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2022 USHL Phase I Draft Preview

By Peter Odney , 05/01/22, 2:45PM CDT


Five player capsules, plus 20 more Minnesotans who could see their name on the USHL Phase I Draft selection board.

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.

2022 USHL Phase I Draft Tenders

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.

Highlighted Minnesotans

Ben Miller, Hill-Murray

Jackson Ernst
Hometown: Lakeville 
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.  

Adam Kleber
Hometown: Chaska 
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.  

Ben Miller
Hometown: Woodbury
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.  

Landon Stringfellow
Hometown: Andover 
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. 

Will Zellers
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

20+ More Players that could be drafted

Chanhassen's Gavin Uhlenkamp could see his USHL stock rise after a strong showing at the HP Final 54 festival in Plymouth, Minn.

Player 2021-2022 Team Position
Brittan Alstead Wayzata Forward
Carson Clark Blake Defense
Bobby Cowan Edina Forward
Ben Curtis Chanhassen Defense
Barrett Dexheimer Edina Defense
John Hirschfeld St. Cloud Cathedral Forward
Landon Jamieson East Grand Forks Forward
Cade Kozak Northeast Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers 15-Only Defense
Andrew Lane Hill-Murray Goaltender
Henry Lechner Holy Angels Forward
Ryan Lund Warroad Defense
Lucas Mann Hill-Murray Forward
Carson Pilgrim Warroad Forward
Michael Risteau Benilde-St. Margaret’s Forward
Connor Roff Thief River Falls Goaltender
Ashton Schultz Minnetonka Forward
Simon Seidl Hill-Murray Forward
Jackson Smithknecht STMA Forward
Mason Stenger Benilde-St. Margaret's Defense
John Stout Minnetonka Defense
Gavin Uhlenkamp Chanhassen Forward
Dallas Vieau Hermantown Forward
Zach Wooten Eastview Forward

Michael Risteau, Benilde-St. Margaret's

Minnesotans selected in 2021 USHL Phase I Draft

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
4 55 Chicago Harper Searles Centennial N/A
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
7 104 Madison Carter Wishart Chaska N/A
9 133 Omaha Sam Scheetz Chaska N/A
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.

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