The 2022 USHL Futures Draft will occur May 2, with the available 2006-born talent from around the world hoping to get a call from one of the league’s 15 teams in the 10-round online affair.
The USA’s only Tier 1 junior league uses the futures draft process to secure the rights of the top up-and-coming talent, even if many of the prospects chosen are a year or more away from earning a spot in the USHL. New England is expected to contribute its fair share of players in the Monday event, also called the phase I draft.
Projecting 15- and 16-year-olds is a tough challenge for the teams, and more than a year of dedicated viewings, interviews and interactions will come together to paint an early picture of what could be in about three years’ time. Unlike Canada's regional major-junior teams, ’06 prospects from all over the world are eligible to be chosen in the USHL futures lottery. The league will reconvene Tuesday for the phase 2/entry draft, where teams will select players from the 2002-05 birth years whose USHL rights are not already owned. Clubs are also allowed to choose ’06 players in the phase 2 draft, often taking late-round flyers on those not taken in phase 1.
With Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) and Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) making the U.S. National Team Development Program in March, they are no longer in play for the USHL draft, but will compete against the rest of the league's member teams for the U.S. NTDP under-17 squad.
New England Hockey Journal analyzes many of the region's '06 forwards and the names we think will take the first big step in a possible USHL future.