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By Phantoms Staff 07/25/2022, 9:00am EDT


YOUNGSTOWN, OH -- The Youngstown Phantoms are proud to announce the hiring of Mike Macchioni as their Director of Sports Performance. As the Director of Sports Performance, Macchioni will oversee all aspects of strength & conditioning, recovery, and nutrition for the Phantoms. Macchioni is the owner of Northeast Sports Training and Rehabilitation, the first private sector training facility in Rhode Island.  He has worked with professional and collegiate athletes for over 20 years, partnering with organizations such as the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and Providence College of the NCAA.  Mike and his NEST staff will be on-site working with the Phantoms players every day in maximizing all facets of strength, conditioning, and nutrition.


Director of Sports Performance, Mike Macchioni states “Over the past 23 years, the NEST has been involved in strength and conditioning initiatives at the highest levels of play.  The tools and talent the Youngstown Phantoms are acquiring with the hiring of NEST and the addition of their state-of-the-art strength, conditioning, and recovery center puts them in a position where they are second-to-none when it comes to sport performance, rehabilitation, and nutrition.  These resources will allow current and future Phantoms the opportunity to maximize their development in all areas related to sport performance.  The Youngstown Phantoms have made a commitment to excellence in these areas that is seldom seen in any junior hockey league across the globe.  It shows they are focused on providing the absolute best environment for young players to develop both on and off the ice.  I am elated to be a part of the program and can’t wait to get started.”

Phantoms Co-GM’s Jason Deskins and Ryan Kosecki said “With the acquisition of the Deep Freeze and the coinciding construction of our sport performance training and recovery facility, we felt that it was imperative to add a dynamic and polished strength coach.  Adding Mike Macchioni to our program shows how serious the Youngstown Phantoms are when it comes to developing elite hockey players that aspire to play in the National Hockey League.  Mike has trained individuals and teams at the highest of levels. His knowledge, passion and experience will grant our players the ability to become the best versions of themselves every day.  We take pride in providing our players with the resources they need to get better, and this is just another indication showing that.  We are excited to get Mac in front of our players.  They’re going to love working with him and his people.”


The Phantoms report to training camp in early September. Their first preseason game is slated for September 3 against the Maryland Black Bears of the NAHL.

Three Youngstown Phantoms draft picks were selected to play for USA Hockey at the 2022 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament August 9-13 in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Center Drew DellaSalla and defensemen Finn McLaughlin and Tory Pitner made the U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team that will compete against Czechia, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland in the annual tournament.


The three Phantoms draft picks earned the right to represent the red, white and blue based on their play at the USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp the past week in Amherst, N.Y. The six-day showcase featured the top 2006-born players in the United States.


DellaSalla, from Rye, N.Y., had six goals in the camp, including one in Wednesday’s All-Star Game. He was the organization’s third round pick in the 2022 USHL Phase I Draft. The Mid Fairfield Junior Rangers product scored seven goals and 25 assists in 30 games played for Brunswick School in prep hockey during the 2021-22 season.


McLaughlin had a goal in the camp, but was consistently noticeable in terms of breaking pucks out of his own end and walking the blue line in the attacking zone. The dual citizen played for the Windy City Storm 15O in 2021-22, scoring 15 goals and 32 assists in 75 games. McLaughlin was drafted by Youngstown in the second round of Phase I with the 24th overall pick.


Pitner, Youngstown’s first round pick in Phase I, scored two goals during the Select 16 camp. From El Cerrito, Calif., Pitner played mistake-free hockey and impressed with his skating, size and hockey sense. Pitner played the 2021-22 season for South Kent Selects Academy, scoring 11 goals and 31 assists in 53 games.


The 2022 USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp showcased the organization’s talent and depth at the 2006 birth year. Ten Youngstown picks were at the camp, including the three who made the team for the Five Nations Tournament. Forward Brecken Smith and defenseman Luke Osburn joined the aforementioned trio in the All-Star Game. Forwards Easton Jacobs, Ryan Rucinski and Grant Young, and defensemen Evan Sofikitis and Landon Stringfellow were also at the camp.

Phantoms enjoy success at 2022 NHL Draft

By Jeff Cox 07/14/2022, 11:15am EDT

Phantoms enjoy success at 2022 NHL Draft

Six current, future and former Youngstown Phantoms heard their names called at the 2022 NHL Draft on Friday at the Bell Centre in Montreal. It was another banner draft for the entire United States Hockey League as 57 current, future and former players were selected.


By Phantoms Staff 07/11/2022, 11:00am EDT

Phantoms Add Prolific Scoring Defenseman to the Program

The Youngstown Phantoms have acquired Andrew Strathmann and a 2024 Phase 1 9th round draft pick for a 2023 Phase 2 2nd round, 2023 Phase 1 3rd round, 2024 Phase 2 1st round, and 2024 Phase 1 3rd round draft choices. 


Strathmann, a 2005-born defenseman, is committed to North Dakota and was just selected to Team USA for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer, Alberta from July 31st-August 6th.  As a member of the Storm’s Anderson Cup-winning squad this past season, Strathmann posted five goals and 18 assists for 23 points while adding 100 penalty minutes in 61 regular season games as a 16-year-old playing in the USHL.  Prior to his time with Tri-City, Strathmann played for current Phantoms Head Coach Ryan Ward with the Chicago Young Americans 15U club where he rang up 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points in 57 games.  He also played for Team USA at the Five Nations tournament last summer where the team captured the gold medal.       


Phantoms Co-GM’s, Jason Deskins and Ryan Kosecki stated “We couldn’t be happier to add a player of Andrew’s ability to the Phantoms.  He brings speed, skill, toughness, and experience to our team and has a will to win that is unmatched.  He has a chance to do special things in a Phantoms uniform and beyond in his hockey career.  He will be a major part of our backend and will be expected to be an anchor for our team.  This is a huge addition to the program, and we can’t wait to see Andrew at camp next week.”


Head Coach Ryan Ward stated “We are ecstatic to add someone of Andrew’s talent and character to our program. Andrew is a natural leader that has an extremely bright future. He can play in any situation and plays the game exactly how we want it to be played. His competitiveness and IQ are off the charts.  He is going to look great in a Phantoms uniform.”


The Phantoms kick off their main camp from July 11th-17th at PrintScape Arena in Canonsburg, PA.


By Phantoms Staff 05/17/2022, 10:00am EDT


YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Youngstown Phantoms have named Ryan Ward as the sixth Head Coach in the program’s history. Ward comes to Youngstown from the Tri-City Storm where he was the Director of Player Development for the USHL club and the Hockey Director of the Windy City Storm, Tri-City’s youth hockey program. Ward also has experience as an Assistant Coach with the Soo Greyhounds (Ontario Hockey League) and the San Antonio Rampage (American Hockey League), along with stints in the National Hockey League with the New York Islanders, St Louis Blues, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

“We are ecstatic to have Ryan join the Phantoms,” said Co-Owner Murry N. Gunty. “Ryan is a talented, young, up-and-coming hockey mind that wants to play a fast paced, competitive, puck-possession style in Youngstown. When we opened our search, we knew that we wanted someone that was offensive-minded, creative, and passionate. We wanted someone that came from a coaching tree of successful people. Ryan has trained under the likes of Scott Gordon, Sheldon Keefe, Mike Babcock, and Anthony Noreen and has been involved with championship programs such as the Tri-City Storm, Soo Greyhounds, and the St. Louis Blues. He checked off all those boxes. From Tri-City’s Anderson Cup this year to the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup in 2019, he has been affiliated with winning every step of the way in his career and we fully expect him to bring that mentality to Youngstown.”

“It is an honor to be named the Head Coach of the Youngstown Phantoms,” said Ryan Ward.  “I am ecstatic to work alongside our management and coaching staff, and most importantly, our players, as we usher in this next era of hockey in Youngstown. Our team will play a fast, skilled, in-your-face style that will be fun to watch. Our players will be aggressive, assertive, and unafraid to make plays. They will be hard to play against and will represent the City of Youngstown well.”

The Phantoms are also proud to announce that the contracts of Associate Head Coach Andy Contois and Assistant Coach Brandon Gotkin have been extended through the 2024-2025 season.

“Extending the contracts of Andy and Brandon was a priority for us and our program,” said Keith Primeau, President of Hockey Operations for Youngstown. “They have done an excellent job in guiding and developing our players and are immense parts of the future of the Phantoms. They are well respected amongst our ownership group and management team, and we could not be happier that they will be part of the program’s direction as we ascend the ranks of junior hockey and the USHL. These signings, along with Ryan’s, provide long term stability for our program and we cannot wait to get started.”

The Youngstown Phantoms and Head Coach Brad Patterson decided to go in different directions upon the expiration of Patterson’s contract at the end of June, the league’s calendar year.

 “I want to thank Brad for all he has done for the Youngstown Phantoms organization,” said Phantoms President Andrew Goldman.  “He has been the consummate professional and has developed elite hockey players and more importantly, incredible young men.  The Phantoms are in fantastic shape heading into next year and beyond and much of that is thanks to Brad’s years of tireless commitment to the team and to its players.”  

“Brad was an integral part of the Youngstown Phantoms fabric for the past thirteen seasons,” said Phantoms Co-GM’s Ryan Kosecki and Jason Deskins.  “He was a wonderful ambassador and example of what being a Phantom means. Brad is a first-class person and his contributions to the program will not be forgotten.”

Patterson began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Phantoms in the team’s inaugural season of 2009-2010 and was promoted to head coach prior to the 2016-2017 campaign. He will leave Youngstown as the Phantoms’ all-time leader in every major coaching category (games coached, wins, losses) and had a final record of 164-136-43 in the regular season, 9-11 in the postseason. Youngstown made the playoffs in each of Patterson’s first three seasons, as well as his final one, including an appearance in the 2018 Clark Cup Final. During the whole of his tenure in Youngstown, over 40 players signed professional contracts in North America and 13 Phantoms played in at least one NHL game, including Kyle Connor, Ryan Lomberg, Brett Murray, and Nathan Walker.

The Phantoms kick off their main camp from July 11th-17th in Pittsburgh, at PrintScape Arena.