BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Central Illinois Flying Aces completed Phase I of the 2018 USHL Draft on Monday, selecting 10 players from the 2002 birth year.
Central Illinois picked seven forwards and three defensemen in Phase I, including Stephen Halliday with the first overall selection.
“We’re extremely happy,” said Mike Watt, the Flying Aces General Manager and Head Coach. “We feel we have some of the best prospects in North America that can take our organization to the next level.”
The first No. 1 pick in the Phase I Draft in team history, Halliday is coming off an 83-point season with the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget AAA. That point total included 36 goals and 47 assists.
“Stephen Halliday is a fantastic prospect that wants to play at the collegiate level and has a ton of upside,” Watt said. “He has the potential to play in the USHL right now. He’s the type of player we want in our organization because he lives the game of hockey.”
Below is the full list of the Flying Aces’ selections in Phase I.
Round 1 | 1st overall
Stephen Halliday – F, Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget AAA
Round 2 | 17th overall
Joshua Barnes – F, Cornwall Colts Midget AAA
Round 3 | 33rd overall
Jason Siedem – F, North Jersey Avalanche 16U
Round 4 | 49th overall
Patrick Guay – F, Magog Cantonniers
Round 5 | 65th overall
Jackson Nieuwendyk – F, Dallas Stars Elite 16U
Round 6 | 81st overall
Max Bronstine – D, Mississauga Rebels Midget AAA
Round 7 | 97th overall
Joseph Teasdale – C, Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 16U
Round 8 | 113th overall
Kent Johnson – F, Burnaby Winter Club Prep
Round 9 | 129th overall
Noah Marino – D, Chicago Fury 16U
Round 10 | 145th overall
Kobe Pane – D, Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U
“It’s a very exciting time for us here,” said Chase Fuchs, the first-year Director of Scouting and Assistant Coach for Central Illinois. “As a new staff, we’re able to make our stamp on our organization and what we want. We really addressed our style of play in this draft. I can’t wait for main camp to get these kids in town and to start working with them.”
The Flying Aces conclude the 2018 USHL Draft with the Phase II Draft, which begins on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. CT. Central Illinois has five first-round picks in Phase II, including the No. 1 overall selection. Follow the Flying Aces on Twitter (@ciflyingaces) for live coverage of the Phase II Draft.
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. At the start of the 2017-18 season, there were 128 active USHL alumni on NHL rosters, with at least one USHL alumnus playing for each of the 31 teams. In total, there have been 253 USHL players who have gone onto NHL careers, including Patrick Sharp, David Backes, Johnny Gaudreau, and Joe Pavelski, among others. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.