The Futures Draft, which fell on May 1 this year, and the Entry Draft, which took place this Tuesday, provide valuable opportunities for a USHL team to restock its talent base for both the immediate and distant future.
For the Lumberjacks, assistant coaches Steve Palmer and Dave Noel-Bernier were cornerstones in the scouting and recruiting process that led to the 17-player draft Tuesday night, in addition to the six youngsters that were added in the Futures Draft three weeks ago.
Noel-Bernier joined me on an April episode of our JackSixty talk show to delve into draft preparation, and Palmer was gracious enough to sit down with me today to address the talent acquisition process on the Port City Podcast.
Palmer, a former coach with the prestigious University of Denver hockey program, detailed how the team got ready for the Entry Draft and where the Jacks' Hockey Operations staff goes from here in moving toward the Tryout Camp in mid-June at L.C. Walker Arena.
Listen below for a fascinating inside look at how a USHL team is built:
Coach Palmer took a few minutes out of his day yesterday to make a congratulatory phone call to Green Bay head coach Derek Lalonde, his friend and former co-worker at the University of Denver.
Of course, the Gamblers completed a truly dominant season with a convincing 5-2 win in Game 5 of the Clark Cup Final Wednesday night in front of 7,007 fans at the Resch Center. The defeat of tenacious Waterloo delivered the second Clark Cup in three years to the Gamblers, who also advanced to the final round last spring before Dubuque took them out in four games.
Here's Lalonde, who capped quite a rookie year with a title:
Chicago Blackhawks draft pick Alex Broadhurst led all postseason scorers with 18 points (9g, 9a) in 12 games. Here he is in the afterglow of a championship:
Once again thanks to USHL.com for the videos. It's interesting to hear the Gamblers mention their loss to Dubuque last year as a motivating factor for this year's run. Previous failure can be a powerful force for future improvement, and that's what the Lumberjacks are banking on for next season.
So once again congratulations to Green Bay. It was clearly a much-deserved title but Muskegon (along with 14 other teams) will be gunning for your crown in the fall!