Monday morning marked the 2020 North American Hockey League Entry Draft. Held annually as a way for the 27 NAHL clubs to take turns hand-selecting future organizational stars through heavy scouting and research-based statistical analysis in the form of 17 rounds.
This year’s spectacle saw a total of six players from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League selected, while one of those players actually hails from within the province.
Luke Beerman of the Swan Valley Stampeders went 35th overall to Lone Star in the second round. Joey Dosan of the Steinbach Pistons was taken 44th overall by Minot, also in the second round. Tanner Prochipinski of the Selkirk Steelers went 104th overall to St. Cloud. The Swan Valley Stampeders’ Daunte Fortner was selected 135th overall in the fifth round by Lone Star. Parker Rey, also of the Stampeders, went 177th overall in the seventh round Kenai River.
But most importantly, Manitoba’s own Jayden McCarthy of Morris was chosen 50th overall, late in the second round by the Aberdeen Wings. The six-foot, 190-pound forward spent the past two seasons with the Winkler Flyers, where he amassed 40 goals, 87 points and 131 penalty minutes in 109 regular season games. His 15 power play goals and four shorthanded tallies proved his ability to strike on special teams.
Of the 249 total players selected (161 forwards, 73 defencemen, 15 goaltenders), the six from the MJHL will have the opportunity to crack the rosters of their new NAHL teams for the coming 2020-21 season and beyond. Players under the age of 21 by December 31, 2020 were eligible to be drafted at the event. The USA’s Tier II junior hockey league typically boasts roughly 350 NCAA commitments each season, with 1,500 active alumni playing within the NCAA.
“What a great day for the NAHL,” said league commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Congrats to the players selected in today’s 2020 NAHL Draft. Today could be the start of an incredible journey to play NCAA hockey. Best of luck to all the players, veterans, tendered, drafted or not, in your quest to play USA hockey in the NAHL.”