AUSTIN, MN – Four members of the 2017-18 Austin Bruins were selected in the USHL Phase II Draft on Tuesday afternoon. Forward Alex Mella and defenseman Danny Petrick were chosen by the Madison Capitols, defenseman Jaden Shields was picked the Dubuque Fighting Saints, and forward Xander Lamppa was drafted by the Waterloo Black Hawks. In addition, tendered defenseman Kyle Gudme was also selected by Fargo in round nine.
Mella, a 99-birthyear from Stamford, CT, went in the 4th round, 51st overall to Madison. Mella led all Bruins rookies in goals scored, with 17 during the reason season. He was also tied for the team lead with four game-winning goals – plus two in the postseason. The former Shattuck St. Mary’s product also played three games in the USHL this season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, registering two assists. It’s the second time that Mella has been drafted in the USHL, going in the 2015 Phase I Draft to Green Bay. Mella is committed to NCAA DI Northeastern.
Shields is also a ’99, from Royal Oak, MI and just finished up his second full season as a member of the Bruins. He was picked in Round 5, 73rd overall by Dubuque. After recording 12 assists in the 2016-17 campaign, Shields had a breakout series in the first weekend of this past December in Bismarck, scoring his first four NAHL goals in a sweep of the Bobcats. Shields went on to have an All-Star season, appearing at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in February. He totaled 12 goals and 17 assists. Like Mella, Shields had a cup of coffee in the USHL, appearing in two games for the Sioux City Musketeers in 2016-17. Sioux City drafted him in the 9th round of the 2016 Phase II Draft.
Dan Petrick (’99) has bounced around Junior hockey the last two seasons but has spent the majority of his time in Austin. Madison selected him in the 15th round, 231st overall. The Northeastern commit from Wilbraham, MA put up 15 points in 29 games as a Bruin in 2016-17 before finishing the season in the USHL with Des Moines and Omaha. After seven games in Omaha to start 2017-18, the Bruins re-acquired Petrick from the Johnstown Tomahawks in late October in exchange for defenseman Toby Sengvongxay. Petrick ended up leading the Bruins and all NAHL defenseman with 10 power play goals, registering a total of 11 goals and nine assists in 49 regular season games. He has 37 USHL games under his belt.
Xander Lamppa, a 2000-born forward from Rochester, MN, had a solid rookie season with the Bruins, scoring 11 goals to go along with nine assists in 46 games. The versatile forward played on both special teams units and scored two shorthanded goals – tied for the team lead. The John Marshall Rocket standout who averaged over 1.35 points per game in his high school career, went in round 15, 244th overall to Waterloo.
The Bruins tendered 6’3, 167-pound defenseman Kyle Gudme in November from the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies. The 2000-birthyear from St. Clair, MI was chosen in the ninth round, 136th overall by the Fargo Force, who are currently preparing for their Clark Cup Championship Series against Youngstown.
The United States Hockey League is the top junior hockey league in the United States, and the only American tier I league. Although drafted by USHL teams, any players who do not break training camp with their respective clubs are eligible to return to the Bruins next season.