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Lumberjacks make Futures Draft selections

Lumberjacks make Futures Draft selections

The Muskegon Lumberjacks’ 2012-13 season has officially begun, as they added six talented 1996-born hockey players to their Affiliate List in the USHL Futures Draft Tuesday night.

“We love great players from great programs and that’s what we have in this draft,” said Lumberjacks Owner/GM Josh Mervis. “In addition to that excitement, we have an outstanding hockey operations staff and it’s phenomenal to see all their work pay off. These guys did a lot to get ready.”

With the 10th overall pick in the Futures Draft, the Lumberjacks selected Dylan Malmquist, a right winger from Edina (Minn.) High School. As a freshman for the Edina Hornets, the 5-foot-10 Malmquist put up 49 points (23g, 26a) in 30 games.

Lumberjacks prepare for Futures Draft

Lumberjacks prepare for Futures Draft

The Muskegon Lumberjacks will take their first tangible step toward building the 2012-13 team next week, when they will have six selections in the annual USHL Futures Draft.

Only players born in 1996 are eligible to be chosen in this year’s Futures Draft, which will take place Tuesday, May 1. Unlike the Entry Draft, which is based on reverse standings order from the just-completed season, the Futures Draft order is randomized and reverses every other round in a “snake” fashion.

If there was any benefit in finishing out of the Clark Cup Playoffs this season, it was that the Muskegon Hockey Operations staff could turn a significant part of its attention to next season before most teams could afford to do the same.

“I’ve been out scouting a lot more this year,” said Assistant Coach Dave Noel-Bernier. “We looked at the standings a couple months ago and we decided to put more of our focus on the future.”

Lumberjacks to add West Michigan native

Lumberjacks to add West Michigan native

The Muskegon Lumberjacks will acquire forward and Battle Creek native Chad McDonald from the Des Moines Buccaneers to complete a February trade.

McDonald’s addition will fulfill the “future considerations” portion of the deal that brought defenseman Michael Brodzinski to Muskegon in exchange for blueliner Nick Seeler. In accordance with USHL rules, McDonald cannot be officially added to the roster until May 22, the day of the league’s Entry Draft.

McDonald started the 2011-12 season in Kalamazoo with the Jr. K-Wings of the North American Hockey League, lighting up the Tier II circuit with 10 goals and 15 total points in 12 games. Des Moines took notice and traded for him in late October, after which McDonald skated in 46 matches, posting 18 points (12 goals) in his first USHL season.

Muskegon Wastewater Youth Turkey Hunt

Muskegon Wastewater Youth Turkey Hunt

The Muskegon River Bottom Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has teamed up with the Michigan DNR and the Muskegon County Wastewater for the 2012 Youth Turkey Hunt.

Saturday the youth turkey hunters joined NWTF members and DNR officers at the State Game Area for safety information, shotgun patterning and more.

The group of young hunters accompanied by parents and guardians, donned hearing and eye protection for patterning their shotguns, then learned how to set up their blinds,  met their volunteer guides and brushed up on the rules for the 2012 youth turkey hunt.

All of the youth were successful in the drawing for a Muskegon County hunt tag. Unit #ZF general #0132.

After the fun events at the State Game the hunters and guides headed to the Muskegon Wastewater site to scout out good hunting areas.

Heinonen scores 3 but Jacks edged 7-6 in sudden death

Heinonen scores 3 but Jacks edged 7-6 in sudden death

DUBUQUE, Iowa (April 14, 2012) – The Muskegon Lumberjacks saved the wildest game of their season for last.

Tyler Heinonen scored three goals and five other Lumberjacks had two points each, but Gerard Hanson tied the game in the final minute and Mike Matheson scored 1:21 into overtime to deliver a 7-6 sudden death win for the Dubuque Fighting Saints Saturday night at the Mystique Ice Center.

Muskegon (17-35-8, 42 points) matched a season-high in goals in its final game of the season, scoring three in the first, two in the second and one in the third. Ryan Bullock’s power play tally pushed the Jacks on top 6-5 4 ½ minutes into the third, completing a three-goal rally.

Muskegon Lumberjacks wrap up 2nd USHL season with trip to Iowa

Muskegon Lumberjacks wrap up 2nd USHL season with trip to Iowa

Although the Muskegon Lumberjacks will not qualify for the United States Hockey League’s Clark Cup Playoffs, motivation figures to be high for the team’s final two games of the season.

First of all, the Lumberjacks (17-34-7, 41 points) are determined to stop a five-game losing streak, the team’s longest in its second USHL campaign.

“We want to send a message that we are not what our record shows,” said Lumberjacks center Ryan Lomberg, who leads the team with 22 goals and 38 points. “We had a tough year in the standings but I think we’ve come a long way as a team in the second half.”

Secondly, the two teams Muskegon will face Friday and Saturday, Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, have gone undefeated in eight combined games against the Lumberjacks this season. Add that to the fact that both games will be on the road in hostile environments, and it’s likely to produce a hungry Black and Gold bunch this weekend.

DeBlouw rated highly for NHL Draft

DeBlouw rated highly for NHL Draft

 

Muskegon Lumberjacks center Matt DeBlouw is the ninth-best draft-eligible skater in the USHL, according to the final rankings released by NHL Central Scouting Monday morning.

DeBlouw, in his second year with the Lumberjacks, leads the team in assists with 22 and is second in total points (32) with two games to go in the USHL regular season. The 18-year-old from Chesterfield, Mich., is committed to play for Michigan State University in the fall.

“It’s a great feeling to be recognized with some great players,” said DeBlouw, who battled back from a ruptured spleen last year to be a durable contributor this season, missing only two games so far. “I’ve very thankful for everything the Muskegon Lumberjacks have done for me, and for the support of my friends and family.”