Tomahawks add pair of Western PA players in NAHL Draft

The Johnstown Tomahawks selected Greensburg native and right winger Dalton Hunter with the ninth overall selection in today's NAHL Draft.

At just 16 years old, Hunter (pictured) finished last season playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 18U team, where he netted eight goals in 22 games.  Hunter began the season with the Penguins Elite 16U team, where he gained 26 points in 22 games and earned a permanent promotion to the 18U team.

"When he was playing on the 16U team, he basically dominated," Tomahawks coach Mike Letizia said.  "He's another guy who has already had some D-1 interest. He practiced with us during the season, and he did really well."

At 6'2" and 195 pounds, Hunter brings an element of size and skill to the line-up, Letizia said.

"He was the guy we really wanted with this pick.  Now it will be up to him to see what role he'll have with us moving forward."

The Tomahawks added defenseman Carter Ekberg of McMurray, PA, in the third round of the draft.

"He is a very skilled, puck moving defenseman with a ton of upside and potential," Letizia said of Ekberg, who played last season with the Esmark Stars of the NAPHL. "He was one of the best defenseman in that league this past season."  Ekberg, who recently turned 17, scored 17 points (7goals,10 assists) in 20 regular season games from the back-end.

"Being able to select a quality young defenseman to add to our mix is something that was very enticing and we were happy he was still available when we were selecting the pick. I have spoken to him and he is elated that we drafted him.  He is looking forward to what the future holds here, as are we."

The draftees will join Tomahawks tendered prospects and returning players at the Tomahawk's main camp in Johnstown starting July 24.

"We know we're going to have a lot of great competition for every roster spot, so each player – even the returning guys – will need to earn his spot on the team,” Letizia said.