Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jets' draft deemed a resounding success

The Metro Jets went into last Saturday’s Central States Hockey League Draft in Chicago looking to select a core of players to join their returning group to hopefully put a few more notches in the win column this fall.

According to Jets assistant coach Ryan Skop, mission accomplished.

“I couldn't be happier with the way things worked out for us,” said Skop. “We were able to do some things to ensure that we would get our top-rated guys and it worked out perfectly. We feel we've been able to draft players who can come in and help immediately. We were able to draft a good mix of size, speed and talent along with a good mix of younger (1992-born) guys and older (’89- and ’90-born) guys. Our goal heading into the draft was to get the most out of every pick, and no doubt, we did that.

“We have to continue to work. We have to continue to recruit free agents and continue to work the guys we took this weekend and make sure they're wearing a Jets jersey come September. Overall, we had a successful weekend, but we cannot rest on that.”

In all, the Jets selected 19 players with all but two coming from the state of Michigan. Five picks came from the Summit Plastics Midget AA team based out of Fraser.

Metro general manager Butch Wolfe said he sees the draft as a way to restock the cupboard and get Metro moving up the CSHL standings.

“I’m very happy with the way this draft panned out for us,” Wolfe said. “We feel we got some quality players that can definitely come in and make a big impact right from Day 1. We haven’t had a lot of success in recent memory, but hopefully, this draft and the guys coming back can help us to turn the corner, so to speak.”

Overall, Metro took nine defensemen, nine forwards and one goalie.

(in alphabetical order, comments from assistant coach Ryan Skop)

Dalton Blenc, F, Summit Plastics Midget AA: Tall lanky guy who’s not overly physical, but a guy who has a knack for putting the puck in the net and can play in all situations.

Jonathan Elliott, F, Brother Rice HS: A big-body forward who knows how to use his frame to score. May have the highest ceiling among all forwards drafted.

Dave Johnson, D, Lake Orion HS: Will have North American Hockey League opportunities. Plays bigger than his size, a la Detroit’s Brad Stuart.

Christopher Kienzle, F, Metro (N.J.) Fighting Moose Jr. C: Metro’s Eastern U.S. scout Chris Werstine says Kienzle is a good character player. A 20-year-old with three years of junior experience under his belt.

Norm MacRitchie, F, Victory Honda U-18: Played for Jets during 2007-2008 season. Has a great skill set and should be able to score. Once he hones his already-good skill set, should get plenty of looks from the NAHL very quickly.

Dylan Mantay, D, Summit Plastics Midget AA: Small, but agile defenseman who makes a very good first pass. A very fast skater who doesn’t get beat very often.

Ian Mercer, G, Honeybaked U-16: Is a bona fide No. 1 goalie at CSHL level. Not very big, but very quick and seems to make everything look easy.

Anthony Morocco, F, Summit Plastics Midget AA: A finisher and another good size guy. Wins his battles on the wall and in the corners. Not the quickest guy getting up and down the ice, but can score goals.

Andrew Parus, F, Summit Plastics AA: Big, strong power forward with decent speed, great hands and a knack for scoring.

Jesse Peterson, F, Troy Sting U-16: Very young, but has incredible hands, a knack for the net and great vision. Will contribute right away.

Vinnie Pietrangelo, D, Traverse City West HS: Solid all-around defenseman expected to contribute in a big way. Does everything well and the type of player who makes everyone on the ice better. Was a co-captain at TC West last season.

Brad Rice, F, Romeo HS: A big, physical body. Will provide grit up front.

Jake Shelters, D, Hartland HS: Another pretty good all-around defender. Plays the game with an edge and adds nastiness on the back end.

Matt Tackett, F, Bloomfield Gamblers Midget AA: Has good offensive ability – nothing flashy, but he's a finisher who doesn't mind the physical side of the game and that's not even his forte. He's more of a guy who likes to lie in the weeds, find the soft spot on the ice and score goals.

Aaron Teal, D, Anchor Bay HS: Younger brother of Ryan. Big, strong, stay-at-home defenseman. Not flashy, but likes to mix it up and enjoys punishing the opposition around his own cage.

Ryan Teal, D, Anchor Bay HS: Older brother of Aaron. Big and strong like his brother and owns the front of his cage.

Steve Vandenberghe, D, De La Salle HS: Always makes a good first pass and though small, that doesn’t seem to matter. Despite his size, because of his speed, he’s tough to get a body on.

Jonathan Wickersham, D, Summit Plastics Midget AA: A very solid all-around defenseman. A big guy back there and has great offensive instincts that should be able to play in all situations.

Matt Zacharias, D, Dublin (Oh.) HS: Referred by a few scouts and Tier II coaches who all had good things to say about him. Should contribute right away.

Next up for the Jets is their open camp scheduled for June 16-17 at Lakeland Arena and main camp in July.

In other CSHL Draft news, the three other Michigan teams drafted local talent and other CSHL teams selected players with Michigan ties.

Flint Jr. Generals
Patrick Avery, Indianapolis Ice
Mike Barbosa, Belle Tire
Jeff Birk, Gaylord HS
Joe Camarata, Mt. Clemens Midget
Richard Cigile, Eugene (Ore.) Generals Jr. A
Will Dawson, Compuware Midget
Conner Dresser, Motor City Chiefs Jr. C
Hayden Haffey, Brother Rice HS
Davis Haug, Colorado Thunderbirds
Ted Keranen, Northville HS
Rob Kolander, S2 Hockey
Louie Lemak, Honeybaked Midget
Robert Lindsay, Trenton HS
Trevor Lloyd, Lakeland HS
Joe McAuliffe, Flint Icelanders Midget
Josh McKenzie, Soo Indians Midget
Shane Olson, Michigan Ice Dogs Jr. C
Josh Royston, Yellowstone (Wyo.) Quake Jr. A
Peter Ryan, Brother Rice HS
Nate Scurfield, Midland HS

Grand Rapids Jr. Owls
Matt Anthone, Colorado Outlaws
Emerson Auvenshine, Lansing Capitals
Ryan Brown, Lansing Capitals
Bob Butterfield, Big Rapids HS
Shayne Capone, Lansing Capitals
Robert Cathcart, Lansing Capitals
Bobby Chapman, Lansing Capitals
John Coffey, East Coast (N.C.) Eagles Jr. C
Nick D’Avolio, Chicago Flames
Brett Dziwulski, Grand Forks (N.D.) HS
Alex Gutierrez, Summit (Co.) HS
Sam Hadar, Lansing Capitals
Jimmie Morris, Soo Indians Midget
Radney Ritchie, Soo Indians Midget
Jordan Sabatino, Boca (Fla.) HS
Chris Sandermeyer, Portage Central HS
Zane Scofield, Phoenix (Wisc.) Midget
Josh Sellden, Team Michiana (Ind.)
Dan Swink, Lansing Capitals
Anthony Wolfe, Culver (Ind.) Academy

Motor City Chiefs
Nick Asaro, Summit Plastics Midget AA
Ethan Gurski, Belle Tire
George Holt, Rochester HS
Derek Kessler, Motor City Chiefs Jr. C
Cody Levins, Belle Tire
Cody Longuski, Belle Tire
Bob Palmer, Belle Tire
Corey Rickerman, Illinois Jr. C
Joe Smereck, Summit Plastics Midget AA
Matt Tabenski, Summit Plastics Midget AA
Matt Vanlacken, Summit Plastics Midget AA
Mike Walters, Michigan Jaguars Midget AA
Cole Workman, Howell HS

Non-Michigan team picks from Michigan
Mike Bakor, Lennon (Pittsburgh)
Adam Chapie, Lake Orion HS (Cleveland)
Paul Dines, Traverse City West HS (Toledo)
Chris Easton, Victory Honda (Toledo)
Michael Ericson, Summit Plastics Midget AA (Toledo)
Chris Gendron, Farmington Hills (Cleveland)
Justin Hoomaian, Belle Tire (Chicago)
Alex Jacobs, Little Caesars (Toledo)
Hunter Kelley, Traverse City Central HS (Toledo)
Jake Nickerson, Traverse City West HS (Toledo)
Craig Pierce, Compuware U-18 (Queen City)
Chris Rinaldi, Summit Plastics Midget AA (Toledo)
Louie Ronayne, Belle Tire (Chicago)
Kurt Schoenherr, Dearborn Brand (Toledo)
Mike Sisk, Little Caesars (Toledo)
Shane Totten, Traverse City West HS (Toledo)
Philip Webb, Little Caesars (Toledo)
Ryan Wysocki, Grandville HS (Toledo)
Matt Zaremba, Gaylord HS (Cleveland)

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