Sioux Falls, SD – The Sioux Falls Stampede selected ten players to bolster their affiliate list during Phase I of the 2018 USHL Draft Monday night. Sioux Falls selected six forwards and four defensemen. All players selected have 2002 birth years.
The Herd selected Jack Smith from St. Cloud, Minn. In the first round (13th overall). The 5-foot-10-inch forward skates for St. Cloud Cathedral High School. During the 2017–18 season, Smith recorded 46 points (17g, 29a) in 25 games, second most on the team. The sophomore is already committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth.
In the second round, Sioux Falls selected forward Nick DeSantis. A native of Collegeville, Pa., DeSantis spent last season with the Selects Academy 15U squad, tallying 94 points (40g, 54a) in 53 games. His performances ranked him fifth in points among midget leagues in the United States. He stands 5-foot-10 and is committed to play collegiate hockey at Miami University, Ohio.
The Herd used their 45th overall selection on defenseman Victor Mancini from Saginaw, Mich. Mancini, standing at 6-foot-2 and 219-pounds, recorded five assists in 15 games with Compuware U16 last season.
In the fourth round, the Stampede selected forward Dane Dowiak. Dowiak is committed to Penn State University and played for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U16 team last season. During the 2017–18 season, he recorded 30 points (19g, 11a) in 28 games, leading his team in scoring.
With the 77th overall selection in the fifth round, Sioux Falls chose forward Jonny (Johnston) Meiers. The 5-foot-9-inch, Eagan, Minn. native split time between the Eagan Wildcats, Minnesota Blades 15U and MNBEL Bruins last season. With Egan High, Meiers tallied 29 points (15g, 14a) in 24 games played.
With the 6th round selection, the Stampede selected Moscow, Russia native Artem Shlaine. During the 2017–18 midget hockey season, Shlaine recorded 89 points (51g, 89a) in 62 games for South Florida Hockey Academy U16.
Sioux Falls made another Minn. native selection with defenseman Evan Bushy. Bushy recently completed his sophomore season at Thief River Falls High School, skating in 25 games while recording 28 points (8g, 20a). Bushy is brother to Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Brendan Bushy.
The Herd grabbed another defenseman in Ethan Edwards of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada in round eight. Edwards skated with Northern Alberta Elite 15s last season, scoring 23 points (6g, 17a) over 30 games. He recorded two assists in five games during the CSSHL E15 playoffs.
The Stampede used their 9th round selection on forward David Andreychuk. The 5-foot-11-inch, Chatham, NJ native played the New Jersey Devils Youth 16U squad and Chatham High School last season. He recorded 49 points (28g, 21a) between the teams.
The final Sioux Falls pick of the 2018 USHL Phase I Draft was used on defenseman Yan Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov is a native of Murmansk, Russia. He recorded five points (3g, 2a) in seven games with Varyagi im. Morozova U16.
The Stampede will continue with Phase II of the draft which begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The Herd’s first selection comes in the second round, 22nd overall. Fans can follow all of the Stampede’s picks by following on Twitter @sfstampede. Updates throughout the draft will also be available on Facebook (facebook.com/sfstampede) and on the Stampede website at sfstampede.com.