Honeybaked

Alex Green-D-Chicago Mission

Dylan Dix-D-Arizona Bobcats

Casey Gilling-F-Soo Indians

Muskegon made a lot of picks in this draft after making all sorts of trades over the course of the year. They added some real size and strength with players like Eliot, Howdeshell, and Dix, and some really nice players from out East.

Omaha Lancers

Hank Crone-F-Dallas Stars(Tender)(Boston University)

Callan Foote-D-Colorado Thunderbirds

Ben Lown-F-Shattuck-St. Mary's

William Fallstrom-F-Djurgarden

Sam Huff-F-Maple Grove

Todd Kilunen-D-Brighton HS

Philip Knies-F-Arizona Bobcats

The Lancers locked up Crone prior to the draft, which was a great move. Crone is the type of smaller, offensive-minded player that can make an immediate impact in the league. They took a chance with their second pick in Callan Foote, whose WHL rights are owned by Kelowna. If Foote reports to Omaha and plays there, it's a huge steal for the Lancers.

While everybody else seemed pre-occupied with size over skill, Omaha picked up slick offensive players like Crone, Lown, and Knies, and maybe got one of the steals of the draft in Sam Huff late in the sixth round.

Sioux City Musketeers

Jake Ryczek-D-Selects Academy(New Hampshire)

Carver Watson-D-Appleton HS

Barrett Daschyshyn-F-Halifax Macs

John Israel-F-Culver Academy

Kevin Fellows-F-Prior Lake

Lukas Dow-F-Duluth Marshall

Kyle Moore-F-Toronto Red Wings

Ryan Brushett-C-Lac-St. Louis

The Muskies dipped into Canada three times, including a fairly early pick in Daschyshyn, whose father played college hockey at North Dakota. It was later in the draft, but Sioux City was another team that wasn't scared off by smaller players, picking some high-skill guys like Kellows, Dow, and Moore.

Sioux Falls Stampede

Kieffer Bellows-F-Edina

Alexander Drobot-F-New Jersey Rockets(Maine)

Cole Thompson-D-Hockey Academy

Jack Kopacka-F-Compuware

Davis Bunz-D-MIddleton HS

Ash Altmann-F-Duluth East

Tyler Nother-D-Halton(Miami)

Max Johnson-F-Lakeville North

Sioux Falls picked up a little bit of everything here. Bellows and Kopacka are strong, tough power forward. Drobot is more of a waterbug type. They got some good defensemen too, including a rare Canadian already committed to an NCAA school in Tyler Nother.

Tri-City Storm

Cam Dineen-D-Selects Academy(Yale)

Sam Sternschein-F-Portledge HS(Cornell)

Brian Hawkinson-F-Colorado Thunderbirds

Brandon Schuldhaus-D-Shattuck-St. Mary's

Austen Long-F-Spring Lake Park HS

John Sladic-F-Detroit Belle Tire

Jack Kelly-D-Maple Grove

Monte Graham-F-Thayer Academy

Joseph Abate-F-Chicago Fury

Tri-City stayed on the east coach for their first two picks and got two highly-thought of players. Bigger guys like Sternschein, Hawkinson, Schuldhaus, and the small, but tough Austen Long, should give the Storm a big physical presence in the future.

Waterloo Blackhawks

Sam Rossini-D-Burnsville(Tender)

Hank Sorenson-D-Wayzata

Garrett Wait-F-Edina

Dayton Rasmussen-G-Holy Family HS

Liam Murphy-F-Avon Old Farms(Connecticut)

Jeremy Descheneaux-C-Stanstead HS

Victor Mete-D-Toronto Jr. Canadiens

Gage Ramsay-F-Notre Dame Prep

Curran Reeve-D-Saskatoon Blazers

While some teams shied away from Minnesota HS prospects early in the draft, Waterloo showed no shyness is taking top Minnesota-born players. They signed Sam Rossini to the first tender ever for a Minnesota-born player, and then added three of the best young players in the southwest Twin Cities suburbs in Sorenson, Wait, and Rasmussen.

The Blackhawks also ventured into Canada for some interesting picks. Jeremy Descheneaux comes from Stanstead HS, the Canadian prep school famous for producing Providence's Mark Jankowski. Late in the sixth round, they took Victor Mete who was a first round draft choice in the OHL, but has publicly stated that he has no intentions of playing in the OHL. He can't play in the US next year, but if he decides to stick with the college route, Waterloo could potentially land a really high-level talent.

Youngstown Phantoms

Ty Farmer-D-St. Louis Blues(Tender)(Michigan State)

Grant Cruikshank-F-Milwaukee Admirals

Alec Mahalak-D-Compuware

Luke McInnis-D-Hingham HS

Stephen Dhillon-G-Buffalo Sabres

Michael Fahie-F-Nobles and Grenough(Brown)

TJ Friedman-F-St. Louis Blues

Justin Cmunt-F-Toronto Jr. Canadiens

I loved the tender of Farmer before the draft. He's small, but smart enough to step and help Youngstown right away. Cruikshank could turn into a great pick once his frame fills out a little. Stephen Dhillon had an impressive NTDP camp and gives them a nice potential future goalie.