By ABC/FOX Montana Sports Staff
June 15, 2016
The Great Falls Americans Junior A Hockey team have drafted seven players during the 2016 NA3HL Entry Draft held on Tuesday, June 14th.
The eight-round draft was for players younger than 21 years of age on December 31, 2016 who are currently not on an NA3HL roster but played fewer than ten games in the NA3HL regular season and/or playoffs during the 205-16 season. Players eligible to be selected could not have accepted a tender from any of the NA3HL teams prior to the draft.
All 48 teams participated in the draft that began at 4:00PM (MST) with the draft taken place live online at (www.na3hldraft.com), through the NA3HL Twitter feed (@NA3HL) and for the first time in draft history fans listened for free through FastHockey, the official broadcast partner of the league. Each team selected one pick during each round unless the team acquired or lost selections due to approved trades with other NA3HL clubs.
The NA3HL, entering their seventh season in 2016-17, is one of USA Hockey’s top sanctioned Tier III Junior hockey leagues and helps train young athletes by having the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available in the country. During this past season, there were over 100 players in the NA3HL who made commitments in college or at the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
In addition to the 34 teams that were members of the NA3HL last season, the league added 14 more tams for the upcoming 2016-17 season with 13 teams coming over from the NA3EHL (North American 3 Eastern Hockey League), who merged with the NA3HL this season. The Missoula Junior Bruins were also added this season and will begin play in the Frontier Division this season.
The league now has teams in 22 states and will be divided into eight divisions (Central, Coastal, East, Frontier, Midwest, Northeast, South, and West).
The eligible teams made selections in reverse order from their 2015-16 regular season finish based on their winning percentage with the NA3EHL teams lumped in with those in the NA3HL to determine an order. The 14 new clubs this season had their order of selection determined by a lottery.
Undrafted players are still able to participate and are encouraged to come to open tryout camps. There were a total of 384 players that were selected during the draft this year.
The Americans selected five forwards, two defensemen, and one goaltender. Forward Colin Appleton was the 36th overall pick in the first round by the Americans from the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Kenai River Brown Bears.
Tom Bowe, Appleton’s teammate at Kenai River, was selected in the sixth round by Great Falls and Ryan Hartzell and Scott Bagby from the Iowa Wild 18U AAA team in the fifth and seven rounds, respectively.
Click here to view the full results of the 2016 NA3HL Entry Draft.
Americans Sports Information