Fifteen North American Hockey League players were selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, which was held June 26-27 in Montreal.
Among those chosen was Wenatchee Wild forward Nic Dowd, who was selected in the seventh round (198th overall) by the Los Angeles Kings.
Dowd, from Huntsville, Ala., scored 16 goals for 49 points in 43 regular-season games for the first-year Wild this past season.
In the playoffs, he tied for the top spot in postseason scoring with teammate Michael Voran, totaling 22 points (eight goals) in 13 games to help the Wild advance to the championship game of the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament.
“We’re very excited for Nic. His selection is well-earned,” said Wild head coach Paul Baxter. “LA’s scouts had watched him play several times and were high on his NHL potential.
“There were other NHL teams that I communicated with that also had high regard for Nic,” Baxter added. “Dean Lombardi, the GM in LA who was the GM in San Jose when I was on the coaching staff there, and his scouting staff have a tremendous record of picking quality prospects.”
Dowd, who has committed to St. Cloud State University (WCHA) for the 2010-11 season, played his youth hockey in Alabama before moving to Indiana to play in prep school at Culver Military Academy.
“We’re thrilled about Nic continuing his development with the Wild this coming season before leaving for St. Cloud,” said Baxter. “He’ll be an impact college player."
One of the NAHL’s eight finalists for the Dave Tyler Junior Hockey Player of the Year Award, Dowd was also selected to represent the West Division at January’s NAHL Top Prospect Tournament but was unable to participate due to injury.
“He has a good frame and he’ll get a lot stronger in the next couple of seasons,” said Baxter. “Nic has tremendous stick skills and vision, along with a very good skating stride that will get better as he physically matures.
“His learning curve is very steep and his competitive vigor in all situations makes him a very attractive NHL prospect. He was a positive difference-maker in crucial game situations all season and during the playoffs.”
“We’re proud of Nic,” said Bill Stewart, president of the Wild, which was named the NAHL Organization of the Year in 2008-09. “He has worked hard, is deserving of this honor, and we're excited about him being the Wenatchee Wild's first NHL draft pick. It’s another first for the Wild."
Selected in the fourth round (100th overall) by the Ottawa Senators was defenseman Chris Wideman, a former St. Louis Bandit who advanced to the Frozen Four this past season as a freshman at the University of Miami-Ohio (CCHA).
Forwards Jordan Schroeder and Kyle Palmieri, both of whom played in the NAHL as members of the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP), were selected in the first round of the draft, which was held on Friday.
Schroeder, who played for the NTDP from 2006-08, was chosen by the Vancouver Canucks with the 22nd overall selection.
From Prior Lake, Minn., Schroeder was named the WCHA Rookie of the Year and to the All-WCHA Second Team after scoring 13 goals for 35 points in 35 games as a freshman at the University of Minnesota this past season.
Palmieri, a member of the NTDP from 2007-09, was selected four picks later (26th overall) by the Anaheim Ducks.
A Montvale, N.J., native who will head to the University of Notre Dame (CCHA) this coming fall, Palmieri totaled a goal and an assist in five NAHL games in 2008-09.
Six NAHL graduates were chosen in the second round, all of whom played for the NTDP: forward Chris Brown (Phoenix Coyotes, 36th overall); defenseman William Wrenn (San Jose Sharks, 43rd); forward Drew Shore (Florida Panthers, 44th); forward Jeremy Morin (Atlanta Thrashers, 45th); forward Kenny Ryan (Toronto Maple Leafs, 50th); and forward Kevin Lynch (Columbus Blue Jackets, 56th).
In the third round, the New York Rangers selected forward Ryan Bourque (80th overall), with goaltender Brandon Maxwell (Colorado Avalanche, 154th), forward Jerry D’Amico (Toronto, 158th) and goaltender Joe Cannata (Vancouver Canucks, 173rd) going in the sixth round. All four players also skated for the NTDP.
Rounding out the NAHL selections was U.S. National Program graduate Michael Cichy, a forward who was picked in the seventh round (199th overall) by the Montreal Canadiens.