JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown Tomahawks announced Tuesday the team’s 2018 NAHL Draft class.
With seven picks, the Tomahawks had the opportunity to mold their roster ahead of the 2018-19 season and add to a veteran team that is slated to return to Johnstown.
“We wanted to make sure that we targeted guys that could contribute right away,” head coach Mike Letizia said. “We wanted guys with experience and guys with success in other junior leagues.”
At fifth overall, Johnstown selected forward Cameron Hebert from the Cornwall Colts of the Central Canada Hockey League. Hebert, of St. Andrews West, Ontario, tallied 43 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 55 games played.
“He’s a strong two-way forward who is committed to Robert Morris University,” Letizia said. “He reminds us of Luke Lynch in many ways and is a great 200-foot player.”
Assistant Coach Nick Perri echoed Letizia comments on Hebert.
“Cameron is a solid player who brings offense and the total package to the table,” Perri said. “He’s also responsible in all three zones, which is something any team in our league wants to have.”
The Tomahawks used another first round pick (17th overall) to select forward Chad Merrell from the Kanata Lasers of the CCHL. He also played 17 games for the Odessa Jackalopes before moving on to Canada in the 2017-18 season.
In the second round, Johnstown selected Canadian forward Oliver Benwell from the Toronto Patriots of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Described as a playmaker by Letizia, Benwell scored 12 goals and added 66 assists in 54 games played for the Patriots.
The Tomahawks selected defenseman Alex Wilkins from the Cornwall Colts with the 53rd overall pick in the third round. Wilkins, a native of Kennett Square, Pa., also played for the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
“He’s an offensive-defenseman who can help our power play,” said Letizia. “Alex put up 30 points as a defenseman last season.”
Johnstown rounded out the third round by selecting forward Dominick Posta from the New Jersey Colonials of the AYHL U18.
“Dom was a top scorer in midget hockey last year,” Letizia said.
The draft continued as the Tomahawks selected Cam Olstad, of Grand Forks, N.D., early in the fifth round. Olstad suited up for the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), scoring 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 59 games played.
Johnstown ended their day at the draft with the selection of 6-3 defenseman Collin Caulfield, also of Grand Forks, N.D. Caulfield spent the 2017-18 season with the Winkler Flyers of the MJHL, scoring 23 points (three goals, 20 assists).
“We wanted to improve our offense and the make up of our team and it looks like we were able to do so today,” Letizia said.
2018-19 season ticket packages are now available. Plans start as low as $80. Fans interested in purchasing season ticket plans can fill out an online application at JohnstownTomahawks.com or stop by the Tomahawks office during normal business hours.