NFL, MLB, CFL stats

 United States Hockey League

USHL Grants Indiana Ice Special Draft Pick

May 13, 2009 - United States Hockey League (USHL) News Release

Grand Forks, North Dakota - The United States Hockey League (USHL) granted a special pick in the 2009 USHL Entry Draft to the Indiana Ice. With that selection, the Ice selected Derek Zike who spent this season with the Chicago Fury U16 team before being seriously injured in a tournament game on January 16th.

Zike's injury occurred when he lost an edge while trying to make a turn and fell head first into the boards at a high rate of speed. The impact with the boards resulted in a burst fracture of the 5th cervical vertebrae that left Derek in a state of paralysis.

After spending several weeks at the University of Michigan Children's Hospital, Zike returned to his home in Fishers, Indiana just outside of Indianapolis. His condition has shown considerable improvement since the accident and Zike's line of paralysis has moved down several levels which signifies healing in his spinal cord.

The Indiana Ice chose the hometown kid in the 20th round of the USHL Entry Draft with the final pick. The club will continue to support his recovery and will present Derek with an Indiana Ice jersey bearing the number 71, his number while playing with the Chicago Fury.

"The Indiana Ice organization is 100% behind Derek Zike's rehabilitation," stated Paul Skjodt, Indiana Ice Owner/Governor. "The Ice will always hold a spot for Derek and will be waiting for him as he continues his recovery."

"Derek Zike has shown the heart of a champion and we congratulate him on being selected by the champion Indiana Ice," stated USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "We welcome Derek to the USHL and like the rest of the hockey world, will continue to monitor his recovery."

For more information about Derek or to contribute to his recovery, please visit

A full list of players selected in the USHL Entry Draft, including Derek, can be found at

The USHL celebrated its 30th season of junior hockey in 2008-09. With over 170 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 16 NHL Draft picks that played in the league this season, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at

• Discuss this story on the United States Hockey League message board...

United States Hockey League Stories from May 13, 2009

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central