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PRESS RELEASE — Lumberjacks complete USHL Phase II Draft with 18 selections

By Ryan Vallon, 05/03/22, 5:30PM EDT

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MUSKEGON, Mich. —  The Muskegon Lumberjacks completed the United States Hockey League (USHL) Phase II Draft on Tuesday, May 2, 2022,  by selecting 18 players total. In all, Muskegon drafted 11 forwards, three defensemen, and four goaltenders in Phase II.

“First I’d like to highlight our entire scouting staff for another awesome draft,” said President of Hockey Operations Steve Lowe. “We feel we’ve added more depth and we’re excited about the players we drafted and, more importantly, this will definitely drive more competition within our organization.”

Muskegon’s first selection didn’t come until the second round when they drafted forward Justin Solovey with the 20th overall pick. The Holmdel, N.J. native recently played for the New Jersey Jr. Titans 18U.

“I said to [Steve Lowe] that we have to look at this kid,” said Lumberjacks General Manager Jim McGroarty. “He’s a very similar player to [current Lumberjack] Jake Richard and we feel that Solovey could come in and develop just like Jake has done.”

The Jacks used four of their draft picks to select goaltenders. McGroarty could not hold back on how important the last line of defense is for building a championship hockey team.

“What I’ve learned in the process is that goaltending wins hockey games and championships,” said McGroarty. “We got great goalies here, but we always need backup plans as well.”

The Russian pipeline is still active in Muskegon, with the Lumberjacks selecting three Russians in the Phase II draft.

“One of the things they have a high level of competition,” said McGroarty. “They can skate and they score.”

“We’ve had a lot of success with drafting [Russians], whether you look at Svechnikov or Gushchin, so we’ve kept a connection with some of those guys [in Russia].”

With Phase II of the USHL draft complete, the Lumberjacks conclude the entire USHL Draft with 29 players, adding to Monday’s Phase I Draft.

Muskegon’s draft process began in January after signing Sacha Boisvert to a tender agreement, relinquishing their first-round draft choice in Phase I. Then in April, Muskegon used up their second tender to sign defenseman Owen Keefe to an agreement, giving up their second-round selection in Phase I.

Jacks Advance to Eastern Conference Finals

The #2 Muskegon Lumberjacks have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will battle against #5 Madison Capitols Games 1 and 2 are scheduled in Muskegon on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, respectively, with puck drop at 7:00 pm EDT. The Lumberjacks will go on the road for at least one game in the Conference Final, with Game 3 slated for Monday, May 9 at 7:00 pm in Madison. Game 4 (if necessary) will also take place in Madison on Tuesday, May 10 with a decisive Game 5 (if necessary) on Thursday, May 12 in Muskegon. The Eastern Conference Finals will be a best-of-five format, meaning a team needs to win three games in the series to advance to the Clark Cup Final.

Upcoming Games

Fri. May 6 | 7:00 pm EDT | vs. Madison | Eastern Conference Finals, Game 1 | BUY TICKETS

Sat. May 7 | 7:00 pm EDT | vs. Madison | Eastern Conference Finals, Game 2 | BUY TICKETS

Mon. May 9 | 8:00 pm EDT | at Madison | Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3

Tue. May 10 | 8:00 pm EDT | at Madison | Eastern Conference Finals, Game 4 | (if necessary)

Thurs. May 12 | 7:00 pm EDT | vs. Madison | Eastern Conference Finals, Game 5 (if necessary) | BUY TICKETS

Camp Dates Announced

The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced their 2022 Camp Dates for the upcoming season. Registration is now open for the Prospect 07-08 Camp, which runs from May 27-29, 2022 at Mercy Health Arena in downtown Muskegon. Goalie camp is scheduled for June 4-5, 2022, at the Lakeshore Sports Centre. Main Camp, which includes free agents and prospects, will run June 9-11, with Final Main Camp on June 12-15, both at Mercy Health Arena. For more information, visit muskegonlumberjacks.com/camps2022.

Follow the Jacks

Be sure to follow the Muskegon Lumberjacks on social media!

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About the Muskegon Lumberjacks

The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The club’s goal is to create an environment where student-athletes develop into successful young men both on and off the ice, which includes playing the game the right way while keeping up with their studies in the classroom and staying actively involved in the West Michigan community. The organization is committed to providing quality, affordable, and top-notch family entertainment while providing positive role models for the youth and the local community.

2022 Phase II Draft - Muskegon Lumberjacks

Round Rank Team Player Height Weight DOB Position Hometown Previous Team
2 20 Muskegon (from Fargo) Justin Solovey 6.01 190 2004-11-29 C Holmdel, NJ New Jersey Jr. Titans 18U
2 25 Muskegon Raythan Robbins 6 155 2002-06-05 G Anchorage, AK Anchorage Wolverines
3 40 Muskegon Niko Rexine 5.11 161 2002-06-20 C Syracuse, NY Minnesota Wilderness
5 69 Muskegon (from Omaha) Conor Callaghan 6 180 2003-03-02 G Upper Saddle River, NJ Avon Old Farms School Winged Beavers
5 76 Muskegon (from Tri-City) Payton Nelson 5.10.25 157 2005-01-17 C Centennial, CO Colorado Thunderbirds 16U
6 86 Muskegon Anthony Calafiore 5.06 156 2002-04-06 RW Staten Island, NY New Jersey Titans
8 118 Muskegon Lukas Swedin 5.06 143 2004-04-16 G Stockholm, Swe HV71 Jr.
9 133 Muskegon Jackson Kyrkostas 5.09 165 2004-08-19 C Windham, NH Islanders HC
11 163 Muskegon Luke Posthumus 6 180 2005-03-21 C Ottawa, ON Nepean Raiders U18 AAA
12 178 Muskegon Evan Orloff 6.03 195 2003-03-09 LD Bethesda, MD Maine Nordiques
13 193 Muskegon Sawyer Prokopetz 6.04.5 180 2004-09-07 RD Port Colborne, ON Pembroke Lumber Kings
14 208 Muskegon Yegor Yadykin 5.1 154 2005-02-04 F Salavat, Rus Omsk Yastreby
15 223 Muskegon Matvei Gridin 6 157 2006-03-01 F Kurgan, Rus Avangard Omsk U16
16 238 Muskegon Mikhail Yegorov 6.03 161 2006-03-07 G St. Petersburg, Rus CSKA Moskow U16
17 253 Muskegon Xavier Veilleux 6 178 2006-03-26 LD L'Ancienne-Lorette, QC Seminaire St-Francois Blizzard U18 AAA
18 268 Muskegon Luke Buss 5.1 174 2003-02-14 C West Des Moines, IA Vernon Vipers
19 283 Muskegon Jay Feldberg 5.11.5 158 2006-02-21 C Mississauga, ON Toronto Marlboros U16 AAA
20 298 Muskegon Teddy Merrill 5.1 156 2005-05-08 RW Scottsdale, AZ North Jersey Avalanche 16U