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Peeke Apart of Record Day for USHL

The USHL had another strong showing at the NHL Draft as 45 players with USHL experience were selected at the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, NY. In total 30 players that played in the USHL this season were selected in addition to 15 alumni.

Green Bay Gamblers defenseman Andrew Peeke, was selected in the 2nd round (34th overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Peeke, appeared in 56 games in 2015-16, registering 30 points on four goals and 26 assists.  The Parkland, Florida native will begin his collegiate career in the fall at Notre Dame.  Peeke is the 47th player in Gamblers team history to be selected at the annual NHL Draft.

Headlining the NHL Draft was Toronto Maple Leafs pick Auston Matthews (Team USA) who became the first player from the USHL since 2000 to be selected first overall. Other notable names drafted in the first round included Clayton Keller (Team USA), Charlie McAvoy (Team USA), Luke Kunin (Team USA), Kieffer Bellows (Team USA), Riley Tufte (Fargo Force), Tage Thompson (Team USA) and Trent Frederic (Team USA). In total, 24 players from the USHL were selected in the first three rounds of the NHL Draft.

College hockey was well-represented yet again as 40 players with USHL experience who were drafted have either committed to play Division 1 college hockey or have already began their college hockey careers.

Complete list of drafted USHL players (* signifies alumni):




NHL Team


1 1 Auston Matthews* Toronto Maple Leafs Team USA
1 6 Matthew Tkachuk* Calgary Flames Team USA
1 7 Clayton Keller Arizona Coyotes Team USA
1 14 Charlie McAvoy* Boston Bruins Team USA
1 15 Luke Kunin* Minnesota Wild Team USA
1 19 Kieffer Bellows New York Islanders Team USA
1 24 Max Jones* Anaheim Ducks Team USA
1 25 Riley Tufte Dallas Stars Fargo Force
1 26 Tage Thompson* St. Louis Blues Team USA
1 29 Trent Frederic Boston Bruins Team USA
2 34 Andrew Peeke Columbus Blue Jackets Green Bay Gamblers
2 40 Cam Morrison Colorado Avalanche Youngstown Phantoms
2 45 Chad Krys Chicago Blackhawks Team USA
2 49 Ryan Lindgren Boston Bruins Team USA
2 52 Wade Allison Philadelphia Flyers Tri-City Storm
2 60 Dylan Gambrell* San Jose Sharks Dubuque Fighting Saints
3 62 Joseph Woll Toronto Maple Leafs Team USA
3 64 Will Lockwood Vancouver Canucks Team USA
3 66 Adam Fox Calgary Flames Team USA
3 67 Matt Filipe Carolina Hurricanes Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
3 68 Cam Dineen* Arizona Coyotes Tri-City Storm
3 72 J.D. Greenway Toronto Maple Leafs Team USA
3 73 Joey Anderson New Jersey Devils Team USA
3 76 Rem Pitlick Nashville Predators Muskegon Lumberjacks
3 86 Casey Fitzgerald* Buffalo Sabres Team USA
4 104 Max Zimmer Carolina Hurricanes Chicago Steel
4 106 Brandon Duhaime Minnesota Wild Tri-City Storm
4 116 Rhett Gardner* Dallas Stars Green Bay Gamblers
4 118 Ross Colton Tampa Bay Lightning Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
4 121 Ryan Jones Pittsburgh Penguins Lincoln Stars
5 125 Nolan Stevens* St. Louis Blues Team USA
5 126 Mitchell Mattson Calgary Flames Bloomington Thunder
5 138 Patrick Harper Nashville Predators Omaha Lancers
5 142 Mikey Eyssimont* Los Angeles Kings Sioux Falls Stampede
5 149 Graham McPhee Edmonton Oilers Team USA
6 155 Peter Thome Columbus Blue Jackets Omaha Lancers
6 169 Tanner Laczynski Philadelphia Flyers Lincoln Stars
6 170 Collin Adams New York Islanders Muskegon Lumberjacks
6 173 Blake Hillman* Chicago Blackhawks Waterloo Black Hawks
6 177 Chase Priskie* Washington Capitals Fargo Force
6 181 Joseph Masonius* Pittsburgh Penguins Team USA
7 192 Jeremy Davies New Jersey Devils Bloomington Thunder
7 193 Nick Pastujov New York Islanders Team USA
7 203 Jake Ryczek Chicago Blackhawks Waterloo Black Hawks
7 208 Ryan Lohin Tampa Bay Lightning Waterloo Black Hawks

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16.  A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

Derek Lalonde Named Iowa Wild Head Coach

(courtesy of  www.iowawild.com)

DES MOINES, IA – Iowa Wild General Manager Brent Flahr on Monday announced the American Hockey League (AHL) club has named Derek Lalonde (Luh-Loaned) Head Coach.

Derek Lalonde, 43 (8/18/72), spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. In two seasons with Lalonde at the helm, the Walleye posted a 97-35-7-5 record (.715) with back-to-back playoff appearances. The Walleye went 47-20-2-3 in 2015-16, finishing with the ECHL’s Eastern Conference regular season title. The team fell in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs in seven games to Reading.

As a rookie head coach in the ECHL, Lalonde made an immediate impact by leading Toledo to a 50-15-5-2 record. The Walleye lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals after claiming the Brabham Cup (ECHL regular season champions). For his efforts, he was named ECHL Coach of the Year (John Brophy Award), helping Toledo amass a 58-point improvement from the previous season. The 58-point differential is the largest in ECHL history. Toledo claimed the Eastern Conference and North Division regular season titles each season he was behind the bench.

Prior to coaching in the ECHL, Lalonde spent three years behind the bench of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, where in 2011-12, he led the team to a 47-9-2-2 overall record, culminated with a Clark Cup. He was named the USHL Coach of the Year in 2012, guiding the Gamblers to their fourth Clark Cup in franchise history. Over the stretch of his three seasons in Green Bay, Lalonde’s Gamblers were 114-56-8-6 (.657). Iowa Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson played for Lalonde in Green Bay from 2011-13.

The Brasher Falls, NY native also has experience as a coach on the international stage. He served as an assistant with the United States World Junior U-19 team, which captured a gold medal at the 2012 World Junior “A” Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He also served as the head coach for the United States World Junior U-19 at the 2013 World Junior “A” Challenge, once again winning gold.

Lalonde served as an assistant coach at the University of Denver from 2006-11, helping the team post a 122-63-19 record. During his tenure, the Pioneers claimed two WCHA Championships (2008 and 2010) and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The team never fell out of the top 15 national rankings in the six seasons Lalonde was an assistant. He recruited and coached NHL first-round picks Joe Colborne and Beau Bennett, as well as second-round picks Drew Shore, Jason Zucker and Patrick Weircoch. Zucker played for the Iowa Wild in the 2013-14 season.

He began his collegiate coaching career in Big Rapids, MI at Ferris State University from 2003-06. With Lalonde as an assistant, the Bulldogs posted a 31-10-1 record in 2003, also capturing their first and only CCHA Championship, as well as qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.

Lalonde played goalie collegiately at Cortland State, earning team MVP honors as a senior. He graduated with a B.S.E in Physical Education in 1995 and later received an M.A. in Education Administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 1998. A native of upstate NY, Lalonde and his wife Melissa have three children: Alex, Luke and Abby.


Blackhawks agree to terms with Nick Schmaltz

The Chicago Blackhawks announced yesterday that they have agreed to terms with forward Nick Schmaltz on a three-year contract.

Schmaltz spent two full seasons with the Gamblers tallying 115 points (36 goals and 79 assists) in 119 games. Schmaltz had 18 goals and 45 assists in 55 games in 2013-14 and competed in the USHL All-Star Game. In 2012-13, the Verona, WI native was named to the All-USHL Rookie Team after collecting 18 goals and 34 assists in 36 games.

Chicago’s first-round pick (20th overall) in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, Schmaltz ranked third on the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks with a collegiate career-high 46 points (11G, 35A) in 37 games. He added three game-winning goals and a +44 plus/minus rating. Schmaltz, 20, netted the game-winner vs. Denver to send North Dakota to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game vs. Quinnipiac; he tallied an assist in the 5-1 victory vs. Quinnipiac for his first NCAA championship. Schmaltz has collected 72 points (16G, 56A) in 75 career games with North Dakota over two seasons. He was named to the 2015 NCHC All-Rookie Team.

Internationally, Schmaltz won a bronze medal and registered eight points (2G, 6A) in seven games with Team USA at the 2016 World Junior Championship. He tallied one assist in five games with Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship.