The Chicago Steel picked a total of 31 players in the recently completed United States Hockey League (USHL) drat. The draft was held over two days with the Steel picking 19 players in the first round and another 12 players in the second round.
Not knowing if all 31 players will make the team, there will be players to watch at the team’s draft camp June 8 through 11.
“We expect we will be able to name our top 30 players who will make the team,” Steel coach Ryan Crothers said. “Those 30 players will go onto a preseason tournament in Pittsburgh. After that tournament, we will get down to our final 23 who will be rostered for the new season.”
Among the players to watch at the Steel camp this year will be the likes of sixth-round pick Josh Doan (Scottsdale, AZ), the son of former NHL standout Shane Doan, J.D. Greenway, younger brother of current Minnesota Wild player Jordan Greenway, Jake Schmaltz, cousin of current Chicago Blackhawks player Nick Schmaltz.
The Steel in round four selected Mackie Samoskevich with the 63rd overall pick. A Shattuck-St. Mary’s (MN) product, Samoskevich recorded 48 points (22-26–48) in the 2017-2018 U16 season. Samoskevich’s older sister, Melissa, represented Team USA at the 2014 and 2015 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships. Samoskevich may not stick out in the minds of the many hockey expects. But it is his hometown of Sandy Hook, Conn. that might mean something to many.
“I am used to living away from home as it relates to hockey,” Samoskevich said. “My sister player hockey at Shattuck St. Mary’s and that’s what drew me here,”
Samoskevich, who scored 25 goals in 60 games for Shattuck St. Mary’s U16 Team was out playing a round of golf with some friends prior to the draft and no idea what was would happen prior to the draft.
“I knew of the USHL and the kind of league they are,” he said. “I found out I got drafted by watching it online. It is a real honor to be drafted by the Steel.”
As to the events of Dec. 14, 2012 in Sandy Hook, Conn. Samoskevich would not talk much about that day.
“I had a couple of friends of mine who were in school that day,” he said. “One of them I speak to on occasion. The other person I knew is no longer around. What happened there that day motivates me to this day to be the best player I can be.”
Samoskevich is hoping to make the Steel this season but is leaving his options open if it does not happen.
“I still have two years of eligibility left up here at St. Mary’s,” he said. “If I do not make the Steel I will be back here in the fall. But I am anxious to show coach Crothers what I can do on the ice to be able to help the Steel win a championship.”