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Lynch, Linkenheld selected in USHL Phase Two Draft

Johnstown Tomahawks forwards Luke Lynch and Casey Linkenheld were both among the players selected during Phase Two of the USHL Draft on May 5.

Lynch, a Pittsburgh native, was selected by the Youngstown Phantoms in the 15th round (243rd overall) of the draft.  In his rookie season with Johnstown, Lynch scored 15 goals and 7 assists in 56 games with the Tomahawks.

Linkenheld was chosen in the 16th round (256th overall) by the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.  The native of Bartlett, Ill., was second on the team with 43 points in 50 games last season for Johnstown.  He led the Tomahawks with 23 goals.

“Both Luke and Casey are extremely deserving of being drafted into the USHL,” Tomahawks coach Mike Letizia said.  “They had very good seasons for us and contributed in several facets of the game.  I am happy for both of them on this accomplishment.”

The USHL rights to Lynch and Linkenheld now belong to Youngstown and Cedar Rapids, respectively, but the Tomahawks retain the NAHL rights for both forwards.  Either player can return to Johnstown for the 2015-16 season if he is unable to remain with his USHL club.

Tomahawks defensemen Brady Bender, Lane Valimont and Ian Spencer also have announced their plans to continuing their hockey careers next season.  Bender will join teammates Josh Bowes and Collin Montgomery at Endicott College (Beverly, Mass.), while Valimont will attend St. Norbert College (de Pere, Wisc.).  Spencer will play at Nichols College (Dudley, Mass.)