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Hawks Go Forward in Phase I Draft

May 26, 2021 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Waterloo Black Hawks News Release

Waterloo, Iowa - Joseph Willis led a group of 10 prospects - eight of them forwards - selected by the Waterloo Black Hawks on Wednesday evening during Phase I of the United States Hockey League's 2021 Draft.

Waterloo chose Willis with the third overall selection following his 2020/21 season with the Chicago Mission, which included an appearance in USA Hockey's 15 Only National Championship Tournament. During that competition, Willis notched seven points (four goals, three assists) in five games and the Mission reached the national semifinal.

Current Waterloo players Wyatt Schingoethe, Nic Belpedio, and Jonah Copre were all each previously members of the Mission program.

Like Willis, the Hawks' second pick also had seven points at USA Hockey's 15 Only event. Connor Brown led the Florida Alliance, recording his fourth goal of the competition during the national title game versus Honeybaked of Michigan. The Alliance finished as runners-up.

Third round picks Teddy Townsend and David Klee each have connections to the Black Hawks in one form or another. Townsend is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, home of the 2021 Minnesota High School AA State Champion Eagles as well as current Black Hawks forward Carter Batchelder. Meanwhile, Klee's older brother, Garrett, was a two-year member of the Black Hawks during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, appearing in 135 regular season or playoff games during his time with Waterloo.

Under the rules for Wednesday's Phase I, all of the players selected were born in 2005. The Black Hawks' complete draft list Wednesday included:

Name Rd/Pick Position 2020/21 Team

Joseph Willis 1st/3rd Forward Chicago Mission

Connor Brown 2nd/18th Forward Florida Alliance

Teddy Townsend 3rd/33rd Forward Eden Prairie AA

David Klee 3rd/43rd Forward Colorado Thunderbirds

Griffin Erdman 5th/63rd Forward North Jersey Avalanche

Giacomo Martino 6th/78th Forward Vaughan Kings

Jonathan Lanza 7th/93rd Defenseman Dexter Southfield School

Aiden Hopewell 8th/108th Goalie Washington Little Capitals

Chris Thibodeau 9th/129th Forward Waterloo (Ontario) Wolves

Luca Pinelli 9th/130th Forward Toronto Jr. Canadiens

The USHL Draft is conducted in two stages. Phase I selections often continue to develop at other levels of hockey while remaining on their USHL team's affiliate list. Phase II of the USHL Draft begins on Thursday, May 27th. Teams will select players born between 2001 and 2005 in an effort to fill their protected lists with skaters who will immediately compete for roster spots for the 2021/22 season.

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