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 Dubuque Fighting Saints

Dubuque Completes Phase II of USHL Draft

May 7, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Dubuque Fighting Saints News Release


DUBUQUE, IA - The Dubuque Fighting Saints completed the Phase II portion of the USHL Draft on Tuesday, selecting 16 players that will have the opportunity to compete for next year's Saints roster.

Here is a summary of the Saints selections:

Round 1, Pick 1: Heikki Ruohonen (Kiekko Espoo Blues U20)

Forward, Helsinki, FIN

June 19, 2006, 6-1, 196

2023-24 Season: 37 GP, 20 goals, 27 assists, 47 points

Notes: Scored three goals and five points at the U18 World Championships for Finland. Committed to Harvard University.

Quote: "He's a five-tool player, just a complete menace out there. He hits hard, blocks shots, can make plays, shoots the puck. Likely a top-60 NHL Draft pick this summer." - Dan Shrader, Director of Scouting

Round 1, Pick 14: Lucas Van Vliet (USA U18)

Forward, Livonia, MI

January 25, 2006, 6-1, 181

2023-24 Season: International - 51 GP, 13 goals, 9 assists, 22 points / USHL - 19 GP, 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points.

Notes: Played for the USA NTDP U18 squad this season and is committed to Michigan State.

Quote: "Lucas is a gifted goal-scorer that spent the last two years at the National Program. I coached him when he was younger and he's always had a knack for putting the puck in the net. We're excited to have him." - Trevor Edwards, Director of Player Personnel

Round 2, Pick 16: Kristian Kostadinski (Frölunda HC)

Defenseman, Göteborg, SWE

May 20, 2005, 6-6, 220

2023-24 Season: 46 GP, 3 goals, 15 assists, 18 points

Notes: Captain of Frölunda team and 2023 7th-Round Draft Pick of the Boston Bruins.

Quote: "He's a big, thorny defenseman who can be a dominant physical presence. He's the kind of guy you don't want to go to corners after pucks with and he was the captain at Frölunda." - Dan Shrader, Director of Scouting

Round 2, Pick 29: Josh Niedermayer (Arizona State University)

Defenseman, Newport Beach, CA

February 20, 2004, 6-0, 201

2023-24 Season: 19 GP, 4 assists, 4 points, +1 rating

Notes: Father, Scott, is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Quote: "He is mobile, steady and brings a ton of junior experience." - Dan Shrader, Director of Scouting

Round 3, Pick 40: Liam Beerman (Anchorage - NAHL)

Goaltender, Marquette, MI

September 30, 2004, 6-0, 165

2023-24 Season: 42 GP, 27-9-3, .923 sv%, 2.37 GAA, 4 SO

Notes: Played 2 games for Omaha in 2022-23, played for the Shattuck St. Mary's program before Junior Hockey.

Quote: "He is a very calm, consistent performer. He reads plays at an elite level and he will make a great Saint." - Brian Garavaglia, Goaltending Scout

Round 3, Pick 44: Torkel Jennersjö (Leksands IF J18)

Forward, Ekerö, SWE

October 2, 2007, 5-10, 165

2023-24 Season: 31 GP, 27 goals, 25 assists, 52 points

Notes: Joined Leksands J20 team for nine games and scored a goal.

Quote: "He is a young player with a relentless motor. He played games up with the J20 team this year and impressed us with his ability to play, not only 5-on-5, but in special teams situations. He has a really high ceiling." - Trevor Edwards, Director of Player Personnel

Round 4, Pick 59: Erick Comstock (Wisconsin - NAHL)

Defenseman, Salol, MN

March 14, 2005, 5-7, 165

2023-24 Season: 59 GP, 9 goals, 35 assists, 44 points, +19

Notes: Committed to Augustana University. Cousin of Former Saint Wyatt Kaiser.

Quote: "The cousin of former Saint Wyatt Kaiser. He's a small, agile puck-mover. He had a great year so far in Wisconsin." - Dan Shrader, Director of Scouting

Round 5, Pick 74: Melvin Ekman (Djurgårdens IF J18)

Forward, Stockholm, SWE

March 16, 2006, 5-11, 159

2023-24 Season: 39 GP, 18 goals, 27 assists, 45 points

Notes: Skated in three games for the J20 team.

Quote: "He's an intelligent, hard-working, 200-foot forward." - Dan Shrader, Director of Scouting

Round 6, Pick 90: Cole Spicer (University of Minnesota Duluth)

Forward, Grand Forks, ND

June 13, 2004, 5-10, 174

2023-24 Season: 17 GP, 5 goals, 4 assists, 9 points

Notes: Boston Bruins 2022 4th-Round Pick, Skated two seasons for Minnesota Duluth after two years with the USA NTDP.

Round 7, Pick 106: Lukas Swedin (Minot - NAHL)

Forward, Stockholm, SWE

April 16, 2004, 5-9, 154

2023-24 Season: Minot - 16 GP, 11-4-0, .930 sv%, 1.72 GAA, 3 SO, Muskegon (USHL) - 14 gp, 5-4-1, .887 sv%, 3.24 GAA

Notes: 2023-24 was Swedin's first season playing in North America after playing for HV71's J20 team for two seasons.

Quote: "He has lightning-fast reflexes. He's a dynamic goalie who is really fun to watch." - Brian Garavaglia, Goaltending Scout

Round 8, Pick 121: Grayden Robertson-Palmer (Phillips Academy Andover)

Forward, Kanata, Ontario, CAN

August 29, 2007, 5-10, 181

2023-24 Season: 30 GP, 17 goals, 20 assists, 37 points

Notes: Committed to Dartmouth College to play Division I hockey.

Quote: "One of the smartest two-way forwards you can find. He has high-end skill and high-end hockey sense." - Pete Judge, Saints Scout

Round 9, Pick 136: Hayden Russell (LA Jr. Kings 16U AAA)

Forward, Huntington Beach, CA

May 3, 2007, 6-1, 181

2023-24 Season: 56 GP, 40 goals, 54 assists, 94 points

Notes: Committed to Holy Cross and has two brothers, including a twin.

Quote: "He played for a great program in LA. They had a lot of team success and he's been a big part of it. He has really developed this year and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do here." - Trevor Edwards, Director of Player Personnel

Round 10, Pick 151: Ivar Stenberg (Frölunda HC J18)

Forward, Stenungsund, SWE

September 30, 2007, 5-9, 154

2023-24 Season: 31 GP, 23 goals, 39 assists, 62 points

Notes: Played nine games for the Frölunda J20 squad, scoring three goals and eight points.

Round 11, Pick 166: Owen Thomas (Powell River - BCHL)

Defense, Chicago, IL

September 14, 2005, 6-5, 216

2023-24 Season: 45 GP, 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points

Notes: Committed to Providence College. Spent 2022-23 in the NAHL with Corpus Christi and played one USHL game for Fargo.

Quote: "A big, strong defenseman that's committed to Providence. He adds some physicality to this draft class." - Trevor Edwards, Director of Player Personnel

Round 12, Pick 181: Kohyn Eshkawkogan (North York Rangers U16 AAA)

Defense, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, CAN

November 19, 2008, 5-10, 161

2023-24 Season: 76 GP, 13 goals, 52 assists, 65 points

Notes: Dual citizen of Canada and the United States.

Quote: "A really smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman who played for a top Canadian program." - Pete Judge, Saints Scout

Round 13, Pick 196: Elias Puolanne (Kiekko-Espoo U20)

Forward, Espoo, FIN

May 5, 2006, 6-1, 168

2023-24 Season: 28 GP, 7 goals, 19 assists, 26 points

Notes: Ranked as the 85th European Skater by NHL Central Scouting for the 2024 NHL Draft. Also played 20 games with 10 goals and 10 assists for the U18 Kiekko-Espoo team.

Quote: "A really smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman who played for a top Canadian program." - Pete Judge, Saints Scout


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