NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The Lone Star Brahmas are pleased to announce that they have added 11 players through the NAHL Draft. With a significant amount of roster turnover after another successful season, the Brahmas are looking forward to seeing what some new faces have to offer.
With the addition of these 11 players to a strong group of veterans and tender signings, the Brahmas have filled their initial 30-man protected roster. The next order of business will be Main Camp in Detroit on June 15-17. If you are interested in receiving an invite to Main Camp, please fill out this form.
With only one veteran forward projected to return, the Brahmas focused their draft efforts on the front end, using eight of their eleven picks on forwards.
Round One, Pick 8 // Michal Stinil: With their first and the eighth overall pick of the 2018 Draft, the Brahmas selected Czech forward Michal Stinil. This pick originally belonged to the Kenai River Brown Bears, but the Brahmas coaching staff were able to acquire the eighth pick in a trade. The 19 year-old spent last season with the NCDC’s South Shore Kings, where he displayed his dynamic offensive abilities and racked up 25 goals and 25 assists in 46 games. Stinil is committed to American International College for 2019-20.
Round One, Pick 21 // Hayden Taylor: A big power forward from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Taylor played his 2017-18 seasonwith the NCDC’s Islanders Hockey Club. He posted 20 goals and 23 assists in a strong campaign, helping lead the Islanders to the NCDC title. Prior to last season, Taylor was also a key part of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers’ EHL title run. With two years of junior experience under his belt already, the veteran forward will be heavily leaned on as the Brahmas look to return to the Robertson Cup Final.
Round Two, Pick 93 // Vilho Saariluoma: Finnish forward Vilho Saariluoma won’t be an import player, as he’s been in the United States the past three seasons. The 6-foot-3 18 year-old just wrapped up an impressive season at Cushing Academy, where he scored 26 goals and added 27 assists in just 32 games. Saariluoma is committed to Bentley University.
Round Seven, Pick 165 // Zach Schrock: Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, Schrock has spent his last two seasons with the prestigious Selects Hockey Academy organization and has been a part of back-to-back USPHL championships. A smart, tenacious player, Schrock put up 13 goals and 17 assists last year and will be looking to translate that success in his first junior season.
Round Eight, Pick 189 // Anthony Bilka: Bilka’s name may seem familiar to hockey enthusiasts in the DFW area — he’s a product of the Dallas Stars Elite program just up the road. A true local from Coppell, the 19 year-old forward was also selected by the Texas Brahmas in the NA3HL draft earlier this year. Last season, Bilka tallied 8 goals and 11 assists for the Stars and will be looking to build on that in his first year of juniors.
Round Nine, Pick 213 // Jack Sampson: A big forward out of the NOJHL, Sampson figures to bring even more size and offense to the Brahmas lineup in 2018-19. A Michigan native, Sampson hails from the Fox Motors organization and had a brief stint in the NAHL with the New Jersey Titans, where he picked up two assists in three games. A playmaker with good vision and a scoring touch, Sampson scored 18 goals and picked up 29 assists in 42 games with the Blind River Beavers last year.
Round Ten, Pick 237 // Ray Christy: A high school standout hailing from Minnesota, Christy is an offensively-gifted and highly dynamic forward who should be exciting to watch. This season, he helped lead his high school to the Minnesota State Tournament. After a stellar regular season in which he put up 52 points in 25 games, Christy added another three goals and two assists in the State Tournament. Christy is committed to Colorado College for the 2019-20 season.
Round Eleven, Pick 261 // Gabe Potyk: Another high school standout, Potyk is a smart young forward with a very good shot, putting up 30 goals in just 25 games this season. He added 16 assists to bring his point total to 46. This will be Potyk’s first season of junior hockey, and with a slight adjustment curve, he should be able to bring his knack for scoring with him to the Brahmas.
Unlike the forward situation, the Brahmas blue line is a bit more stable and has several veterans projected to return, including Jakub Sirota, Kimball Johnson, and Josh Martin. The Brahmas selected just three defensemen during the draft to shore up the back end.
Round Three, Pick 66 // Tim Henriksson: The Brahmas continue their tradition of bringing Swedish defenseman over to America with Henriksson. After a breakout season with Brynäs IF in which he picked up 9 goals and 16 assists, Henriksson will make the move across the ocean to join the Brahmas. At 6-foot-4 and nearly 200 pounds, Henriksson will be an imposing figure with a booming shot on the Lone Star back end.
Round Five, Pick 117 // Ben Pirko: A Virginia native, Pirko spent this past season with the New Jersey Hitmen of the NCDC. He put up five goals and 16 assists in 47 games and was a key cog in the Hitmen’s deep playoff run this season. Pirko is a strong skater with good hockey sense and should be a good candidate to really solidify the Brahmas’ blue line. Pirko is committed to Union College.
Round Six, Pick 130 // Patrick Dawson: Dawson played high-level hockey for two different teams this year, serving as captain for his high school team at Westminster Prep and also skating with the Neponset Valley River Rats. Between the two teams, Dawson played 55 games and tallied 8 goals and 25 assists. He is committed to Sacred Heart University.