The USHL Phase I and Phase II Drafts will be held on May 2 and May 3, respectively, replenishing arguably the continent’s top Tier I junior league with a fresh crop of talented players.
The Phase I Draft, also referred to as “Futures,” will feature 10 rounds’ worth of selection, with teams selecting players exclusively from the 2006 birth year. Phase II will consist of all age-eligible players not protected by another USHL team.
25 Minnesota natives were selected in last year’s Phase I Draft, headlined by a trio of first-round selections. Former Rosemount youth standout William Whitelaw went No. 1 overall to Youngstown, while Warroad’s Jayson Shaugabay was selected 11th overall by Green Bay, and Benilde-St. Margaret’s forward Drew Stewart went 15th to Cedar Rapids.
The Waterloo Blackhawks hold the No. 1 overall selection in the Phase I Draft this season.
There have been eight “tendered” players thus far, meaning those teams will forfeit their first-round selections in favor of adding players pre-draft. Those tendered players are listed below.
To follow the USHL Draft action, click here.
2020 USHL Phase I first-rounder Zam Plante was selected 11th overall by Chicago.
|Pick||USHL Team||Player||2021-2022 Team|
|4||Waterloo||Keith McInnis||Yale Hockey Academy|
|7||Madison||Will Felicio||Mount Saint Charles|
|10||Muskegon||Sacha Boisvert||Mount Saint Charles|
|14||Chicago||Macklin Celebrini||Shattuck-St. Mary's 18U|
|15||Tri-City||Matt Virgilio||St. Andrews College|
|25||Muskegon||Owen Keefe||Malden Catholic|
|29||Chicago||Michael Hage||Toronto Jr. Canadiens|
|30||Tri-City||Trevor Connelly||Long Island Gulls|
The Chicago Steel have tendered Shattuck-St. Mary's standout Macklin Celebrini prior to Monday's Phase I Draft.
Ben Miller, Hill-Murray
2021-2022 Team: Lakeville South High School
Starting the year as the top player on the Lakeville South Bantam AA squad, Ernst broke the Battle for the Blue Ox's scoring record with 12 goals and 21 points in five games before jumping to the Lakeville South varsity for the remainder of the 2021-2022 season.
Once at the high school level, Ernst posted eight goals and 17 points as a freshman for the Cougars, helping the team to an appearance in the Class AA State Tournament quarterfinals. The lanky forward's skill and compete level should be key selling points for USHL teams this weekend.
2021-2022 Team: Chaska High School
A favorite on the spring/summer circuit for his play with the Minnesota Blades, Kleber more than held his own in his first season of high school hockey with Chaska.
Kleber recorded four goals and 17 points for the Hawks last season, helping the team to a 22-6 record and the Section 2AA championship game before falling to Prior Lake. Despite his ability to play a physical game, Kleber is rarely penalized, another plus for his penchant for staying out of the box.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Kleber has the type of frame scouts love, with room to add weight without sacrificing speed or agility.
Kleber was invited to try out for the 2022-2023 National Team Development Program's Under-17 team, but ultimately was not selected, a surprise to some in the scouting community.
2021-2022 Team: Hill-Murray
Miller played various roles for the Pioneers last season, tallying 14 assists and 16 points, and should find himself as one of the team's 2022-2023 offensive catalysts after the graduation of several Pioneer seniors.
In addition to helping Hill-Murray to a fourth-place finish at this year's Class AA State Tournament, Miller tied for fifth among skaters at the USA Hockey National Select 15 camp with four points in four games last spring.
Like Kleber, Miller auditioned for next year's NTDP U-17 team but was not selected.
2021-2022 Team: Andover High School
As a sophomore, Stringfellow did more than hold his own for the 2022 Class AA state champion Huskies, helping anchor an underrated defensive corps that also featured Air Force commit Weston Knox.
While Stringfellow's eight points during the 2021-2022 high school season may seem pedestrian, bear in mind that he totaled over 50 points as a defender in his second year of Bantam play, and his point totals should rise with increased ice time for the Andover program. Scoring notes aside, teams always have room for a strong-skating defender who doesn't make many mistakes.
Hometown: Maple Grove
2021-2022 Team: Shattuck-St. Mary's 15-Only
A partial product of the Osseo-Maple Grove youth association, Zellers spent the last two seasons with the Northeast Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers AAA program before making the move to Shattuck-St. Mary's for the 2021-2022 season.
Zellers responded to the prep school style of play by racking up 37 goals and 79 points in 61 games for the Sabres, including a four-goal, nine-point performance in SSM's run to a runner-up finish at this spring's USA Hockey National Tournament. Those nine points tied Zellers for third in overall 15-Only National Tournament scoring.
Landon Stringfellow, Andover
Chanhassen's Gavin Uhlenkamp could see his USHL stock rise after a strong showing at the HP Final 54 festival in Plymouth, Minn.
|John Hirschfeld||St. Cloud Cathedral||Forward|
|Landon Jamieson||East Grand Forks||Forward|
|Cade Kozak||Northeast Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers 15-Only||Defense|
|Henry Lechner||Holy Angels||Forward|
|Michael Risteau||Benilde-St. Margaret’s||Forward|
|Connor Roff||Thief River Falls||Goaltender|
|Mason Stenger||Benilde-St. Margaret's||Defense|
Michael Risteau, Benilde-St. Margaret's
Jayson Shaugabay, Warroad forward and 2021 Green Bay Gamblers first-rounder.
|Round||Pick||USHL Team||Player||'21-22 Team||College verbal|
|1||1||Youngstown||William Whitelaw||Shattuck-St. Mary's 18U Prep||Wisconsin|
|1||11||Green Bay||Jayson Shaugabay||Warroad||Minnesota Duluth|
|1||15||Cedar Rapids||Drew Stewart||Benilde-St. Margaret's||N/A|
|2||23||Sioux City||Ty Hanson||Hermantown||Minnesota Duluth|
|2||24||Tri-City||Cameron Briere||Stillwater||Nebraska Omaha|
|2||26||Green Bay||Danny Nelson||Maple Grove||N/A|
|2||29||Madison||Finn Brink||Maple Grove||N/A|
|3||33||Waterloo||Teddy Townsend||Eden Prairie||N/A|
|3||42||Muskegon||Gavin Reed||Benilde-St. Margaret's||N/A|
|4||47||Sioux Falls||Tanner Bruneder||Chaska||N/A|
|4||51||Des Moines||Joe Gramer||Moorhead||Nebraska Omaha|
|5||64||Lincoln||Wyatt Olson||Sioux Falls Power 16U||Denver|
|5||75||Cedar Rapids||Reese Shaw||Gentry Academy||N/A|
|6||82||Fargo||Jake Fisher||Cretin-Derham Hall||Northern Michigan|
|6||84||Green Bay||Ashton Dahms||Lakeville South||N/A|
|6||85||Tri-City||Aidan Willis||Lakeville South||N/A|
|6||89||Madison||Jacob Margarit||Holy Angels||N/A|
|7||91||Youngstown||Ty Henricks||Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U||Western Michigan|
|7||94||Lincoln||Carter Davis||Elk River||N/A|
|7||100||Tri-City||Ryan Koering||Eden Prairie||Colorado College|
|10||139||LIncoln||Matthew Vander Vort||Edina||N/A|
|10||150||Cedar Rapids||Tyler Geyer||Gentry Academy||N/A|
Matt Vander Vort was selected 139th overall by Lincoln last year.