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Steel Complete 2024 USHL Draft Selecting 10 Players in Phase II

May 7, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Chicago Steel News Release


GENEVA, ILLINOIS - The Chicago Steel completed the 2024 USHL Draft, adding 10 players to their group in Phase II Tuesday. Over the course of Phase I and II, the Steel selected 16 forwards, five defensemen, and one goaltender, joining defenseman Callum Croskery and forward Adam Valentini, who were both tendered by the Steel prior to the draft.

"We feel incredibly fortunate to draft these ten players today," said Steel Head Coach and General Manager Mike Garman. "We were able to add all the pieces we wanted for next year's team and beyond. Credit to the scouting staff for all of their hard work this year in adding so much value to our organization. We can't wait to see these great players in a Steel jersey this September."

With their first pick of the draft in Round 1 at 5th overall, the Steel selected a local forward in Charles Pardue from Winnetka, IL. Pardue, a Notre Dame commit, played with the USA Hockey NTDP U18 team last season and posted seven points (4G-3A) in 27 games during USHL play.

"Charlie is a hard-working and extremely competitive player who always moves the game in the right direction. He plays at a high pace, makes plays, and has a knack for scoring. He is a natural leader and will play in all situations." - Garman

Chicago then moved up in the draft, trading the 15th and 20th overall picks to the Sioux City Musketeers in exchange for the 10th overall pick.

The Steel used that selection (Round 1, 10th overall) to choose defenseman Noah Lapointe, another NTDP U18 product. In 26 games in USHL play, Lapointe notched six assists.

"Noah is a highly intelligent defender. He competes hard and is great at separating his opponent from the puck. He always seems to make the right play and quickly advances the puck up the ice. With a great skill set, there's a lot of untapped potential in Noah's offense." - Garman

The next pick came in Round 4 at 50th overall when the Steel selected their first goaltender of the draft. Jack Parsons marked the third former NTDP U18 player selected by the Steel during Phase II. Parsons played in 14 USHL games last season and posted a 7-4-0-1 record with a 4.13 goals against average.

Parsons recently represented Team USA during the IIHF U18 World Championship, appearing in three games and winning all three while boasting a 2.78 goals against average.

"Jack is a very talented goalie. He has great structure and a unique ability to make the big save. He has great experience for a young goalie and we're thrilled to watch him continue his development in Chicago." - Garman

With the 65th overall pick (Round 5), the Steel selected forward Eric Nilson from Calgary, AB, Canada. Nilson developed through the Örebro HK program starting in U16 play in 2022 up through J20 this past season. In 29 games this season, he recorded six goals and nine assists and scored one goal in eight playoff games.

"Eric is an extremely talented forward who makes high-level plays. He has a great ability to shoot off the pass and all-around scoring ability. We were drawn to Eric's compete level and work away from the puck. His style of play will fit perfectly in Chicago." -Garman

Chicago followed up with another import selection with its 112th overall pick in Round 8 by selecting forward Wilson Björck. A native of Stockholm, SWE, Björck skated in 41 games with the Djurgårdens IF J20 team in Sweden and posted 24 points (9G-15A). During play with the J18 team earlier in the season, he recorded the best faceoff percentage in the league at 69%. Wilson is the brother of Viggo Björck who was selected Monday by Chicago with the 140th selection of the Phase I Draft.

"Wilson is a slippery, crafty, and smart playmaker who understands the game at a high level and makes his teammates around him better. He has great edges, soft hands, and slick stick skill." - Steel Scouting Director Bobby Goepfert

Defenseman Marco Senerchia became the second blueliner drafted by the Steel in Phase II at 127th overall in Round 9. The Greenville, RI native started last season with the Mid Fairfield Rangers 16U team before finishing the year with St. George's School where he scored 33 points (10G-23A) in 28 games.

"Marco is an offensive-minded, smaller, smooth-skating defenseman who is extremely agile and quick. He is an excellent puck mover and defends well with his skating ability and excellent stick." - Goepfert

Benson Grande, a forward from Fargo, ND, was selected next at 142nd overall in Round 10. Grande skated with the South Kent School Prep team last season, starting in 16U and scoring at a point-per-game clip with 49 points (25G-24A) in 48 games. He moved up to 18U later in the season and skated in seven games, accumulating five points (2G-3A).

"Benson is an excellent skating forward who plays a 200-foot game with skill, creativity, and speed. He had success both at the 16 level and the Prep level this season and we think he is just scratching the surface of his potential." - Goepfert

In Round 11, the Steel added Indiana Grossbard, a forward from Wilton, CT, with the 157th overall pick. Grossbard played high school hockey with the Loomis Chaffee School last season, scoring 15 goals and 21 assists for 36 points over 26 games. Prior to Loomis Chaffee, Grossbard played for the Yale Jr. Bulldogs 16U program, where he scored 17 points (6G-11A) in nine games.

"Indy (Indiana) is an intelligent type of forward that has really athletic feet, excellent stick skill, and elite hockey IQ. He has such a high ceiling as a player and fits our style and characteristics we look for in our players perfectly." - Goepfert

In Round 12, Chicago selected forward Jakob Ihs-Wozniak with the 172nd overall pick. Ihs-Wozniak is a dual citizen of Sweden and Australia and was born in Adelaide, Australia. He posted 50 points (22G-28A) in 36 games with the Luleå HF J20 team in Sweden last season and finished the year with a +24 rating.

"Jakob is a dynamic forward who's always on the attack. He's constantly creating high-quality scoring chances and generating offense. Jakob plays a pro-style game where he's responsible with and without the puck and can be reliable in any situation." -Garman

With their final pick in Phase II, the Steel selected forward Zach Spagnuolo at 187th overall in Round 13. Originally from Allen, TX, Spagnuolo played with the Dallas Stars Elite program in each of the last four years. During his last two seasons with the 16U team, he posted 19 points (10G-9A) in 28 games.

"Zach is a converted forward that has only been playing defense for a couple of seasons. He has good size and is an excellent skater. He is really active all over the ice, joining the rush and being a threat offensively while also defending aggressively." - Goepfert

With the draft behind them, the Steel now set their sights on the 2024 Tryout/Development Camp which is scheduled to take place from June 6 to June 10 at Fox Valley Ice Arena.

For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.


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