NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE: Jackalopes draft three players - Odessa American: Jackalopes

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NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE: Jackalopes draft three players

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Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 12:40 pm, Wed Aug 29, 2012.

The Odessa Jackalopes coaching staff and ownership went into the 2011 North American Hockey League draft not knowing what to expect as the franchise transitioned from professional to junior ranks.

Head coach Paul Gillis and assistant coach Matt Cressman headed into Thursday’s 2012 edition of the annual draft in much better shape thanks to a year in the league and the work of scout Craig Sarnier.

With just three selections in the draft after protecting 27 players — 14 returning from last year’s team and 13 having been tendered — the Jackalopes took a defenseman, forward and goaltender to reach the league’s 30-player limit.

Goaltender David Jacobson was the team’s first-round selection, having played the past three seasons for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings.

Next was defenseman Matt Staples of the Dallas Jr. Stars, and forward Bo Pieper, who played last year for the Chicago Steel of the USHL, was Odessa’s final pick.

“We had to draft a goaltender to have depth in that position,” Gillis said. “We trust Craig completely. It’s his job to go out and find these kids and he’s been working hard at it and takes pride in what he’s doing.

“I expect these players, along with the players that were tendered, to come in and push the returning players for starting spots. Every spot is open. We expect the returning players to have a good head start on last year and we expect that the players that we’ve tendered this year to really be better than some of our tendered players from last year.”

Of the 13 other players the Jackalopes offered tenders, two were Jacobson’s teammates from the Jr. Kings.

The league is expected to release the 2012-13 schedule next week, and the Jackalopes will have a mini-camp July 26-29 in Grapevine.

Follow hockey guru Lee Scheide on Twitter at @OALeeScheide

>> 2012-13 Odessa Jackalopes Camp Roster

>> 2012 DRAFT PICKS

Name  Year        Pos. 2011-12 Team

David Jacobson   1994         G              LA Jr. Kings

Matt Staples       1994         D              Dallas Jr. Stars

Bo Pieper            1994         F              Chicago Steel (USHL)

———

>> TENDERED PLAYERS

Name  Year        Pos. 2011-12 Team

Charlie Donlin     1993         D              Colorado Rampage U18

Steven Hayden   1994         F              Detroit Catholic Central

Tanner Jordan    1993         F              Mahtomedi HS

Mason Wyman     1993         F              Burnsville Varsity

Blake Wojtala      1994         G              Trenton High School

Austin Azurdia    1993         F              Dallas Ice Jets

Johan Sjoden      1994         F              San Jose Jr. Sharks 18AAA

Ryan Webber       1994         F              San Jose Jr. Sharks 18AAA

Shaunak Pal        1994         F              Chicago Young Americans U18

Corey Sikich        1993         D              Quad City Jr. Flames

Cody Slocum       1994         D              LA Jr. Kings

Austin Ho            1994         D              LA Jr. Kings

Jonathon Power  1994         D              Chicago Young Americans U18

———

>> PROTECTED PLAYERS

Name  Year        Pos. 2011-12 Team

Lawrence Cornellier            1992         F              Odessa Jackalopes

T.J. Sennott         1992         F              Odessa Jackalopes

Jared Docken      1992         D              Odessa Jackalopes

Taylor Portner     1992         F              Odessa Jackalopes

Alex Ostrowski    1992         F              Odessa Jackalopes

Tyler Cayemberg 1992         F              Odessa Jackalopes

Ryan Doucet        1992         F              Odessa Jackalopes

Jalen Krogman   1992         F              Odessa Jackalopes

Tyler Poulsen      1993                         Odessa Jackalopes

Tyler Minx           1992         D              Odessa Jackalopes

Zach Mertes        1993         D              Odessa Jackalopes

Tyller Robert       1993         D              Odessa Jackalopes

Aditya Karandikar 1993         D              Odessa Jackalopes

Justin Davis        1993         G              Odessa Jackalopes

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