AUSTIN, Minn. – The 2020 NAHL season unofficially began on Tuesday with the NAHL Supplemental Draft where the Bruins selected three players including forward Jackson McCarthy, goaltender Hudson Hodges, and defenseman Ben Dexheimer.
First off the board for the Bruins was defenseman Jackson McCarthy in the 18th overall slot. McCarthy, 17, spent the last season playing for Mount Saint Charles Academy where he logged 22 total points in 52 games played. The West Seneca, NY, native spent the previous three seasons playing for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres program where he competed for their U15, U16, and U18 levels. At 6-foot-2, 201-pounds, McCarthy is a big-bodied defenseman the Bruins will need to replace players that were lost this offseason like Josef Mysak, Jed Pietila, Chase Pilawski, and Jaden Shields.
“McCarthy is a bigger version of former Bruin Lane Krenzen,” said Bruins Director of Player Personnel Aaron Venasky. “He’s not a fun player to play against and goes hard into the boards and in the dirty areas. He absolutely snaps his passes, quick and right on the tape.”
Following McCarthy, the Bruins went to the crease selecting goaltender Hudson Hodges out of Moorhead, MN, with the 32nd overall pick. Hodges, 18, has spent the last three seasons with Moorhead HS where he posted a boasted a 1.25 goals-against-average a .951 save percentage in that time. The 6-foot-2, 174-pound netminder was the Frank Brimsek Award winner for the 2019-20 season which is handed out to the best goaltender in Minnesota State High School Hockey.
“Hodges is a goalie that has the size next-level programs are looking for”, said Venasky. “He really has turned on his competitive nature in the position to command more time in the cage. His size, skillset, and competitiveness will give him an opportunity at the next level”,
For the third and final pick of the day, the Bruins went back to the blue-line selecting Ben Dexheimer out of Edina, MN. Dexheimer, 17, is one of the smaller defensemen on the Bruins roster at only 5-foot-8, 174-pounds but brings offensive skill to the game. For the past two seasons, Dexheimer competed for the Blake School where he registered 41 total points in 49 games, just shy of a point-per-game average. In addition, the defenseman also tallied eight points in eight postseason games for the Bears. Thanks to his strong play and puck-moving ability, Dexheimer earned himself a commitment to Division-I University of Miami (OH).
“Dexheimer is one of the better defensemen to come out of Minnesota this past season,” commented Venasky. “Smaller in stature but is a high-end, offensively-minded, puck-moving defender. He will be able to really help create offense from the blueline and fans will notice his skill immediately.”
Up next for the Bruins, the 2020 NAHL Entry Draft on July 21 will round out leaguewide player additions. All of the Bruins’ newest players, including drafted players and tenders, will then meet with remaining players from last season and compete for a spot on the final roster during the Bruins main-camp held from July 28 to 31.
Season tickets for the Bruins are available and on-sale right now. For more information or to register quickly and easily, head to the Bruins on-line registration form by visiting. www.austinbruins.com/season-tickets.