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Phantoms Begin 2017 Training Camp

By Julie Mros 09/11/2017, 12:00pm EDT

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Phantoms have officially reported to town and will begin on-ice practices on Monday September 11th at the Ice Zone and their off-ice team workouts at Max Athletic Training, both facilities located in Boardman, Ohio . The team’s training camp and pre-season games will run Monday September 11th through Sunday October 1st.

The Phantoms will host the NAHL’s Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights at the Ice Zone on Tuesday September 12th at 4:00pm for an early exhibition game and then participate at the USHL’s Fall Classic event to be held in Cranberry / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for three exhibition games against USHL opponents the Waterloo Blackhawks (Wednesday September 27th at 7:00pm), the Dubuque Fighting Saints (Saturday September 29th at 7:45pm), and the Des Moines Buccaneers (Sunday October 1st at 4:45pm).

The team training camp roster can be found below and includes nine returning Phantom veterans, nineteen Division I college committed players, one NHL Draft pick (goaltender Wouter Peeters, 2016 3rd Round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks), three goaltenders, eight defensemen, and seventeen forwards. The players will be battling to make the club’s opening day roster.

Four incoming players attended NHL Rookie / Development Camp this past off-season including forward Michael Regush (Minnesota Wild), forward  Dalton Huner (New York Islanders), Wouter Peeters (Chicago Blackhawks), defenseman Michael Joyaux (Columbus Blue Jackets).

Goaltender Wouter Peeters and forward Nicolas Werbik will miss the beginning of Youngstown’s training camp as both players will be attending NHL Rookie Camps and competing in the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. Peeters with the Chicago Blackhwaks as one of their former draft selections and Werbik with the New York Rangers as a free agent invitee.

Returning Phantoms’ forward and Yale University commit Curtis Hall will head to Buffalo, New York during training camp to participate in this year’s CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game to be held Thursday September 21st. Hall, the Chargrin Falls, Ohio native, looks to be the next in a long line of NHL drafted players from the Phantoms organization coming up in the June 2018 NHL Entry Draft to be held in Dallas, Texas.

The Phantoms will also be welcoming two new hockey operations staff members during training camp – Assistant Coach Nick Peruzzi and Equipment Manager Jerry Hillman.

The Phantoms’ season and home opener will be Saturday, October 7th at the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown. Puck drop will be at 7:05 p.m. against Central Illinois Flying Aces.

The Phantoms will host a media day on Wednesday, October 4, at 11:00 a.m. in the Covelli Centre’s YSU Room. All members of the media are invited to meet this year’s players, coaching staff, and front office. 


# Name HT WT Hometown College Commitment
31 Ivan Prosvetov 6'5" 185 Moskva, RUS  
36 Wouter Peeters 6'4" 201 Turnhout, BEL  
65 Britt League 6'0" 161 Chesapeake, VA  
5 Andrew Petrillo 5'11" 174 Pompton Plains, NJ University of Vermont
15 Jake Gingell 6'1" 201 Gregory, MI  
22 Zach Metsa 5'11" 179 Delafield, WI Quinnipiac University
24 Steve Holtz 5'11" 176 Detroit, MI  
44 Gianfranco Cassaro 5'11" 185 Nobleton, ON, CAN UMass - Amherst
62 Michael Joyaux 5'9" 154 Bloomingdale, IL Western Michigan
67 Julian Kislin 6'2" 170 Manalapan, NJ Northeastern University
72 Liam Dennison 5'9" 190 Manotick, ON, CAN Merrimack
6 Max Ellis 5'9" 141 Plymouth, MI University of Notre Dame
7 Eric Esposito 5'11" 181 West Haven, CT University of New Hampshire
9 Gueorgui Feduolov 5'9" 185 Mentor, OH  
13 Nicolas Werbik 6'3" 194 Zlin, Czech Rep.  
16 Trevor Kuntar 5'11" 165 Williamsville, NY Harvard University
17 Dalton Hunter 6'3" 201 Greensburg, PA Mercyhurst University
18 Jack Malone 6'0" 172 Madison, NJ Cornell University
19 Chase Gresock 5'11" 179 Powell, OH  
20 Curtis Hall 6'2" 194 Princeton, NJ Yale University
21 Michael Regush 6'0" 205 Surrey, BC, CAN Cornell University
23 Jagger Joshua 6'1" 159 Dearborn, MI Michigan State
26 Matthew Barry 5'11" 165 Naperville, IL College of the Holy Cross
27 Matthew Thomson 6'1" 194 Reading, MA Northeastern University
52 Craig Needham 5'10" 170 Medford, MA University of Maine
71 Brad Cocca 5'9" 170 Mississauga, ON, CAN Harvard University
86 Connor Pooley 5'10" 165 Dublin, OH  
92 Alex Barber 5'10" 159 Dublin, OH Bowling Green State University


Phantoms Add Peruzzi to Coaching Staff

By Julie Mros 09/06/2017, 1:30pm EDT

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Phantoms are proud to announce the hiring and addition of new Assistant Coach Nick Peruzzi. Peruzzi will join Head Coach Brad Patterson and fellow Assistant Coach Jeff Potter on the bench for the upcoming 2017-2018 United States Hockey League (USHL) season.

Peruzzi comes to the Phantoms from the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he spent last season with the Philadelphia (Aston) Rebels based in eastern Pennsylvania.

“We are excited to add Nick to our staff. He has a great reputation for working with and developing young players. I saw firsthand the impressive work he did at the AAA level building up the Oakland Grizzlies organization the last few seasons and then make a strong transition to the junior level by helping take the Aston Rebels to the next level in the NAHL,” said General Manager Jason Koehler. “We had a “Peruzzi player” last season in former forward Coale Norris (now at Ferris State) and Coale raved about his time with Coach Peruzzi in the past and once we had Nick around our staff for his interview, we knew this would be a great fit and relationship for all parties moving forward.”

Nick Peruzzi, a Rochester Hills, Michigan native served as Assistant Coach, Video Coach, and Recruiting Coordinator during the 2016-2017 season with the Rebels last season. Peruzzi also served as the team skills and development instructor providing players with individual video instruction and on ice skills sessions. He played a key role in the advancement of players, including helping twelve Rebels players earn NCAA Division I scholarships.  Peruzzi contributed to a very successful season for the Rebels wherein the team won its first NAHL Regular Season Championship, clinched the NAHL East Division Championship, and had its first appearance in the Robertson Cup Championship.

“I look forward to joining the Phantoms’ staff, making our players better, and  coaching in the USHL. My visit and interview with the hockey staff was very positive and I think we share a lot of the same views on teaching and motivating players - I can’t wait to get started here.” said Peruzzi.

Prior to joining the Aston Rebels at the junior hockey level, Peruzzi served as Associate Head Coach of the U18 Oakland Junior Grizzlies AAA program (2014-2016) and assistant coach of the U16 AAA program (2013-2014).  During his three years with the Grizzlies, Peruzzi helped develop and promote over twenty five players to the USHL, NAHL, and NCAA Division I programs. Additionally, he was part of a coaching staff that helped turn the U18 team into a Top-10 Nationally ranked program. During the 2015-2016 campaign, Peruzzi led the U18 Grizzlies to their first appearance at the USA Hockey National Championship, including a final four appearance where they captured a Bronze Medal.

As well as coaching, Peruzzi previously scouted for the USHL's Fargo Force. He worked as a skills and player development instructor for Pro Impact Hockey, 5 Star Hockey, and Suburban Hockey Schools.  Prior to coaching and instructing, he played for the now defunct St. Louis Bandits in the NAHL and played AAA hockey for the Detroit Compuware and 
Detroit Honeybaked programs. 

Nick has also worked in the finance industry and graduated with Honors from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. 

 “I hope to use my past coaching experience in junior and AAA hockey to help build upon the great program already established by Brad [Patterson], Jeff [Potter], Jason [Koehler], and our ownership. I’m excited and eager for the start of training camp, and thank the Phantoms’ ownership as well as Jason, Brad, and Jeff for the opportunity to join the hockey staff in Youngstown,” Peruzzi added.

“Adding Nick to our staff is a welcome addition and a great benefit to our players and program,” said Phantoms’ Head Coach Brad Patterson. “Nick’s experience coaching, recruiting, and building successful programs at the NAHL and AAA levels will certainly be something that we will pull from this year as well his intensity and energy…’s always good to get some new blood in the organization and on the staff.”


Youngstown, Ohio - The Youngstown Phantoms are proud to announce that returning forward Curtis Hall and three of the club’s Affiliate players and future prospects will be representing Youngstown at this year’s CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo, NY.

USA Hockey and the USHL announced the 42 players who will make up the two teams showcasing themselves on Thursday September 21st at the Keybank Center in Buffalo.

This will be the sixth showcase event (started in 2012) for the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, and it has seen 127 of its participants drafted into the NHL.

“This is a great accomplishment and opportunity for Curtis, said Phantoms General Manager Jason Koehler. “ He had a great rookie season with us last year, including a very strong performance in our first round playoff match up against eventual USHL champion Chicago. This summer he played very well again at the USA Hockey Select 17 Festival which earned him a chance to play overseas a few weeks ago at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament where he once again showed well to the NHL scouts. Now, as we start the season, Curtis is set to be one of the most watched prospects in our league this year and this nomination and game opportunity should only enhance his draft stock.”

Curtis Hall returns for his second season in Youngstown with the Phantoms and for his high school senior year at Ursuline High School. He hails from nearby Chargrin Falls, Ohio and is committed to Yale University following his USHL career. The 6’2 195 lbs. centreman had seven goals and twenty one points last season in 59 USHL regular season games. Hall was one of the Phantoms’ two USHL signed 2000 born tender players (along with Max Ellis) who joined the team last season as high school juniors.

Joining Curtis Hall at the Prospects game will be three additional players with Phantoms’ connections and potential futures in Youngstown.

Forward Jay O’Brien from Hingham, Massachusetts and Thayer Academy Prep saw action in four USHL games as an Affiliate player last season with the team and may possibly see more games this year. The 5’11  170 lbs. right shot forward is one of the top players in the entire New England region and is committed to Providence College. O’Brien was the Phantoms sixth round pick (96th overall) in the 2015 USHL Phase I Draft.

Defenseman Jordan Harris from Haverhill, Massachusetts and Kimball Union Academy will join the Phantoms in 2018-2019 following his senior year at Kimball Union. Harris will look to defend his prep school championship this season and may see Affiliate games with the Phantoms this year as well. The 5’11 175 lbs. left shot defenseman is committed to Northeastern University following his USHL career. Harris was the Phantoms’ third round pick (40th overall) in the 2016 USHL Phase I Draft.

Goaltender Jon Mor from Higland Park, Illinois and the USA NTDP U18 team saw some games in 2016-2017 with the Phantoms as an Affiliate goaltender and back up. After his junior year with the USA NTDP, he is expected to be in Youngstown for the 2018-2019 season and his senior year. The 6’1 200 lbs. back stop played last season for the U16 Chicago Young Americans club and is currently uncommitted to a college.

“Along with Curtis Hall, the future is bright here with the Phantoms, said Jason Koehler. “With these three Phantoms’ prospects – it shows the caliber of players that our organization brings into the city of Youngstown and the USHL, players that are not only elite level junior hockey players and future college hockey players, but future pro hockey players and NHL Draft picks.”

Former Phantoms who have previously competed in the All American Prospects Game include forwards Tyler Sheehy (2013), Kyle Connor (2014), Chase Pearson (2014), defensemen Steven Ruggiero (2014), Luke McInnis (2015), Jack Rathbone (2016), and goaltender Ryan Bednard (2014). The 2015 game saw former Phantoms defenseman Luke McInnis (now at Boston College) snagging the game’s MVP Award.


By Julie Mros 08/21/2017, 10:00am EDT

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown Phantoms Assistant Coach Tom Upton is heading two hours north of Youngstown to take the next step in his coaching career. Upton has accepted a position with the Mercyhurst University Lakers Men's Hockey Team, Phantoms General Manager Jason Koehler announced today.

Mercyhurst University is a Division I college hockey program that competes in the Atlantic Hockey Conference and is located in Erie, Pennsylvania.

"The staff here and myself are very happy for Tom," Koehler said. "His goal has been to move on and advance to the collegiate level and he’s earned that opportunity now with Mercyhurst. We wish him, his wife Sarah, and his son Briggs a safe move and successful future in Erie, PA."

Upton leaves the Phantoms organization after one season where the team finished with a 34-20-5-1 record and qualified for the USHL Playoffs before falling to the eventual USHL champion Chicago Steel. He joined Phantoms staff in August 2016, just prior to Head Coach Brad Patterson's first season as Head Coach.

Upton is a New York native who played four years as a defenseman at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, where he also earned his Bachelor’s degree in Strength and Conditioning and a Master’s in Education of Athletes. His college career was preceded by four seasons in the NAHL (Tier II Junior Hockey), including time in Youngstown, with the then Mahoning Valley Phantoms.

Following his years on the ice, Upton spent the first three years of his coaching career as the Assistant Coach and Strength and Conditioning coach at his alma mater, followed by the same position with the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders (USHL). Upton was also the Head Coach / General Manager for the NAHL’s Minnesota Magicians prior to his time with the Phantoms.

“I’m very thankful for the time I had here in Youngstown with the Phantoms,” said Upton. “Working with Brad Patterson and Jeff Potter every day, as well as Jason Koehler was a blast. We had a good time and I had a chance to learn a lot from those guys which will help me transition in the coaching and recruiting side of college hockey. I also appreciate the opportunity given to me by the Phantoms’ ownership group as Youngstown is great place to develop, not only for the players, but the staff as well.”

Upton becomes the second Phantoms’ Assistant Coach to join the Mercyhurst coaching staff following John Ronan in the 2015-2016 season (Ronan is now at Union College).

Former Phantoms currently playing at Mercyhurst include goaltender Colon Deaugustine and forward Taylor Best. Incoming Phantom forward Dalton Hunter is also committed to Mercyhurst following the 2017-2018 hockey season.

The Phantoms are currently in the process of interviewing candidates and hiring a new assistant coach.



2017-18 Season Schedule

By Julie Mros 07/18/2017, 11:00am EDT

YOUNGSTOWN OH – The Youngstown Phantoms announced today their schedule for the 2017-18 United States Hockey League regular season. The Phantoms will open their season on Saturday, October 7th at 7:05 p.m. against the Bloomington Thunder at the Covelli Centre. Bloomington will stay in town for a game against the Phantoms on Sunday, October 8th at 5:05.

Out of the 30 home games the Phantoms will play, 22 of them will be Friday and Saturday games. They have two Sunday games, three Thursday games, one Monday game, one Tuesday game, and one Wednesday game. The Phantoms will play their rivals, the Muskegon Lumberjacks a total of 8 times in the regular season.

Sat       10/7/17    7:05 PM      Bloomington           

Sun      10/8/17    5:05 PM      Bloomington                 

Fri        10/13/17                      @ Fargo                     

Sat       10/14/17                      @ Fargo                    

Fri        10/20/17   10:00 AM   Green Bay                   

Sat       10/21/17   7:05 PM     Muskegon               

Fri        10/27/17   7:05 PM     Muskegon                   

Sat       10/28/17                      @ Muskegon               

Fri        11/3/17                        @ US 18                     

Fri        11/10/17                      @ Bloomington       

Sat       11/11/17                      @ Muskegon              

Sun      11/12/17                      @ Muskegon              

Fri        11/17/17   7:05 PM     US 18                        

Sat       11/18/17   7:05 PM     Chicago                   

Wed    11/22/17   8:05 PM     Muskegon             

Fri        11/24/17                     @ Bloomington   

Sat       11/25/17                     @ Bloomington          

Fri        12/1/17     7:05 PM     US 17                         

Fri        12/8/17                       @ Sioux Falls              

Sat       12/9/17                        @ Sioux Falls             

Thu      12/14/17   10:00 AM   Cedar Rapids

Fri        12/15/17   7:05 PM     Cedar Rapids

Thu      12/28/17   7:05 PM     Madison

Fri        12/29/17   7:05 PM     Madison

Sat       12/30/17                      @ US 17

Fri        1/5/18                          @ Cedar Rapids

Sat       1/6/18                          @ Cedar Rapids

Fri        1/12/18                        @ Dubuque

Sat       1/13/18                        @ Dubuque

Mon     1/15/18     1:35 PM     US 18

Fri        1/19/18     7:05 PM     Tri City

Sat       1/20/18     7:05 PM     Tri City

Fri        1/26/18                       @ Muskegon

Sat       1/27/18     7:05 PM     Dubuque

Sun      1/28/18     3:05 PM     Dubuque

Fri        2/2/18                         @ Chicago

Sat       2/3/18                          @ Chicago

Fri        2/9/18                         @ Sioux City

Sat       2/10/18                        @ Sioux City

Tue      2/13/18     7:05 PM     Bloomington

Fri        2/16/18   7:05 PM       Waterloo

Sat       2/17/18   7:05 PM       Waterloo

Fri        2/23/18   7:05 PM       Omaha

Sat       2/24/18   7:05 PM       Omaha

Sun      2/25/18                        @ US 18

Fri        3/2/18                          @ Madison

Sat       3/3/18                          @ Madison

Sun      3/4/18                          @ Chicago

Fri        3/9/18     7:05 PM       Des Moines

Sat       3/10/18   7:05 PM       Des Moines

Fri        3/16/18                        @ Green Bay

Sat       3/17/18                        @ Green Bay

Fri        3/23/18                        @ Lincoln

Sat       3/24/18                        @ Lincoln

Fri        3/30/18                        @ US 18

Sat       3/31/18   3:05 PM       US 17             

Fri        4/6/18     7:05 PM       Chicago

Sat       4/7/18     7:05 PM       Chicago

Thu      4/12/18   10:00 AM     US 17

Sat       4/14/18   7:05 PM       Muskegon


Phantoms Acquire Thomson From Trade

By Julie Mros 07/17/2017, 4:30pm EDT

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Phantoms have acquired left wing, Matthew Thomson, along with a 2018 Phase 2 7th Round Draft pick from Sioux Falls in exchange for former Youngstown Phantoms left wing, Kevin Conley.


Thomson of Reading, MA is a 6’1”, 194 pound left winger. Last season Thomson played on the USPHL championship team, the Middlesex Islanders. He was the fifth leading scorer in the league and he tied for first for the most goals during the 2016-17 regular season. Matthew is committed to Northeastern University located in Boston, MA.


“Having watched Matthew Thomson the past two seasons, we are excited to get him in a Phantoms’ uniform this year.” Phantoms’” General Manager Jason Koehler said. “Matthew is a shooter and goal scorer and someone that we wanted in the USHL draft back in May and we are thrilled that we have him now as we approach the season. The other bonus is that Matthew was part of a championship team last season and that winning attitude and success is something we value here.”


To acquire Thomson, the Phantoms have sent Sioux Falls former left wing, Kevin Conley.


“We certainly have positive and fond memories of Kevin Conley here during his two previous seasons with us including him being a part of our Anderson Cup team (2014-2015) and his winning the MVP Award at the USHL Top Prospects Game in 2015.” Koehler said. “This move was an opportunity to give Kevin a fresh start with a good organization in Sioux Falls and also allowed us to bring in a player that we feel makes us better now and a draft choice for the future of our club. We expect this trade to benefit everyone involved and wish Kevin nothing but the best moving forward.”

Save The Date!

By Julie Mros 07/17/2017, 11:00am EDT

Save the date! The Youngstown Phantoms Home Opener is Saturday, October 7th at 7:05 pm. They open their season against the Bloomington Thunder.

The Phantoms played Bloomington six times in the 2016-17 season. Winning four of the six games, and scoring a total of 18 goals. 

USHL Announces 2017 Fall Classic Dates

By Kevin Meyers 07/12/2017, 1:00pm EDT

All 17 USHL teams, 32 youth organizations will be under one roof in preseason showcase

CHICAGO, IL – The United States Hockey League announced that the USHL Fall Classic will return to suburban Pittsburgh for the second consecutive season. The preseason showcase will be hosted at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, PA from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, and for the first time since the 2012-13 season, all 17 organizations that compete in the USHL will take to the ice in one location. Schedules, tickets and additional information will be announced at a later date.


“The USHL Fall Classic always provides the ideal scouting opportunity for the management and scouts of the 31 NHL teams to view the top USHL talent available for the NHL Draft,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “This year provides an even more unique opportunity with all 17 USHL teams participating in one location. The Fall Classic serves as an important evaluation benchmark for players heading into the 2018 NHL Draft, and we are pleased that this successful event is part of a growing partnership between the USHL, NHL and Pittsburgh Penguins.”


“Pittsburgh is a thriving hockey market on many levels and the Penguins and community leaders aggressively pursued the return of the nation’s only Tier 1 junior league,” said Bob Fallen, USHL President and Commissioner. “The Penguins have won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with more NCAA players on their roster than any other NHL team. The USHL produces more NCAA Division 1 talent than any league in the world, and this will be a great opportunity for fans and scouts to see future NCAA and NHL talent, all under one roof.”


In addition to the return of the USHL Fall Classic, the USHL announced that two invitational youth tournaments, one featuring many of the top 14U teams and the other hosting many of the top 16U teams from the United States and Canada, will run in conjunction with the USHL Fall Classic. USHL teams will have scouts in attendance for both tournaments, and coaches from both college hockey and other junior hockey leagues across the globe will also be in attendance. Aligning the USHL Fall Classic and the youth tournaments will provide young players an up-close and personal view of the speed, skill and tenacity required to play junior hockey at the Tier 1 level.


“Last year’s USHL Fall Classic youth tournaments were a great success both from a scouting perspective and from a talent point of view,” said Doug Christiansen, USHL Director of Player Development and Recruitment. “Players were committing to colleges following last year’s tournament, USHL scouts were able to benchmark players prior to the beginning of the season, and we had extremely competitive hockey in late September. We are excited to see who will be crowned as Fall Classic youth champions this year.”


The USHL Fall Classic marks a return to the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex one season after the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms, hosted the highly successful 2016 USHL Fall Classic East, and two seasons after the Pittsburgh Penguins successfully hosted the 2015 Pittsburgh Showcase, a regional USHL preseason event. This year, the Penguins organization will host all 17 USHL member clubs, 16 16U teams and 16 14U teams.


“The Pittsburgh Penguins are excited and honored to have the USHL Fall Classic return to Cranberry and the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex for the second straight year,” said David Morehouse, President and CEO of the Penguins. “We are strong supporters of hockey development at all levels and are continually impressed with the job the USHL does to create opportunities for these outstanding young players. We look forward to hosting them once again in late September.”


The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complexwhich opened in the fall of 2015, is the official practice facility of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and also home to the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite youth hockey program. The complex is 185,000 square feet and includes two sheets of ice with a combined 1,333 seats between the two rinks. Over 1,000 youth players participate in games, tournaments, camps and programs at the facility each year.

Karow and Rathbone Selected in 2017 NHL Draft

By Julie Mros 07/06/2017, 9:45am EDT

Karow and Rathbone Selected in 2017 NHL Draft


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Phantoms were well represented at the NHL Draft on Saturday in Chicago, Illinois, as affiliate player Jack Rathbone (Fourth Round, 95th overall to the Vancouver Canucks), and Michael Karow (Fifth Round, 126th overall to the Arizona Coyotes), were both selected on the second day of the draft.


Rathbone was the first Phantom chosen, as the Vancouver Canucks selected him in the fourth roundwith the 95th overall pick. The Harvard University commit, Rathbone played four games with the Phantoms as an affiliate player, tallying an assist. Throughout the 2016-17 season Rathbone also played with the Cape Cod Whalers U18, along with his high school team.


The next round it was Karow’s turn, as the Arizona Coyotes used their fifth round pick (126th overall) on the Green Bay, Wisconsin native. “I was nervous as I waited for my name to be called, it was a relief once it was” said Karow of being drafted. “It’s a really exciting feeling and I’m looking forward to being a part of a great organization out in Arizona.” The Boston College commit played 58 games with the Phantoms this past season, scoring 4 goals and tallying 17 assists, earning him 21 points. He ended the season with a plus 9 rating.


Including this year the Phantoms have had at least one player drafted into the NHL in the past four years. In 2016, Cam Morrison was selected 40th overall to the Colorado Avalanche. Kyle Connor (17th overall, Winnipeg Jets), Ryan Shea (121st overall, Chicago Blackhawks), Chase Person (140th overall, Florida Panthers), Steven Ruggiero (178th overall, Anaheim Ducks), and Ryan Bednard (206th overall, Florida Panthers), were all selected in 2015. In 2014, Max Letunov (52nd overall, St. Louis Blues), Nathan Walker (89th overall, Washington Capitals), and JJ Piccinich (103rd overall, Toronto Maple Leafs) were drafted.

2017 NHL Draft

By Julie Mros 06/22/2017, 5:00pm EDT

YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The 2017 NHL draft is set to start on Friday, June 23rd at 7 pm and will continue through Saturday, June 24th. The 14 teams that did not make it to the playoffs in the 2016-17 season are awarded the first 14 picks, while the Stanley Cup Champions will pick last. Players who turn 18 by September 15th and are not older than 20 by December 31st are eligible for selection.

2015-16 USHL Rookie of the Year, and Phantoms Alumni, Cam Morrison was selected 40th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. Morrison, played the last season with the University of Notre Dame. He tallied 12 goals as well as 12 assists to end the season with 24 points.

“Last year was a great reward for Cam Morrison and his family (being selected in the 2016 NHL Draft). Cam’s outstanding play in the USHL and his performance all year allowed him to dramatically increase his NHL draft stock with Youngstown when he made the move to our league. This year Michael Karow has a similar story (making the move from home in Wisconsin as a high school senior). We’ve been proud that in our short USHL history, we’ve had a player selected in every round of the NHL Entry Draft (Rounds One through Seven) and continue to emphasize bringing in high quality student athletes that will not only be terrific Division I college hockey players, but also future NHL prospects and high level pro hockey players. I think we’ve shown more and more every season that goes by, that Youngstown is somewhere that aspiring NHL draft picks should want to play based on our track record and precedent over the last few seasons.”

This year the focus has switched to Phantoms defenseman Michael Karow (committed to Boston College). Karow played with the Phantoms this past season and was named USHL Student-Athlete of the year. He played in 58 games in the 2016-17 season, ending the season with 4 goals, and 17 assists, giving him a total of 21 points. He ended the season with a plus 9. Michael Karow is projected to go 109th overall according to the NHL final Draft Prospect Rankings, however reports vary on when he could be selected. “I’m looking forward to this year’s NHL draft. It should be a great experience and a lot of fun.” Said Karow who is preparing to make the trip out to Chicago. “It’s a good opportunity for myself and it would be a great honor to be selected.

Phantoms’ Affiliate player Jack Rathbone has also made the prospect list who is projected to go 57th overall. Other Phantoms players that could be selected during the 2017 NHL draft include goaltender Ivan Kulbakov, forward Nick Werbik, and Phantoms’ Affiliate forward Jagger Joshua.

Youngstown Phantoms’ NHL Entry Draft History


Cam Morrison

Selected second round, 40th overall to the Colorado Avalanche



Kyle Connor

Selected in the first round, 17th overall to the Winnipeg Jets


Ryan Shea

Selected in the third round, 121st overall by the Chicago Blackhawks


Chase Pearson

Selected in the fifth round, 140th overall to the Florida Panthers


Steven Ruggiero

Selected in the sixth round, 178th overall by the Anaheim Ducks


Ryan Bednard

Selected in the seventh round, 206th overall by the Florida Panthers



Max Letunov

Selected second round, 52nd overall by the St. Louis Blues.


JJ Piccinich

Selected fourth round, 103rd overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Nathan Walker

Selected in the third round, 89th overall by the Washington Capitals.



Scott Mayfield

Selected second round, 34th overall by the New York Islanders


Matt Mahalak

Selected sixth round, 163rd overall by the Carolina Hurricanes