The United States Hockey League (USHL) is the premier junior hockey league in the country and talent from all corners of the United States makes up the rosters of the 17 team league. Phase I of the USHL Draft took place on Monday and five Pittsburgh Penguins Elite players had the honor of being chosen including Carter Schade who was taken number one overall in the draft. During Phase II of the draft, three former Pittsburgh Penguins Elite players were selected.
The Lincoln Stars made Carter Schade the number one overall pick in the USHL Phase I draft. Carter, a defenseman who played last season for the 16U Pens Elite team, tallied 7 goals and 8 assists in 33 games from the blue line. He was also a key piece to his team’s claiming of the USA Hockey National Championship last month. The Mars, PA native was also recently selected by the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL draft and is committed to Penn State to play his college hockey.
Later in the first round, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders selected forward Ty Voit with the 9th overall pick. That selection meant that the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite organization was the only organization to have two players selected in the first round of the Phase I draft. Ty played the 2018-19 season with the 15U Pens Elite team and recorded 64 points in 62 games. The Pittsburgh native was also recently selected by the Sarnia Sting in the 2019 OHL draft.
In the fourth round, Cedar Rapids selected another player from the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite organization. Andrew Pichora was selected 55th overall. The Bethel Park native appeared in 18 games for the 16U Pens Elite team that won the 2019 USA Hockey National Championship and posted a 10-7-0 record.
In the sixth round, the Omaha Lancers continued the run on Pens Elite players by selecting Shawn O’Donnell with the 79th pick. The Crescent Township, PA native scored 11 goals and 10 assists in 37 games with the 16U team during the 2018-19 season.
The Lancers later selected Jackson Morehouse, another member of the 2019 USA Hockey National Championship 16U team in the 10th round of the draft. Jackson, a Sewickley, PA native, played in 37 games in 2018-19 for the 16U Pens Elite team and registered 9 goals and 14 assists for a total of 23 points.
In Phase II of the draft, former Pens Elite defenseman Tyler Love was selected by the Dubuque Fighting Saints with the 112th pick. The Moon Township, PA native played for the Pens Elite 18U team during the 2017-18 season where he recorded 6 goals and 14 assists in 35 games. He spent the 2018-19 season with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and notched 17 points in 58 games.
Just three picks later in Phase II of the draft, the Fargo Force selected another Pittsburgh Penguins Elite alumnus in Brian Kramer. Kramer was in the Pens Elite organization for many years and most recently played for the 18U team during the 2017-18 season where he recorded 17 points in 34 games. Last season, he was a teammate of Tyler Love with the Corpus Christi IceRays and totaled 28 points in 58 games.
With the 124th pick in Phase II of the draft, the Lincoln Stars selected former Pens Elite defenseman Mikhail Gonchar. After playing for the 18U Pittsburgh Penguins Elite team in 2017-18, Gonchar played last season at Shattuck St. Mary’s where he posted 25 points in 47 games.
Congratulations to all eight current and former Pittsburgh Penguins Elite players on being drafted and good luck with the upcoming season!