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Lancers Preview: 2018 NHL Draft

By Brandon Hofstra, 06/22/18, 9:45AM CDT

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Ralston, NE – The 2018 NHL Draft is set to start today, Friday, June 22 at 7 pm followed by rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 23 starting at 11 am. The Draft will take place at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas the home rink of the Dallas Stars. The Omaha Lancers have shown great success in its history in the NHL draft. Last year two Lancers were taken in the NHL Draft; Noah Cates (137th overall by Philadelphia) and Nick Perbix (169th overall by Tampa Bay).

This year, the Lancers have at least four potential draft picks which include; Defenseman, Travis Mitchell, Forwards Jack Randl and Ryan Savage, and Goaltender Vinnie Purpura

Mitchell, a Cornell University commit, was acquired by the Lancers early last season from the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The C-rated skater on the NHL Central Scouting Preliminary List played 53 regular season games with the Orange and Black. Mitchell was named to the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects game and was credited with 1 assist in the all-star matchup. He was also named Defenseman of the Week by the USHL. Mitchell finished the regular season with 14 points and a +14 rating. 

Randl, a University of Michigan commit played two seasons with the Lancers, a total of 108 regular season games. In those games, Randl gathered an impressive 51 points. The C-rated skater was named to USA Hockey Five Nations Team, USA Hockey Ivan Hlinka Team, 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game, U.S. Junior Select Team for World Junior A Challenge and played in the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects game. Randl is ranked 152nd among North American skates on the NHL Central Scouting Ranking and received the All-Academic Team honor from the USHL. 

Savage, a Miami (of Ohio) University commit, was a trade deadline pickup for the Lancers this past season. Savage played in 13 regular season games for Omaha and totaled 3 points. The C-rated skater was named to the USA Hockey Ivan Hlinka Team (2017) and 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. Savage showcased his skills in the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game where he notched with 1 goal and was named Team West MVP. Savage is ranked 145th among North American Skates.  

Purpura, a Boston University commit, was acquired early last season from the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). He played in 23 games and gathered a record of 23-13-4-1 with a 2.40 goal against average and a .916 save percentage. Purpura is ranked 23rd among North American goaltenders on the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings.  

Players that were born between January 1, 1998, and September 15, 2000, are eligible for selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Additionally, undrafted, non-North American players born in 1997 are eligible for the draft; and those players who were drafted in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, but not signed by an NHL team and who were born after June 30, 1998, are also eligible to re-enter the draft.


Omaha Lancers NHL Entry Draft Recent History

2015
Jakob Forbacka-Karlsson 
Selected second round, 45th overall to the Boston Bruins

Kris Oldham
Selected sixth round, 153rd overall to the Tampa Bay Lightning

2014
Steven Johnson
Selected fourth round, 120th overall to the Los Angeles Kings

Shane Gersich
Selected fifth round, 134th overall to the Washington Capitals 

Anthony Angello
Selected fifth round, 145th overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins

Tyler Vesel
Selected sixth round, 153rd overall to the Edmonton Oilers

Hayden Hawkey
Selected sixth round, 177th overall to the Montreal Canadiens 

2013
Tucker Poolman
Selected fifth round, 127th overall to the Winnipeg Jets

2011
Seth Ambroz
Selected fifth round, 127th overall to the Columbus Blue Jackets

2009
Louis Leblanc
Selected first round, 18th overall to the Montreal Canadiens