JOHNSTOWN — An exciting offseason continued Tuesday with the 2017 NAHL Draft.
With 12 picks, the Tomahawks had a chance to mold the 2017-18 squad early in the offseason and the team and its coaching staff wasted little time rebuilding parts of their core, especially the defense.
Johnstown chose with its first selection (20th overall) defenseman Hunter Carrick from the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies. Hunter is the brother of current Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman, Connor Carrick.
“Hunter is a great young, defenseman and really wants to play in Johnstown,” head coach Mike Letizia said. “He was one of the best defenseman we saw last year and to get him in the first round is excellent for us.”
The Tomahawks followed that pick by selected Canadian defenseman Joey Berkopec in the second round, 43rd overall.
Letizia believes that Berkopec could log a ton of minutes in a Tomahawks uniform next season.
“He’s an outstanding defenseman who is also on NHL Central Scouting watch lists,” Letizia said. “We were lucky to get him in the second round.”
The run on defensemen continued with the selections of blue liner Nick Azarovitz from the Detroit Compuware program (fourth round, 76th overall) and defender Chase Davidson (fourth round, 90th overall) who suited up for the Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede U18.
Johnstown discovered offensive talent in the fifth round by picking Raymond Chase Danol, a Bowling Green-commit from Michigan. Danol tallied 20 goals and 33 assists in 48 games played for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies.
Mark Cheremeta round out the fifth round for the Tomahawks, a forward from the Islanders Hockey Club in Massachusetts.
In the sixth round, Johnstown selected forwards Michael McCosh (Arizona Jr. Coyotes) and James Furey (Cedarburg, Wisc. High School).
Round seven witnessed the Tomahawks choosing high-scoring forward Cole Kodsi, who is committed to Michigan State University. Kodsi tallied 59 points (32 goals, 27 assists) in 55 games for the North Jersey Avalanche.
“He is an electric play who put up a ton of points for the North Jersey,” Letizia said. “Nick (Shackford) saw a lot of him this past season.”
Former Aston Rebels defenseman Carter Dwyer represented the team’s eighth round pick while Dartmouth-commit Erik Urbank (Buffalo Jr. Sabres) and Brendan White (Springfield Rifles) round out the Draft in rounds nine and 10 respectively.
“We are pleased with how the draft turned out,” Shackford said. “We have a talented forward core that we drafted as well as on defense. It’s a young group but this year’s talent group is phenomenal.”
Season ticket packages are now available for the 2017-18 season starting at less than $99! To order yours, stop by the Tomahawks front office or fill out an online application at JohnstownTomahawks.com.