BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Central Illinois Flying Aces completed the 2018 USHL Draft on Tuesday, selecting 23 total players in the Phase II Draft to bring its protected list total to 45 players for the 2018-19 season.
Central Illinois stole the show in the early part of the draft, selecting five players in the first round, including No. 1 overall pick Trevor Janicke, who played with Team USA (U18) during the 2017-18 season. The Flying Aces also chose two other forwards in the first round, Tate Singleton (13th overall) and Philip Elgestål (15th overall), in addition to two defensemen, Colby Enns (4th overall) and Chase Foley (12th overall).
According to Flying Aces Director of Scouting and Assistant Coach Chase Fuchs, the Phase II Draft played out exactly how the coaching staff wanted.
“We thought our Phase II Draft went excellent today,” Fuchs said. “We had some players targeted and we got every single one of them. It was one of those where we’re sitting there in the eighth or ninth round and [head coach Mike] Watt goes, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen us get everyone we wanted.’”
“We’re really excited,” Fuchs added. “We got exactly who we want, and everyone fits a specific need for us.”
Of its 23 picks in Phase II, Central Illinois drafted 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders. Eight of the Flying Aces’ Phase II picks already have NCAA Division I commitments, and Central Illinois’ fifth round, 78th overall pick Ryan O’Connell is a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick. O’Connell, who played with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees in the 2017-18 season, was drafted in the seventh round, 203rd overall by the Maples Leafs at the 2017 NHL Draft.
Any player eligible for junior hockey (1998-2002 birth years) could be selected in Phase II of the 2018 USHL Draft. All of the Flying Aces selections are below.
Round 1, 1st overall: Trevor Janicke, F — Team USA (U18)
Round 1, 4th overall: Colby Enns, D – Minot Minotauros (NAHL)
Round 1, 12th overall: Chase Foley, D — St. Thomas Academy (MN HS)
Round 1, 13th overall: Tate Singleton, F – New Jersey Titans (NAHL)
Round 1, 15th overall: Philip Elgestål, F — Frölunda HC J20 (SuperElit)
Round 5, 76th overall: Ethan Martini, D — Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL)
Round 5, 77th overall: Chad Hillebrand, F — Topeka RoadRunners (NAHL)
Round 5, 78th overall: Ryan O’Connell, D — Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Round 6, 96th overall: Jack MacNab, F — Coquitlam Express (BCHL)
Round 6, 100th overall: Trevor Griebel, D — Phoenix Jr. Coyotes (T1EHL)
Round 7, 112th overall: Payton Matsui, F — St. Thomas Academy (MN HS)
Round 8, 117th overall: Josh Graziano, G — Team USA (U17)
Round 9, 133rd overall: Caden Villegas, F — Dallas Stars Elite 16U (T1EHL)
Round 10, 149th overall: Jake Beaune, D — Stevenson High School (USHS)
Round 12, 181st overall: Kaleb Ergang, F — Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
Round 13, 197th overall: Scout Truman, F — Yale Hockey Academy (CSSHL)
Round 14, 213th overall: Chrystopher Collin, F — Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
Round 15, 229th overall: Jonathan Panisa, F — Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U (T1EHL)
Round 16, 245th overall: Bobby Pearl, D — Dexter Southfield School (USHS)
Round 17, 261st overall: Wes Mankowski, G — Syracuse Stars (NCDC)
Round 18, 277th overall: Joe Dunlap, F — New Hampton Prep School (USHS)
Round 19, 293rd overall: Dawson Arkell, F — Phillips Academy
Round 20, 309th overall: Pyotr Yasinsky, D — Chelyabinsk Belye Medvedi
The Flying Aces now get ready to host their annual Main Camp, which will take place from May 30-June 3 at Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington.
Season tickets for the 2018-19 season are on sale now. For tickets or more information, call the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980 or visit www.flyingaceshockey.com.
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.