Saturday, May 15, 2010

USHL Futures Draft Coverage- Defensemen

I have been contacted by sbnation.com to write up some profiles on players that may be drafted into the USHL this year in the USHL Futures Draft. I will be writing a profile almost every day leading up to the draft beginning with forwards, then on to defensemen, and finishing with goaltenders. These are in no particular order, as the Futures Draft is hard to predict. I haven't seen these players play either, so if you have seen them play and have something to add, please do. Enjoy!

Due to the size of this post, I've split it. To read the rest of the post, please click read more at the "bottom" of the post. Enjoy!

Dylan Blujus (Buffalo Regals U18) will kick off the coverage of defensemen.  I don't have a measurement for him, so giving him an accurate assessment will be tough. I can tell you however, that Blujus put up some good numbers on the offensive side of the puck for the Regals this past season. Back at the blue line, Blujus collected 22 points (5 goals and 17 assists) in 48 games last season. Of those 5 goals, 4 of them came on the powerplay, which I'm sure has scouts and coaches in the USHL drooling about the possibilty of using Blujus as a powerplay quarterback. Blujus also racked up 36 penalty minutes in 48 games. This speaks to his physicality. I would compare Blujus to Des Moines blueliner Eric Knodel. Not based on the size, but on offenseive output and PIMs.

Sam Piazza (Chicago Mission U16) is the opposite of Blujus. He is solid defensively more than he is offensively. Based on his playstyle, his offensive numbers were right on par. That said, Piazza has shown his glimpses of his potential offensive skills. In 21 games with the Mission midget minor squad, Piazza collected 3 goals and 6 assists for a total of 9 points on the year. He also played 29 games with the midget major squad, collected 2 goals and 2 PIMs on the season. The fact that he played with the U18 squad as a 16 year old speaks to his skills and it is obvious that he is a very solid defensive defenseman. Piazza is getting quite a bit of college interest too. While the 6'0"/190 defenseman out of Hinsdale, Illinois has not gotten a scholarship offer from any colleges yet, Boston College, Harvard, Yale, Michigan State, and Northeastern have all shown interest. I would compare Piazza to Lincoln Stars shut down defenseman Dax Lauwers. Expect to see Piazza's name called on Monday.

Mark Yanis (Belle Tire U16) is a big shut down style defenseman. At 16, Yanis already has pro caliber size, standing at 6'3" and 190 pounds. Yanis, like Piazza, plays a more defensive game, not really producing offensively. In 38 games played with Belle Tire's midget minor squad, Yanis posted 3 goals and 8 assists contributing 11 points on the year. The big blueliner has garnered plenty of college attention, and he will most likely attend the University of Minnesota. He has other teams interested, as Miami Ohio, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin have shown interest in bringing Yanis in. As for the USHL comparision, I would compare Yanis to Sioux City Musketeers defenseman Kevin Gravel.
Signed with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.


Grant Webermin (Honeybaked U16) was recently drafted in the first round of the OHL Draft last week. However, Webermin will more than likely stay in the US and play college hockey. Webermin is another guy who plays shut down defense with not much offensive production. In 32 games, he had 2 goals and 11 assists, adding 62 PIMs. Here is a quote from Webermin's Pointstreak profile:
"Grant is an intense ‘old school ‘competitor that plays with heart and passion for the game. He is a solid defenseman with outstanding physical and technical skills and has played AAA hockey for six years. Grant has been on three International Silver Stick Championship teams, Bell Cup Champion, State Champion, and Quebec PeeWee Championship teams. Grant is an honor student at Detroit Catholic Central with a 4.0 GPA and National Junior Honor Society Member. His goal is to play for the US Development program and to play Division I College Hockey."
I would compare Webermin to Omaha defenseman Mathieu Brisson.

Justin Wade (Chicago Mission U16) is Sam Piazza's defensive partner. Wade plays a very tight defensive game. His most recent size, 6'2", 197 pounds, is very big for a player of his age. That said, his game is not just one dimensional. Wade also has some hands that can dish out assists. In fact, Wade collected 12 assists in 34 games this past season. The defenseman out of Aurora, Illinois has also got a college to become interested in his game. Wisconsin has shown intrest in Wade, but has not gotten a scholarship offer from any universities. I would compare Wade to Fargo blueliner Marek Hrbas. Wade could be in the USHL within the next few years.


Please leave comments, I would love to hear them!

14 comments:

  1. Mark Yanis signed a tender with the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL).

    http://www.mlive.com/lumberjacks/index.ssf/2010/05/ushl_muskegon_lumberjacks_sign_1.html

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  2. I wrote some of the article on May 13th, because I was free that day. This must have happened after I wrote Yanis' profile.

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  3. Tommy Muratore was clearly a dominating player at the combine, could make the USHL as a 1994.

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  4. Good info, I'll keep that in mind.

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  5. Any idea if Justin Wade is going to Owen Sound of the OHL, thanks

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  6. Not sure, but I'm guessing he's going the juniors/college route.

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  7. Sam is a great kid with a super hockey future ahead of him BUT he's 5'10", he played 2-3 games with the majors and the d-zone is the weaker part of his game.

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  8. What about Donny Nagle from Culver. left detroit to attend culver in indiana - great defensemen

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  9. What about Hunter Anderson out of Burnsville MN - we was the best I played against in the combine. I heard he measured 6-4 192 last weekend.

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  10. Yeah, there is plenty of guys that are going to be drafted. I just profiled a certain few.

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  11. Beauvais and Champagne where two others that had some buzz at the combine

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  12. Two Compuware defense taken with first two picks. Any info on them?

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  13. Why bother posting this nonsense? It's uninformed noise.

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  14. to you anonymous, you obviously have not done any reasearch before coming on my blog and bashing my writing behind an anonymous posting name. Writing on future USHL players is not what I do. I watch USHL hockey every single week and if you would have read my blog before starting trouble, you would know that I write exxclusively on players already in the USHL. So, thanks for reading, and if you would like to contact and discuss this matter more, please feel free to email me at ushlpb@live.com, although I have a feeling you won't.

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Keep it clean, and don't attack individual players.