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Jacks select nine players, complete Phase I draft

By Scott Bradford, 05/07/18, 10:15PM EDT


MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks made nine selections in the 2018 USHL Phase I draft, completing the first day of the two-day draft. All players selected in the Phase I draft are first-year-eligible players, meaning this year’s crop are those born in 2002.

General manager John Vanbiesbrouck began the draft early, signing forward Alex Gaffney to a tender agreement back on April 17. Vanbiesbrouck also added an experienced forward on draft day, acquiring Logan Jenuwine from the Lincoln Stars.

Muskegon kicked off their part of the Phase I draft by selecting Russian forward Danil Gushchin, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound right wing. Gushchin was a standout for his native Russian national team, routinely excelling while playing above his U15 age division. Gushchin played 11 games at the U16 level internationally, netting 11 goals and tabbing seven assists. Gushchin played 15 games at the U17 level, notching six goals and three helpers.

Vanbiesbrouck bolstered the roster by selecting eight forwards and two defensemen.

“We had a great draft,” said Vanbiesbrouck. “We’re excited about the future and what all these players are going to bring.”

The Jacks also nabbed a forward with a very familiar name to hockey fans in the state of Michigan: Kienan Draper, son of former Red Wing Kris, was selected in the 7th round.


Here is a breakdown of all ten players selected, including draft position, position, hometown, ‘17-’18 team, ‘17-’18 point total (G-A-P), and college commitment where applicable.

1st round: Tender Alex Gaffney, LW, West Orange, NJ, N. Jersey Avs 39-31-70 in 47g (Harvard)

2nd round, 26th overall: Danil Gushchin, RW, Yekaterinburg, RUS, CSKA Moskva

3rd round, 42nd overall: Jack Williams, RW, Biddeford, ME, Selects Hockey Academy U15 37-42-79 in 49g (Northeastern)

4th round, 58th overall: Nick O’Hanisian, RD, Detroit, MI, Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U16 11-23-34 in 63g

5th round, 74th overall: Cole Vallese, C, Rockville, MD, New Jersey Colonials U16 12-12-24 in 22g (Providence)

6th round, 90th overall: Tanner Kelly, C, Clarkston, MI, Little Caesar’s U15, 35-41-76 in 68g (Michigan State)

7th round, 106th overall: Kienan Draper, C/RW, Detroit, MI, Little Caesar’s U15, 31-41-72 in 67g

8th round, 122nd overall: Matthew Maggio, RW, Tecumseh, ON, Sun County Panthers Minor Midget AAA, 20-24-44 in 33g

9th round, 138th overall: John Evans, RW, South Surrey, BC, Delta Hockey Academy Elite 15s, 23-50-73 in 36g

10th round, 154th overall: Hank Kempf, LD, Chicago, IL, Chicago Mission U15, 1-10-11 in 20g


The Phase II draft begins tomorrow at 11:00am, and Muskegon will make 21 picks to fill out their 45-man roster. While Phase I is only open to first-year eligible players, Phase II is open to any USHL eligible players who are not protected by any USHL team.

Each pick will be announced live on the Lumberjacks’ twitter, @MuskegonJacks