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Stampede select 24 players during Phase II of Draft

By Jim Olander, 05/05/15, 11:45AM CDT

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A look at some of the Stampede's top picks

Sioux Falls, SD--The Sioux Falls Stampede participated in the 2015 USHL Phase II Draft on Tuesday. In all, the Herd selected 24 players including 15 forwards, 8 defensemen and 1 goaltender. All 24 players will be invited to Stampede tryout camp which, for the first time ever, will be at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center June 12-15. Players chosen range from Finland, Austria, Czech Republic to Massachusetts. The Herd made a local selection as well, taking Luverne High School forward Chaz Smedstrud in the 26th round. Below is information on some of the Stampede’s top picks in the draft.

With their first selection in the 2015 Phase II Draft, the Stampede selected Finnish forward Teemu Pulkkinen from Kirkkonummi, Finland. He spent this past season with the Espoo Blues of the Jr. A SM-Liiga League. He led his team in scoring and finished third overall in the league with 74 points (35, 39a) and a plus-25 rating in 47 games with the Blues this past season. He also led his team in playoff scoring with 11 points (6g, 5a) in nine postseason games. The 20-year-old stands at 5-foot-7 and 154 pounds and is a left-handed shot.

The Stampede did not have a pick in the second round. In the third round (41st overall), the Herd took defenseman Nick Azar from Grosse Pointe Park, MI. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound left-handed shot spent this past season skating with Honeybaked U18 squad where he tallied 11 points (5g, 6a) in 22 games.

In the fourth round (54th overall), the Herd selected defenseman Tristan Rostagno of Pewaukee, WI. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound defenseman tallied 17 points (7g, 10a) in 55 games with the Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) this past season. He tallied 113 shots and 30 penalty minutes during the season. He has already committed to play collegiate hockey at Michigan Tech University.

After no selection in round five, the Stampede selected defenseman Cameron Teamor from South Bend, Indiana in round 6. The 5-foot-10, 155-pound right-handed defenseman spent this past season skating for the Chicago Mission 18U team. He posted 10 points (1g, 9a) in 26 games as a 16-year-old with the Mission.

In the seventh round, the Herd went back on the offensive side of things and drafted forward Aaron Miller of Superior, Wisconsin. He is currently skating with the Minnesota Wilderness of the NAHL where he tallied 61 points (21g, 40a) in 59 games during the regular season. He has 13 points (3g, 10a) in eight playoff games so far this postseason as the Wilderness are currently facing Janesville in the Robertson Cup semifinal round. The 5-foot-10, 185 pound forward was also a plus-23 with 109 penalty minutes during the regular season for the Wilderness.

In Round eight, the Herd took defenseman Joe O’Connor from Westminster Prep School in Connecticut. He has good size at 6-foot-1, 213-pounds and tallied 21 points (11g, 10a) in 28 games this past season. He has already committed to play collegiate hockey for the 2016-17 season at the University of Vermont, joining Stefanos Lekkas as Stampede players committed to Vermont.

In the 10th round, the Stampede selected forward Grant Loven from East Grand Forks High School. The 1997 birthdate recorded 25 points (10g, 15a) in 24 games during the regular season an added seven points (3g, 4a) in three games during the Minnesota State A Tournament, leading them to their second straight state championship.

In the 11th round, the Stampede had two selections. With their first selection in the round, they took defenseman Shane Kuzmeski from Grayslake, Illinois. He spent this last season skating with Wichita Falls of the NAHL. In 55 games with the Wildcats, he recorded 23 points (5g, 18a) and a plus-13 rating and 91 penalty minutes in 55 games.  

With their second selection of the 11th round, the Herd grabbed goaltender Ales Stezka of the Czech Republic. He spent this past season playing for Liberec Jr. where he played in 40 games and posted a 2.76 GAA and a .913 save percentage for the Czech U20 squad. The 6-foot-3, 178-pound left-handed catch is ranked fourth by NHL Central Scouting amongst European goaltenders for the upcoming NHL Draft.

In the 13th round, the Herd selected forward Erich Fear from the Chicago Mission U18. In 25 games with the Mission this past season, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound winger tallied four points (1g, 3a) and 18 penalty minutes in 25 games.

In the 26th round, the Stampede went local by selecting Luverne, MN native Chaz Smedsrud. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound left-winger led the team in scoring with an impressive 92 points (33g, 59a) in 25 games for the Cardinals this past season. He tallied nine power play and two shorthanded goals during the season while leading the Cardinals to their section championship game.

Here is a complete list of Stampede draft picks:

Round                   Name                                    Pos         Height  Weight                 Previous Team

1 (9th overall)      Teemu Pulkkinen             F              5’9”        174                         Espoo Blues Jr.

3                              Nick Azar                             D             6’3”        201                         Detroit Honeybaked

4                              Tristan Rostagno              D             6’3”        200                         Amarillo Bulls (NAHL)

6                              Cameron Teamor             D             5’10”      155                         Chicago Mission 18U

7                              Aaron Miller                       F              5’9”        160                         Minnesota (NAHL)

9                              Joe O’Connor                    D             6’1”        213                         Westminster Prep School

10                           Grant Loven                       F              5’10”      178                         East Grand Forks HS

11                           Shane Kuzmeski                               D             6’2”        185                         Wichita Falls (NAHL)       

11                           Ales Stezka                         G             6’3”        178                         Liberec Jr.

13                           Erich Fear                            F              6’5”        220                         Chicago Mission 18U

14                           Csanad Erdely                    F              6’1”        194                         Sapa Fehervar AV19

15                           Nicholas Cardelli               F              5’6”        130                         Chicago Mission 18U

16                           Tommy Parrottino           F              5’10”      140                         Little Caesars 16U

17                           Spencer Meier                  D             6’2”        160                         Sartell/Saint Stephen

18                           Chad Sasaki                        D             5’6”        140                         Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U

19                           Ryan King                            F              6’0”        175                         Bishop Hendricken HS

20                           Eric MacAdams                 F              5’11”      175                         Austin Prep HS

21                           Luke Notermann              F              6’1”        160                         Blaine HS

22                           Ethan Crossman               F              5’9”        155                         Notre Dame Hounds MAAA

23                           Nick Halloran                      F              5’10”      160                         Colorado Rampage

24                           Brendan Harris                  F              5’6”        150                         Wenatchee (NAHL)

25                           Adam Hascic                       F              5’9”        165                         Redbull Salzburg U20

26                           Chaz Smedsrud                 F              5’11”      181                         Luverne HS

27                           Jeff Baum                            D             5’11”      185                         Wichita Falls (NAHL)