GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The 2021 Clark Cup Champion Chicago Steel have 10 current or former players listed on NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings, released Thursday, leading all USHL clubs outside of Team USA.
“We’re proud to have so many players from the Chicago Steel represented in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings,” said Steel General Manager Ryan Hardy. “On top of this list, we’ve also had NHL interest in David Ma, Dawson Pasternak, Luca Fantilli, Sam Lipkin, and Simon Latkoczy. The year’s draft is setting up to be another historic day for our franchise. We are so blessed that all of these players and their families believed in our organization.”
Last season, the Steel set a franchise record as eight players with Steel ties were selected during the 2020 NHL Draft, including five players from the 2019-2020 roster, the most of any independent junior team in the world.
In team history, the Steel have had three skaters selected in the first round of the NHL Draft (John Moore – 21st overall, 2009; Jamie Oleksiak – 14th overall, 2011; Brendan Brisson – 29th overall, 2020).
That number is all but guaranteed to increase as the 2021 North American skaters list is headlined by former Steel defenseman and current University of Michigan blueliner, Owen Power. The 6-foot-6, 213-pound skater was awarded USHL defenseman of the year and named to the USHL First All-Star team in 2019-2020 after leading all league blueliners with 40 points (12G, 28A) in 45 games played. The Mississauga, Ontario, native was selected to the USHL All-Rookie Second Team following his 16-year-old season in 2018-2019. Power skated for the University of Michigan during the 2020-2021 season, tallying 16 points (3G, 13A) in 26 games during his freshman season.
Ranked ninth among North American skaters is Steel franchise leader in goals for both career (66) and single season (48) categories, forward Matt Coronato. The Harvard University-bound skater ran away with the regular season goals title, finishing with 16 more markers than the second-place finisher. The Huntington, N.Y., native, finished the 2021 Clark Cup Playoffs with 13 points (9G, 4A) to lead all skaters in the postseason.
Mackie Samoskevich ranks 26th on the list after leading all postseason skaters with nine helpers through the title run with Chicago. Samoskevich, a forward from Newtown, Conn., served as an alternate captain during the 2020-2021 campaign with just over a point per game in the regular season, posting 37 points (13G, 24A) in 36 appearances.
A pair of Steel defenseman appear in the top 50 skaters with Jack Bar listed at #41 and Ryan Ufko at #43.
Bar, acquired mid-season by the Chicago Steel, posted 15 points (5G, 10A) in 34 regular-season games and added a helper in seven games during the 2021 Clark Cup Playoffs. Bar, a native of Newmarket, Ontario, is committed to Harvard University.
Ufko, a UMass-Amherst commit, ranked second among USHL defensemen in points during the regular season with 39 (10G, 29A) in 53 games. The 5-foot-10, 181-pound blueliner added seven points (1G, 6A) in the Steel championship run.
Coming in at #52 on NHL Central Scouting’s rankings is Steel forward Jackson Blake. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native scored the state championship-winning goal for Eden Prairie High School before tallying the eventual game-winning goal in Game 4 of the Clark Cup Final, giving the Steel a 3-1 win and a 3-1 series victory against the Fargo Force.
Josh Doan is listed at #87 after finishing the USHL regular season with 70 points (31G, 39A) in 53 games, ranking third behind two of his teammates, Sean Farrell and Coronato. The Arizona State University commit registered five points (2G, 3A) in eight playoff games this season including tallying a goal and an assist in Game 3 of the Clark Cup Final.
Steel forward Jack Harvey ranks #91 on the NHL Central Scouting list following his rookie season in the USHL. Harvey, a 5-foot-10, 164-pound forward, assisted on a goal on Jackson Blake’s decisive goal in Game 4 against Fargo after posting nine goals and eight helpers in 48 regular season tilts.
Luke Levandowski skated in nine games for the Steel, registering a marker and two assists. The Rosemount, Minn., native is listed at #112 on the NHL Central Scouting list.
Defenseman Lukas Gustafsson ranks #186 on the list of prospects, the 10th player with Steel ties to appear on the final rankings. Gustafsson, a 5-foot-10, 174 pound skater, split his 2020-2021 season between Cushing Academy, where he served as team captain, and the Steel. Gustafsson appeared in 14 games for Chicago with four points (1G, 3A) during his rookie season.
In the 2020 NHL Draft, the Steel had five players from the previous season’s roster selected – the most of any independent junior team in the world. In all, eight players with Steel ties were selected in the 2020 NHL Draft, a franchise record.
The Chicago Steel captured the club’s second Clark Cup title in franchise history with a 3-1 victory against the Fargo Force on May 22, 2021 at Scheels Arena in North Dakota, completing the 3-1 victory in the best-of-five championship series.
Chicago has won the last two consecutive Anderson Cups as regular season USHL champions in addition to three of the last four Eastern Conference titles and two of the last four Clark Cup championships.
Season Ticket Plans for the Clark Cup Champion Chicago Steel are on sale now by calling 855-51-STEEL or emailing info@ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com. Through Friday, May 28th, all fans who make a deposit on a season ticket package will receive two free playoff t-shirts while supplies last, one commemorating the 2019-2020 Anderson Cup Champions and one celebrating the 2021 Clark Cup Champions.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.