The USHL Futures Draft is slated to begin at 7 p.m. tonight. The Futures Draft allows teams to pick the top 1996 birth year players in North America. The draft follows a serpentine format, so the team that picks at the top of the odd-numbered rounds (Omaha) will pick last in the even-numbered rounds, and vice-versa.
1st round: 5th (5th overall)
2nd round: no pick (used tender)
3rd round: 5th (27th overall)
4th round: 11th (44th overall)
5th round: no pick (traded to Sioux City)
6th round: 11th (74th overall)
Let's take a quick peek at last year's Ice Futures Draft haul (1995 birthdates, so all players will be 17 years old at the start of the season).
Round 1: Justin Bailey, C, Williamsville, NY. Opted to play in New York this year with the Midget Major Long Island Royals, but did play two games with the Ice over the Christmas holiday and scored a goal. Committed to Michigan State University.
Round 2: Max Domi, F, Toronto. After visiting Indianapolis and making overtures about going the U.S. college route instead of Canadian major junior, the son of ex-NHLer Tie Domi instead was traded to the OHL's London Knights and signed with them. He had 49 points in 62 games this year with London.
Round 4: Jeremy Gregoire, C, Sherbrooke, PQ. A very strong center who came to the Ice's Main Camp last June, but opted to sign with Chicoutimi in the QMJHL. He had 30 points in 61 games this year.
Round 5: Anthony Florentino, D, W. Roxbury, MA. Committed to Providence College. Played this past season at South Kent School. Played a brief stint with the USNDTP U17 team to play in a tournament in Slovakia. His high school coach is Eric Soltys, who briefly played goal with the CHL Indianapolis Ice.
Round 5: Tyler Kelleher, RW, Longmeadow, MA: Opted to go to the USNDTP this year. With 17 goals and 30 points in 36 games, Kelleher was the U17 team's leading scorer in USHL games. USNDTP players make a two-year commitment, so it is likely Kelleher will be back in the stars & stripes next year. New Hampshire commit.
Round 6: Patrick Fraser, G, Franklin, MA: Goaltender who has been to the USA Hockey national team goaltending camp. He backstopped the Cape Cod Whalers to a semifinal appearance in the U18 Midget national tournament.
Of these, Domi, Gregoire (both Canadian Major Junior) and Kelleher (USNDTP commitment) have made commitments for next year. We will keep an eye on the others as Main Camp approaches.