NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Lone Star Brahmas drafted ten players and traded for one more to wrap up its protected list heading into the 2017-18 season.
Defenseman Drew Lennon was the first Brahma drafted on Tuesday afternoon. The Bloomington, Illinois native played last season for the Prince George Spruce Kings in the BCHL. Lennon scored four goals and added 15 more assists during his time in Canada, making him a big addition to the Brahmas blueline.
Lennon was recruited by midwest-located NAHL teams, but ultimately wound up in Texas and is excited to finish his final two years of junior hockey eligibility in Texas.
“For the most part there were USHL teams and a few NAHL teams that I talked to. It wasn’t really on my radar until the other morning so it was definitely a different process than most other years,” Lennon said.
Everyone on the Brahmas’ top two scoring lines from last season moved on, so the Brahmas needed to replace those offensive pieces. Insert Will Stromp. The Dallas Stars U18 Elite product scored 13 goals and 14 assists in 35 games last season. He comes from the same program that produced Troy York, Carson Kelley, Cody Wickline, Brandon Estes, Johan Steen, Kimball Johnson and Joseph Berg, among others.
Stromp resides in Plano, Texas and will have three years of junior hockey eligibility.
With both goaltenders from the Robertson Cup Championship team moving to the NCAA Division I ranks, the Brahmas wasted no time filling that void with a pair of tendies.
Harvard commit Mitchell Gibson found his name off the board when the Brahmas selected him with their second round pick. Gibby put up tremendous numbers for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers organization the past two seasons and the 6-foot-1 goaltender will be attending the Sioux Falls Stampede USHL camp this weekend.
A few rounds later, the Brahmas locked up the most talked about goalie in the draft: Benjamin Beck. The German goalie stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs 215 pounds. He played for his country at the World Junior U18 Division I Group A Championships and will play for the University of Maine after his junior hockey career.
The second defenseman drafted by Lone Star was Detroit Catholic Central product Austin Roell. The 6-foot-1 skater played with Alec Calvaruso two years ago and served as captain during the 2016-17 season. He adds size and speed to the Brahmas backend.
The Brahmas first pick in the fourth round, forward Michael Montambault, will come to Texas with two full seasons of junior hockey experience with the USHL and BCHL. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound skater from Michigan registered nine goals and 23 assists for the Cowichan Valley Capitals last year.
What makes the Montambault selection more intriguing is that he will join Brahmas tender Jared Domin next season. The two played on the same line in Cowichan.
Moments after the Montambault pick, the Brahmas made a big trade with Fairbanks to bolster the defense with NAHL veteran Marc Sullivan. The last time the Brahmas dealt with the IceDogs for a defenseman, he turned into our captain, one of our top pairing blueliners and NCAA Division I skater.
Sullivan immediately boosts the defense and can run the power play. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native has 9 goals and 29 assists through two NAHL seasons. He played for the prestigious Eden Prairie High School and led all defenseman in scoring.
The Brahmas drafted a familiar face with its next pick, going with forward Will Baginski of the St. Louis Selects U18 T1EHL team. Baginski actually skated a week in Texas this past season and fit in great when the Brahmas called him up for a game. He wore No.92 during the Military Appreciation Night game and still has two years of junior hockey eligibility.
The youngest forward the Brahmas drafted came in the next round. Dallas Stars Elite product Owen Farris has a ton of size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) to accompany his scoring touch (8 goals and 11 assists through 36 games).
The Vancouver native is also protected by the John LaFontaine coached Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL. Today is Farris’ 17th birthday and his junior career is set to take flight.
Coach Wildfong had a lot of positive things to say about his next pick, defenseman Joel Heminger. He may not be the flashiest defenseman, but he has all the intangibles and is very strong in the defensive zone. After four seasons with the Ohio Blue Jackets organization, the Ohio native will look to make an impact at the next level.
Finally, the Brahmas used its final pick on a high-end forward, Kevin Lombardi. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound skater from Pennsylvania has played high school hockey for the past three seasons in the northeast and put up numbers. Averaging over a point-per-game in his last five seasons, the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the USHL took interest in Lombardi and used a sixth round draft pick on him this summer.
Lombardi will look to make the Roughriders camp, like many other of his fellow Brahma draft picks.
The Lone Star Brahmas are thrilled to see where the team is at heading into the summer, and the draft had a big part in making that true.