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
Selected second round, 45th overall to the Boston Bruins
Selected sixth round, 153rd overall to the Tampa Bay Lightning
Selected fourth round, 120th overall to the Los Angeles Kings
Selected fifth round, 134th overall to the Washington Capitals
Selected fifth round, 145th overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins
Selected sixth round, 153rd overall to the Edmonton Oilers
Selected sixth round, 177th overall to the Montreal Canadiens
Selected fifth round, 127th overall to the Winnipeg Jets
Selected fifth round, 127th overall to the Columbus Blue Jackets
Selected first round, 18th overall to the Montreal Canadiens
Ralston, NE - Lancers goaltender, Zach Driscoll was named USA Goalie of the Year on Tuesday Afternoon. After the regular season, Driscoll was ranked third among all goalies in the USHL.
“I am humbled by USA Hockey’s decision to give me this Award,” said Zach Driscoll. “Receiving this honor would not have been possible without the opportunity the Omaha Lancers organization, and especially Coach Wilkie gave me this season. Coach and I had a great talk at the beginning of the season, and he knew I wanted the opportunity to prove myself on and off the ice. He gave me that chance and I was fortunate enough to have a good year.”
Driscoll finished the regular season playing 38 games with a record of 23-9-1-1. The Apple Valley, MN native led the USHL in shutouts this season with eight, ranked second in save percentage with a .934 and third in goals-against average at 1.90. Driscoll finished his Lancer career being third all-time in recorded shutouts behind Dan Ellis (11), and Marty Magers (10).
Driscoll was the backbone of the Lancers success throughout the season earning back-to-back shutouts in April on the road against the Tri-City Storm and the Des Moines Buccaneers. In the season finale and with a first-round playoff bye on the line, Driscoll pushed the Lancers past Sioux City to secure the bye to play in the second round of the 2018 Clark Cup Playoffs. In addition, Driscoll was also named the USHL Goaltender of the Week honor four times during the season (Nov. 13, Jan. 8, Jan 29, April 9).
Driscoll was an enormous piece to the historic 2017-18 season under first-year Head Coach, David Wilkie, as the Lancers made it to the postseason for the first time in three years. The Minnesotan was named to the USHL Second All-Star Team.
“This is a tremendous honor for a tremendous athlete and person. Zach did an unbelievable job this past season for our hockey team on and off the ice,” Head Coach David Wilkie said. “Our entire organization is extremely proud of Zach for receiving this great recognition of his hard work and performance.”
Driscoll is the fourth Lancer to receive the award following Drew Palmisano (07-08), Jeff Lerg (04-05), and Dominic Vicari (02-03).
“When you look back at some of the goalies who received the Dave Peterson Award in the past, you can’t help but be grateful to even be mentioned in that group of goalies. It’s crazy,” Driscoll said. “These are all guys I watched and tried to learn from when I was a younger, and still do today. It is a special feeling to be recognized as being worthy of being in that group. It makes me want to work that much harder to earn the recognition USA Hockey has given me.”
Other recipients of the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Award include NHL Players Jimmy Howard (2001-02), Cory Schneider (2003-04) and John Gibson (2010-11).
Driscoll will return to the ice next season at Bemidji State University (WCHA).
“During this season, I worked hard and focused on the parts of my game that weren’t where they needed to be to compete at the next level,” Driscoll said. “I feel better prepared for the next level now, and am fortunate and very excited to get that chance with Coach Serratore and Bemidji State this fall.”
The recipient of the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Award is chosen from the pool of goaltenders who play at the junior level each year. The award, presented by Bauer Hockey, is named in honor of the late Dave Peterson, a passionate leader in goaltender development who twice coached the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team.
The Omaha Lancers invite the public to watch the 2018 Lancers Main Camp. Camp starts on Tuesday, June 5th. A full itinerary will become available as soon as times are set.
Stay up to date with the Lancers by following the team on Twitter @OmahaLancers, “Liking” the Official Omaha Lancers Facebook page, and following the team on Instagram
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ralston, NE -- The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Tuesday its list of the 2017-18 End of Year Awards. Four Lancers received the End of the Year Honors from the League; Filip Suchy, Zach Driscoll, Nick Perbix and Jack Randl. Winners for the All-USHL teams and USHL All-Rookie teams are determined by a vote of League general managers.
Suchy (forward) and Driscoll (goaltender) were named to the All-USHL Second Team, Perbix (defense) was named to the All-USHL Third Team, and Randl (forward) named to USHL All-Academic Team.
“Anytime one of our players receives league recognition it is a big deal,” Head Coach David Wilkie said. “The performances that Filip, Zach, Nick and Jack put forth this year speak volumes about their on-ice talent but I was also extremely happy with their leadership, work ethic and the strength of character that they brought to our hockey team every day this past season. They are all terrific players with bright futures who no doubt leave the organization in a better place. We owe them a debt of gratitude for embodying what it means to be a Lancer as they move on to the next step in their careers.”
Suchy, 20, led the Lancers in scoring in the regular season in both goals (31) and assists (38). The Horni Lukavice, Czech Republic native, finished the regular season as the second top scorer in the USHL with 69 points in 54 games played.
Driscoll, 21, finished his Junior playing career with his second season with the Lancers and a record of 23-9-1-1. Driscoll ended the regular season ranked as the third best goaltender in the USHL with a 1.90 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Driscoll also had 8 shutouts this season, which would make the 3rd highest total in history and 1st among goaltenders this season. The Apple Valley, MN native will be returning to the ice this fall as a Bemidji State Beaver (WCHA).
Perbix, 19, finished his first year of junior hockey with the Omaha Lancers. Perbix lead all Lancers defenseman in points with 29 and +/- rating of 19. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect also notched two points in the postseason. The Elk River, MN native is expected to begin his NCAA career this fall at St. Cloud State University (NCHC).
Randl, 17, was a huge piece of the Lancers foundation this season. An Alternate Captain for Omaha, Randl finished his second regular season with 20 goals and 12 assists (32 points). Randl played was named to the U.S. Junior Select Team for World Junior A Challenge and named to the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this season. The Carpentersville, IL native, is ranked 154th among North American skates on the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings (4/16/18). Jack will be graduating from Gross Catholic High School this May where he has been a top performing student with a 4.0 GPA. Jack has received high honor roll the past two years, was inducted into National Honor Society (NHS) this year, and awarded the Ortman Scholarship. Randl is expected to start his NCAA journey this fall with the University of Michigan.
The Omaha Lancers will set their focus on the USHL Draft, which takes place Monday, May 7 (Phase I) and Tuesday, May 8 (Phase II). The Lancers will be hosting Prospect Camps around the Country and in Omaha, those dates and where to register can be found at www.lancers.com.
To see the entire list of USHL End of Year Honors click here.