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Six Jr. Gambler Alumni Selected in USHL Draft

By Jr Gamblers, 05/12/14, 8:00PM CDT


On Monday, May 5th and Tuesday, May 6th, the United States Hockey League (USHL) conducted their Phase I and Phase II draft.  The Phase I draft is commonly referred to as the “Futures” draft and players born in 1998 were the only players eligible this year.  The Phase II draft is for all players eligible to play junior hockey and are not protected by an USHL team.  Once each team has filled their roster to 45 players, the draft concludes.  This year there were 30 rounds as 2 new teams to the USHL (Madison and Bloomington) had to fill their rosters.

This year 5 skaters with Wisconsin ties were selected in the “Futures” draft.  Former Green Bay Junior Gambler and Appleton United High School defenseman, Carver Watson, was selected with the 8th pick of the second round by the Sioux City Musketeers.  Watson was a member of the 1998 team for 5 years.

USHL teams selected 14 players with Wisconsin ties in the Phase II draft.  Five of these skaters were former Junior Gamblers.  Three skaters from the 1996 team were selected by USHL teams.  Center Mason Appleton, currently at Notre Dame Academy (NDA), was selected 3rd overall by the Tri-City Storm.  Defenseman teammate Luke Davison, also at NDA, was selected in the 6th round by Fargo Force.  Former Jr. Gambler teammate and NDA teammate Brett Gruber was selected in the 7th round by Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.  1997 Alum, Collin Appleton will join Davison as he was selected in the 10th round by Fargo.  In the 12th round, the Green Bay Gamblers selected 1998 birth year Trent Bliss who currently skates with Watson at Appleton United.

Nearly a third of players selected from Wisconsin in this year’s draft hold ties to the Junior Gambler program.  Current Director of Hockey Operations, Pat Mikesch, likes the direction our program is headed. “We are very happy for these players and their families.  The USHL draft is a great accomplishment.  It will be exciting to watch all of them over the next few years.  I also want to congratulate all of their coaches at every level for the job they did developing these players.”

Congratulations to all the former Jr. Gamblers and good luck with your future hockey endeavors.


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