MUSKEGON, MI- Four players with ties to the Muskegon Lumberjacks organization were selected in the 2020 NHL Draft held in Montreal on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Headlined by Danil Gushchin’s selection in the third round, the draft marks the tenth consecutive draft in which at least one Lumberjack was selected. Following Gushchin, forwards Artem Shlaine, Kienan Draper, and Timofey Spitserov were also selected.
Gushchin was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the third round, 76th overall, after two seasons in Muskegon that saw him score 83 points. Gushchin was named alternate captain in his second season as a Lumberjack, and led the team in both goals and points in 2019-2020.
“We’re extremely excited for Danil,” said President of Hockey Operations Steve Lowe. “He’s worked hard, developing with our program for the last two years, and we’re proud to watch it pay off for him.”
Shlaine was selected in the fifth round, 128th overall, by the New Jersey Devils, becoming the first Lumberjack to ever be drafted by New Jersey. Shlaine suited up for just six games, but tallied three points during his short stint in Muskegon.
Draper was taken by his father Kris’ former team, the Detroit Red Wings, with the first pick of the seventh round. Draper, like Shlaine, saw limited time with the Lumberjacks, but did score a point in seven appearances.
Spitserov, a Lumberjacks prospect, was taken by San Jose in the seventh round, 210th overall. Spitserov was an 11th-round pick in the 2020 USHL draft, and Lowe has high hopes for the talented Russian.
“Timofey [Spitserov] is an outstanding prospect who we’re excited to have in Muskegon,” said Lowe. “He’s a player we selected in the 2020 USHL draft in hopes of developing him into a star here in Muskegon. Obviously, his skills are NHL-caliber, and we’re excited to see what he can do for us.”
The Lumberjacks have now had 40 players drafted to the NHL, and others who have signed NHL deals as undrafted free agents- most recently, goaltender Devin Cooley.
The Lumberjacks will be announcing their preseason schedule soon, and will kick off their regular season November 6.