June 26, 2010
Three more players with ties to the Notre Dame hockey program were selected during the second day of the National Hockey League Entry Draft at Staples Center.
Freshman defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) was selected in the second round, 60th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks. He was joined by freshman right wing Bryan Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) who was chosen in the third round, 80th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rounding out the group was defenseman Kevin Lind (Homer Glen, Ill.) who was picked by the Anaheim Ducks in the sixth round, 177th overall. Lind signed a national letter-of-intent in November of 2009 and will join the Irish for the 2011-12 season.
Those three join Riley Sheahan (So., St. Catharine's, Ont.) and defenseman Jarred Tinordi (Fr., Millersville, Md.) who were selected on Friday night in the first round - Sheahan, 21st by the Detroit Red Wings and Tinordi, 22nd by the Montreal Canadiens.
That gives the Irish five players to be selected by NHL teams in this year's draft, tying the mark set by the 2007 class that also had five players selected - Ian Cole (first round, St. Louis), Teddy Ruth (2nd round, Washington), Ryan Thang (3rd round, Nashville), Ben Ryan (4th round, Nashville) and Brad Phillips (7th round, Philadelphia). The most players the Irish have ever had selected in one draft was 1975 when seven players were chosen in a draft that had 16 rounds.
The first Notre Dame player to go on Saturday was Johns, as he was selected by the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. A 6-3, 215-pound right-shot defenseman who was a teammate of Tinordi and Rust with the USA National Team Developmental Program, Johns is a big, rugged defensemen who brings a physical element to the game. He played in 62 games for the Under-18 team in 2009-10, picking up three goals with 16 assists for 19 points and 67 penalty minutes. He also was a member of the gold-medal winning Under-18 team that won the World Under-18 championship last April in Belarus. In seven games, he recorded two assists with 10 penalty minutes and was +2 for the tournament. He came into the draft ranked 35th among North American skaters in Central Scouting's Final Draft Rankings.
What They Are Saying About Stephen Johns: Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire on Johns: "Stephen Johns played on a real strong defensive team. Big, strong, NHL sized defenseman, shoots right who can handle the puck and play the physical game."
U.S. Under-18 head coach Kurt Kleinendorst on Johns: "Stephen is probably the best athlete in the group. He has size, good skills and is making better decisions on the ice."
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson on Johns: "Stephen is a big, rugged defenseman with excellent size and reach. From a defensive perspective he's extremely aggressive and will add a physical presence to our defense. He has the ability to jump into the play and be effective offensively. He's got unlimited potential as far as what he can bring to the table for us as he progresses in his career. He's got a good shot with good hands. His grit and physical style of play will be a big factor for us."
What They Are Saying About Bryan Rust:
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson: "Bryan has developed into a strong offensive player over the past year. He's really taken a big step with the National team offensively. We always knew he had great hands and was extremely good down low in the offensive zone. His physical development has helped his game and has helped his skating to the point where he is now a solid two-way contributor."
What They Are Saying About Kevin Lind:
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson: "Kevin has really come into his own over the last year. He really gained a great deal of confidence in his game during his first year of junior hockey in Chicago. He's got great potential for a big guy with his size and skating ability. He's shown that he can do things with the puck. His development has improved his ability to see the ice and make plays. We expect him to be able to contribute at both ends of the ice and down the road he'll develop into a fine college defenseman."