Bensenville, IL (May 16, 2011) – Today marks the day of the 2011 USHL Entry Draft and the Chicago Steel hold the rights to the 1st Overall pick in the draft. In accordance to league procedures, “The number of rounds for the 2011 USHL Entry Draft is based on how many rounds necessary to bring each club’s player roster to 30. Teams will first draft to fill their roster number to 23 players. Once every team reaches that number, the Entry Draft extends to allow all teams to bring their roster to 30. The 15 USHL Member Clubs other than the NTDP will select players with the birth year of 1991 or younger during the USHL Entry Draft. Team USA, in cooperation with the USHL, conducts a separate player selection process for its single-age U-17 and U-18 programs. Players selected in the 2011 USHL Entry Draft will be invited to the tryout camp of their respective club and will have the opportunity to earn a roster spot for the 2011-12 USHL season. Teams are seeking players that can have an immediate impact in the League. ” ushl.com.
With the 1st overall pick in the 2011-2012 USHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Steel were extremely excited to draft Brian Christie of the Topeka Roadrunners in the NAHL.
Christie, a 6’2, 180lb LC from West Chester PA is a 1992 birth year and is projected to step in immediately and be a top 2 center for the Steel. While playing for Topeka last season, Brian recorded 20 goals, 37 assists and 80 PIMS in 57 games; Christie was also a +38. Brian will be heading to Merrimack College for the 2013-2014 season.
Newly appointed Head Coach and General Manager Scott McConnell said “We are excited to have Brian as the number one pick. Brian brings us experience having success in a good Junior A. league. He is battle tested and has received excellent coaching from the Topeka coaching staff.”
The Scouting Report: Brian is a big, smart and skilled playmaking center that plays a responsible two-way game. His hockey sense is his chief asset – he’s a very smart player both with and without the puck, how he activates in space without it and how he instinctively sees the ice and creates plays when the puck is on his blade. He is a responsible player defensively and will help our penalty-kill as well. We followed up on him all year and he kept getting better and better. Recently at the Robertson Cup in Topeka Brian showed us he can be a tough leader.
With the 7th Overall pick in the draft (pick acquired in trade with Sioux City), the Steel have selected Defenseman Ryan Trenz. Ryan is a 6’0, 180lbs, 91 birth year defenseman who played played for the Michigan Warriors of the NAHL last season. In 56 games for the warriors Ryan had 8 goals, 17 assists for 25 points and was a +20.
The Scouting Report: Ryan is a mobile and intelligent two-way defenseman that will help our transition game and powerplay. He exudes leadership, is a great skater and is a skilled puck-mover. He’s an instinctive defender with an active stick and he battles hard.
With the 31st overall pick (3rd Round) in the USHL Entry Draft, the Steel have chosen Daniel Kucerovy. Daniel is a Right Wing Forward from the Pittsburgh Hornets. Kucerovy comes in at 5’11 and 175lbs, and is a 1994 birth year.
The Scouting Report: Daniel is a goal-scorer with a pro-caliber shot release and he plays with an edge. This year with Pittsburgh he scored 20 goals and had 44 points in 36 games.
The Chicago Steel used their 4th round pick, 48th overall, to select Defenseman Ryan Fraser-Lee. Ryan is a 6’2, 200lbs 1993 birthyear defenseman who played last season with Detroit Belle Tire.
The Scouting Report: Ryan is a big, smart and tough defenseman that provides our blueline with the right-handed shot we are looking for. In 36 games this year Ryan had 103 penalty minutes.
With the 66th overall selection in the 2011 USHL Entry Draft the Steel have selected Johnny Wingels. Johnny, a Chicago native, played with Team Illinois last year, and is the younger brother of Tommy Wingels who has played in the NHL for the San Jose Sharks. Wingels is a Right Defenseman who comes in at 5’11and 175lbs.
The Scouting Report: Johnny is a strong and aggressive two-way defenseman. He is a hybrid player that can have success on either the wing or on defense.
The Chicago Steel have used the 76th overall pick, 6th round, to select Left Winger Ali Thomas. Last season Thomas played with the Chicago Young Americans, and he comes in at 6’3 200lbs. Last season Thomas had 23 points and 75 penalty minutes in 35 games.
The Scouting Report: Ali Thomas is a large winger that is tough and athletic. He plays with an edge but he is also a rangy puck-handler with a hard shot and he’s a strong skater. Ali can help us win games in multiple ways and is tough to play against.
In the second phase of the 2011 USHL Entry Draft, each team in the draft will bring their roster to 30 players. The Steel had the first pick in this phase as well, and with the 181st overall pick, they selected Jeff Kubiak. Last season Jeff played for the Chicago Fury and comes in at 6’4, 200 lbs and is a 1994 birth year.
The Scouting Report: Jeff is a massive forward that can play either center or the wing. He is skilled in the hands and is a playmaker. He had 12 goals, 20 assists and 32 points in 40 games for the Chicago Fury.
With their 14th round pick, the Steel selected Mathias Dahlstrom from Smedjebacken, Sweden. Dahlstrom is the first Goaltender selected by the Steel in this years Entry Draft. Last season the 6’0, 180lb 1991 birth year played for Kenai River of the NAHL.
The Scouting Report: Terrific athlete and has good size with a great technical base. Brings age and experience between the pipes and should be a rock in the net for the Chicago Steel.
At pick number 219, the Steel selected Defenseman Alex Baskakov. Alex comes to the Steel from Pittsburgh Viper Stars of the NAPH18. Baskakov is a 1993 birth year coming in at 6’1 and 185lbs.
The Scouting Report: Alex is a dynamic offensive defenseman that can make poised/skilled plays and he also possesses the explosiveness to rocket the puck up. He’s thick and strong in build and is a physical player that likes to step up and pop opponents.
With their 16th round pick, the Chicago Steel selected Austin Vieth from Marinette Wisconsin. Vieth is a Forward that played for Notre Dame Academy. Vieth is a 1993 birth year and is 5’11, 175lbs.
The Scouting Report: Austin is a skilled, fast and gritty winger that will be a big time player for the Chicago Steel in 2012-2013.
With the 241st overall pick, the Chicago Steel selected Andy Edelson of the Chicago Mission. Edelson, a Chicago native, is a Defenseman that comes in at 5’10 and 160 lbs.
The Scouting Report: Andy is a mobile and solid two-way defenseman.
Using their 18th round pick, the Steel selected Daniel Fetzer, a Forward for the Chicago Young Americans. Daniel is a 1993 birth year Forward who is 6’1 and 175lbs.
The Scouting Report: Daniel is a heart-and-soul player with great character.
With their final pick of the 2011 USHL Entry Draft, the Steel selected Chicago native Christian Neumann. The 5’11, 185lb Defenseman played for the Chicago Fury last year.
The Scouting Report: Christian is a mobile and athletic defenseman that can move the puck and play aggressive defense. This past year was his first of AAA hockey and his development curve is rapidly heading upward. He’s a rink and gym rat that won’t be outworked.
For more information and to get your 2011-2012 season tickets, call the Chicago Steel at 630.594.1162.