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Local talent selected in United States Hockey League draft

Michael Love
| Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 6:24 p.m.

The United States Hockey League, the top junior hockey league in the U.S. with 17 teams in several Midwestern states, held its two-day draft Monday and Tuesday, and several local products age 20 and younger were selected.

The draft consists of two phases. Phase I was 10 rounds for players strictly U-17 for the 2018-19 season (2002 birth year).

Phase II, with 23 rounds of selections, was open to all ages eligible to play junior hockey and not already connected to a USHL team.

Local players selected in Phase I included Cranberry Township's Aidan Campbell by the Sioux Falls Stampede with the 36th overall selection in the third round. Campbell is a goalie who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 16U this past season.

Dane Dowiak (Wexford, Pens Elite 16U) then was taken by Sioux Falls with the 61st pick in Round 4.

With the next pick, the Madison Capitals selected Dowiak and Campbell's Pens Elite teammate, Plum product Cole Oravitz.

Another Pens Elite 16U player, Gibsonia's Alex Servagno, was picked up by the Green Bay Gamblers with the 89th overall selection (Round 6).

The top local selection in Phase II came in Round 4 as Sioux Falls selected Fox Chapel's Chad Veltri with the 61st overall pick. Veltri, who turns 20 on June 3, played most recently for the Corpus Christi Ice Rays, a Tier II squad in the North American Hockey League.

Others selected in Phase II from the region were Pittsburgh's Roman Kraemer (Johnstown Tomahawks) by the Youngstown Phantoms in Round 6 with the 89th overall selection and Coraopolis' Matthew Weber (Pens Elite 18 U) by the Fargo Force in Round 10 (164th overall).

Teams finished the draft with 45 players on its roster. The number of players each team drafted depended on the number of players already on its affiliate list.

Current players on a team are protected by that team until July 10.

Training camps and tryouts will be next month and July. Each team will have up to 80 players at training camps. Undrafted players can go to any team's training camp and attempt to make that team's list.

Teams are required to pare its list down to 30 protected and 18 affiliates by July 10.

Team rosters need to be down to 23 players with an affiliate list of 18 additional players before the season begins in September.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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