Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Whalers & Spirit players drafted by UHL teams

In yesterday's United Hockey League North American Amateur Draft, several Ontario Hockey League players with Michigan ties were taken by the 14 member teams.

Four Plymouth Whalers were drafted, all by the Richmond (Va.) RiverDogs, including defenseman Mike Knight fifth overall in the first round. Knight had actually signed with Richmond last summer before deciding to come back to Plymouth for his overage season.

Plymouth defenseman Mike Letizia went in the fourth round to Richmond as did forward John Vigilante, a Dearborn native, in the fifth round and goalie Ryan Nie in the sixth round.

Saginaw Spirit captain Thomas Harrison and leading scorer Marek Kvapil were both selected in the first round by the Flint Generals.

Erie Otters captain and Berrien Springs native Brian Lee went in the third round to the Kansas City Outlaws.

Players that are 19 years of age or older who played in North America during the 2004-05 season are eligible for the draft.

The draft consisted of six rounds with each UHL team selecting in reverse order of their current winning percentage. Each UHL team is permitted to protect up to four of their six drafted players and place them on their final roster. In addition, each UHL team is allowed to protect two players for their team's playoff roster. These two selected players are exempt from the six games played requirement for players on the postseason roster.

There is no guarantee that any of the players taken will report to their respective teams, however.

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