The United States Premier Hockey League held their 2019 National Collegiate Development Conference Draft this afternoon. Utica Jr. Comets coaches Paul Kelly and Lou Educate along with Nicole Kirnan-Kelly set up shop in Zetlin’s Suite earlier this afternoon as they selected twelve players who will look to join the NCDC team in Utica.
We're ready for the NCDC Draft! pic.twitter.com/gE7YhPYmEh
— Utica Jr. Comets (@UticaJrComets) May 15, 2019
Players born in the years 1999-2002 that are not already USPHL organizational assets were eligible to be drafted. The twelve players were chosen from seven states, one province, and 3 countries. The Comets selected six forwards, five defenseman, and one goalie. Those players are listed below:
Matt Altomore – 2001
Defense – Pickering Panthers
Altomore is 6’0″ 190 lbs. defenseman who played the entire 2018-19 season with Pickering of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League. Altomore recorded 1 goal and 12 assists over 52 games to go along with 34 penalty minutes. In 2017 he was drated #153 overall by the Mississauga Steelheads in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
Benjamin Biester – 2001
Forward – Anaheim Jr. Ducks U18
In one season with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks U18 (Tier 1 Elite Hockey League), 6’0″ Biester scored 19 goals and 13 assists in 30 games. His 19 goals and 32 points both lead the team.
Zac Currie – 1999
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Forward – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Currie played in 58 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights of the North American Hockey League in 2018-19 where he finished with 17 points and 36 penalty minutes.
Christopher-Robin Ericson – 1999
Forward – Vasteras IK J-20 SuperElit
Ericson has played his entire career in Sweden including last season in the SuperElit. The SuperElit is the highest-level of junior hockey in Sweden. In 45 games the forward finished with 10 goals and 12 assists.
Sebastian Heden – 1999
Forward – Edson Aeros
Another Stockholm native, Heden came over to North America last season and played in the Western States Hockey League for the Edson Aeros. The 20-year-old forward amassed 62 goals and 86 assists, good for 148 points in only 42 games. Not only were his 148 points good enough to lead the team, but he lead the entire 25 team league. His 86 assists were also a league best.
Sebastian Hudec – 2000
Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
Defense – South Shore Kings
Hudec also made his North American debut last season with the South Shore Kings in the NCDC of the USPHL. He only managed 2 assists in 27 games.
Kyle Neudorf – 2002
Forward – Milbrook Prep
After leading his high school, Sweet Home, to a 2017-18 NYSPHSAA Division II Championship, Neudorf enrolled at Millbrook School for 2018-19. In 29 games he scored 10 goals and 13 assists, good enough for fourth on the team.
Barrett Ott – 2000
Defense – Northwood Prep
Ott has spent the last three seasons playing at the Northwood School between the Midget U16 and U18 teams and High School/Prep team. He finished with 2 assists in 19 USPHL U18 games and 1 goals and 12 assists in 86 High School/Prep games.
Preston Stafford – 2000
Defense – Compuware U18
Preston Stafford has been playing high level hockey at every age division throughout his youth career. He finished that off with a 4 point season in 20 games with Compuware U18 in the High Performance Hockey League last season. He also played 3 games in the NAHL with the Jamestown Rebels last season.
Max Techel – 2000
Defense – Soo Thunderbirds
In 71 games over three seasons with his Wasau West High School team, Techel put up 46 points before moving on to the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League last season. While in the NOJHL he played 42 games for the Soo Thunderbirds scoring 2 goals and 9 assists. His younger brother Sam followed a similar path.
Sam Techel – 2001
Forward – Team Wisconsin
Sam Techel played four years of high school hockey at Wasau West where he recorded 46 goals and 42 points in 90 games. Following the high school season Sam joined Team Wisconsin in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League. He scored another 5 goals and 1 assist through 17 games.
Ryan Wilson – 2000
Goalie – Northwood Prep
The only goaltender chosen by the Jr. Comets is Ryan Wilson. Wilson is teammates with Barrett Ott at Northwood. Wilson had the best goals against average (0.90) and save percentage (.961) in the USPHL U18 division last season. He was also drafted #310 overall by the Sioux City Musketeers in the 2019 United States Hockey League entry draft.
Also selected in the draft was Shane Murphy who has his hometown listed as Oriskany, NY. Murphy was selected by the New Jersey Rockets. Murphy last played for Trinity-Pawaling School in the USHS Prep League. Prior to that he played for the Buffalo Regals.
The Syracuse Stars/Utica Jr. Comets previously selected seven players in the USPHL draft back in January of this year. Those players are not eligible to play in the USPHL until after the 2019-20 season.