Michigan State Hockey: Four Spartans Selected in NHL Draft!

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Four incoming Michigan State players were drafted on the second day of the National Hockey League Entry Draft on Saturday, June 23, 2012. The four selections in this year’s draft were the most selections for the Spartans in a season since 2006.

“We are very pleased for the guys who were drafted today,” said Tom Anastos, who himself was drafted in the sixth round by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1981 draft.  “All four of them have excellent futures ahead of them and we are excited about them beginning the next phase of their development at Michigan State.”

The future Spartan players started to hear their names early in the third round. Birmingham-Brother Rice graduate Mackenzie Maceachern (Troy, Mich.) and defenseman John Draeger (Edina, Minn) went in back-to-back picks, Maceachern at No. 67 overall to the St. Louis Blues. Draeger heard his name called by his home-state Minnesota Wild at No. 68. Maceachern is the ninth-ever MSU draft pick by the Blues, and the first since Trevor Nill in 2006. Draeger is just the second-ever Minnesota Wild draft pick for the Spartans, and both were defensemen (AJ Thelen was a first-round pick of the Wild in 2004).

Canadian Rhett Holland (Calgary, Alberta) went to Phoenix with their fourth-round selection. Four former Spartan players were drafted by the old Winnipeg Jets prior to the team relocating to Phoenix in 1996. MSU’s fourth selection of the day was Matt DeBlouw (Chesterfield, Mich.) was Calgary’s seventh-round pick at No. 186 overall; he is the fifth Spartan selected and first since 1991 when Kelly Harper was picked by Calgary in the seventh round as well.

MSU had four players selected in the NHL draft for the first time since 2006, when Mike Ratchuk (Philadelphia Flyers), Jeff Petry (Edmonton), Ryan Turek (St. Louis Blues) and Nick Sucharski (Columbus Blue Jackets) heard their names called on draft day.

Michigan State had 15 former players appear in at least one NHL game during the 2011-12 season.
Draeger, Holland, and DeBlouw are set to join the Spartans for the 2012-13 season, while Maceachern will play this coming season in the USHL for the Chicago Steel, which selected him fourth overall in the USHL draft earlier this spring. Maceachern was Michigan’s Mr. Hockey after leading Brother Rice to a state title; Draeger helped lead Shattuck St. Mary’s to back-to-back National Tier I championships in 2011 and 2012.