Chicago Drafts 20 Players in 2019 Phase II Draft
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - The Chicago Steel began Tuesday by acquiring the 1st overall pick and proceeded to select 20 players in the 2019 USHL Phase II Draft to round out their 45-man roster. Chicago selected 12 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders on Tuesday to add to the six forwards and three defensemen taken in Monday's Phase I Draft and players currently on the team's initial protected list.
"The past 24 hours has been a defining period for our franchise," said Steel General Manager Ryan Hardy. "Our scouting department had a plan and we were able to execute at a very high level in the two Phases. We are extremely excited about the additions to our prospect pool and are thrilled to welcome so many talented players to the Chicago Steel family."
Chicago acquired the 1st overall pick from the Lincoln Stars in exchange for the Steel's Round 1 pick (#11 overall) and future considerations. With the pick, Chicago selected forward Sean Farrell who played for Team USA U18 National Team Development Program (NTDP) in the USHL this season. The Harvard University (ECAC) commit registered 19 points (8-11-10) in 28 games in the USHL and tallied another 38 points (11-27-38) in 64 games with the U.S. National U18 team this season. Farrel previously played with Steel forward Sam Colangelo on the Boston Jr. Bruins during the 2015-2016 season when Farrell scored 35 points (17-18-35) in 30 games.
The Steel then selected forward Luke Levandowski in Round 2 with the 20th overall pick. The Rosemount, Min. native registered 37 points (21-16-37) in 23 games for Rosemount High this season and also skated for the Minnesota Blades. Levandowski is committed to the University of Wisconsin (Big Ten) as is current Steel forward Mathieu De St. Phalle.
In Round 3, Chicago selected forward Elis Hede with the 34th overall pick. The Pori, Finland native registered 73 points (22-51-72) in 46 games for Red Bull Hockey Akademie in the Czech U19 league last season. Hede served as the team's captain in his second year in the program after playing for the U18 squad last season. Hede's father Niklas played professional hockey across Europe in a long career and most recently served as the Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development for EC Salzburg of the EBEL last season.
Chicago selected their fourth forward in as many picks when they took Cameron Snow with the 58th overall pick in Round 4. Snow registered 121 points (55-66-121) in 74 games with Hill Academy U16 this season and helped lead the team to a ECEL U16 Championship. The Barrie, Ontario native also appeared in three games for the Pickering Panthers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) this season and scored one goal. Snow previously played in the Barrie Colts system and registered five points (3-2-5) in five games in the 2017-2018 OHL Cup. The 17-year old forward was previously selected in Round 7 (#132 overall) of the OHL Priority Selection Draft by the Niagara IceDogs in 2018.
The Steel took their first defenseman of the 2019 Phase II Draft in Round 6 when they selected Ian Moore with the 82nd overall pick. The Concord, Mass. native played in 31 games for St. Mark's School and registered 36 points (16-20-36) in his second season. Moore put up 14 points (1-13-14) in 21 games during his first season at St. Mark's in 2017-2018 after playing for the Cap Cod Whalers U16 the same year. Moore is committed to Princeton University, same as current Steel forward Adam Robbins. Moore was previously selected in Round 2 (#32 overall) of the QMJHL American Draft by the Drummondville Voltigeurs in 2018.
Chicago made its second trade of the day when it moved up in the Draft, sending its 2019 Phase II Round 8 (#119 overall) and 2020 Phase II Round 7 picks to the Waterloo Black Hawks for their 2019 Phase II Round 7 (#107 overall) pick. With the Round 7 selection, the Steel selected forward Liam Devlin from Needham, Mass. The University of New Hampshire commit registered 26 points (8-18-26) in 28 games for St. Sebastian's School and has 69 points (22-47-69) in 87 games over three seasons at the school. Devlin was part of a Boston Little Bruins roster last season alongside Steel forwards Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and Colangelo.
The Steel selected forward Kris Pietroniro in Round 9 with the 135th overall pick. Pietroniro is the younger brother of current Steel captain and defenseman Matteo and collected 58 points (20-38-58) in 70 games this season with Bishop's College Prep. The Boise, Idaho native is the second-youngest of five hockey-playing Pietroniro brothers. This was the second season for Kris at Bishop's College Prep after playing 31 games for Nord-Côtiers Espoir of the QMEAA with his younger brother Massimo in 2016-2017. Older brothers Phil (24) and Chad (22) played for Asiago of the Alps Hockey League this season while Matteo (20) broke the Steel franchise record for franchise (27) and season (18) goals by a defenseman and has captained the Steel to the Clark Cup Final for just the second time in franchise history. Their father Marco played professional hockey across North America and Europe and most recently served as the Head Coach and Hockey Director of Bishop's College Prep (MPHL).
With the 165th overall pick in Round 11, Chicago selected forward Luc Laylin. The St. Michael, Min. native captained St. Michael-Albertville High and registered 55 points (25-30-55) in 25 games this season. In three seasons at St. Michael-Albertville High, Laylin has 116 points (39-77-116) in 75 games played. Luc's father Cory has been the Head Coach for Hamline University (NCAA DIII) for five seasons and also served as an Assistant Coach for Team USA U18 at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup the last two years.
In Round 12, Chicago selected forward Peter Reynolds with the 180th overall pick. Reynolds recorded 71 points (27-44-71) in 51 games at Shattuck-St. Mary's U16 this season. The Boston College commit registered 165 points (79-86-165) in 111 games for Shattuck-St. Mary's at the Bantam level in two seasons including 116 points (60-56-116) in 55 games in 2017-2018.
Chicago selected its first goaltender in either Phase of the Draft when it took Ian Shane in Round 13 of the Phase II Draft (#195 overall). The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native finished his third season at Westminster Prep with a .937 save percentage and 1.86 goals against average in 26 appearances. Shane served as team captain this season and earned a spot on the USHS-Prep All Founders League Team.
With the 210th pick in the Draft, Chicago selected forward Jordan Brisson in Round 14. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native finished his third season with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings program with 10 points (2-8-10) in 26 games at the U15 level this season.
With the 225th pick of the Draft, Chicago selected forward Massimo Rizzo in Round 15. Rizzo is NHL Draft eligible this season and is ranked No. 84 on the latest NHL Central Scouting rankings among North American skaters after he recorded 40 points (11-29-40) in 37 games as captain of the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). The Burnaby, British Columbia native recorded 79 career points (24-55-79) in 90 career games with Penticton, including winning the BCHL Championship in 2016-2017. The 17-year-old forward played youth hockey for Burnaby Winter Club and registered 53 points (12-41-53) in 28 games during the 2016-2017 season en route to being named the CSSHL Most Valuable Player and Freshman of the Year as he recorded the most assists (41) in the league. Rizzo is committed to University of North Dakota (NCHC) as is Steel forward Jake Schmaltz, defenseman Luke Reid and Phase I draft pick Jackson Blake.
Chicago took another goaltender in Round 16 of the Draft as Victor Ostman was selected with the 240th pick. Ostman played for HV71 J20 team as an 18-year-old this season and recorded a 2.89 goals against average and .887 save percentage in 21 games.
In Round 17, Chicago selected defenseman Jimi Suomi (255th overall). The Espoo, Finland native played for the Blues U16 in the Jr. C SM-sarja and registered 14 points (3-11-14) in 16 games and was picked to the Jr. C SM-sarja II All-Star Team.
Chicago drafted forward Jake McLean in Round 18 with the 270th overall pick. The North Vancouver, British Columbia native recorded 48 points (19-29-48) in 40 games as a member of the Vancouver NW Hawks of the BCMML this season. McLean also appeared in one game for the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL this season.
The next four picks for the Steel came on the defensive side as they selected Luca Fantilli (Round 19, 285th overall), Anthony Dowd (Round 20, 300th overall), Conner Brown (Round 21, 315th overall) and Roope Pynnonen (Round 22, 330th overall).
Fantilli, a Kleinburg, Ontario native, played for the Toronto Titans this season and registered seven points (2-5-7).
Dowd registered 23 points (6-17-23) in 30 games for the New Jersey Jr. Titans this season. The Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. native is the younger brother of Jimmy Dowd who is currently a defenseman for the Steel. Their father, Jim, played 728 games in the NHL and won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1994-1995.
Brown, an Oakdale, Minn. native, played for Gentry Academy this season and recorded 10 points (2-8-10) in 13 games.
Pynnonen played for the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League this season. The Tampere, Finland native played for HPK U18 of the Jr. B Suomi-sarja league last season and the Ilves program for the prior two seasons before that.
Chicago went back to the front line for their Round 23 selection as they took Evan Brown. The Red Bank, N.J. native played for the New Jersey Rockets where he recorded 44 points (10-35-45) in 38 games. Brown and the New Jersey Colonials won the AYBHL Championship in 2017-2018.
The Steel will hold their annual Tryout Camp June 6-9 at Fox Valley Ice Arena, which will be open to the public with a featured all-star game to close out the weekend.
Chicago begins its quest for its second Clark Cup Championship on Friday, May 10 at 7:05 p.m. CT in Sioux Falls, S.D. as the Steel battle the Western Conference Champion Sioux Falls Stampede in the best-of-five Clark Cup Final. The Steel will host Game 3 on Friday, May 17 and Game 4 on Saturday, May 18, if necessary.
All Steel games are broadcast live on HockeyTV (video) and mixlr.com/chicago-steel (free audio).
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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