ODESSA, TEXAS (June 8, 2016) – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are projected to lose at least 14 players from last year’s playoff roster. On Tuesday, Odessa continued to rebuild and reload by selecting 13 players in the 2016 NAHL Draft. With the Jacks first pick (10th overall) the club took a familiar face in d-man Christian Hausinger.
Christian Hausinger – D (1st RD, 10th overall): The puck moving offensive d-man played 59 games for the Jacks in 2014-15, collecting 31 points (7 goals, 24 assists), 16 penalty minutes (PIM) and a minus-11 rating. Hausinger (6-0, 194) played for three United States Hockey League Clubs (USHL) in 2015-16, totaling three points (0 goals, 3 assists) in 54 games with the Lincoln Stars, Muskegon Lumberjacks, and Bloomington Thunder. Hausinger, who was originally committed to Sacred Heart before decomitting with his older brother Kenny, is expected to play a huge role for the Jacks with the departure of Drew McLean (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, D3) and Danny Kiraly (University of Alaska-Fairbanks, D1). The 19-year-old (12/9/1997) Anchorage, Alaska native joined the Jacks after playing one season with the Skipjacks Hockey Club in the United States Premiere Hockey League (USPHL), scoring 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists) in 27 games.
Ludwig Stenlund – F (3rd RD, 58th overall): Some of the Jacks best players in recent memory have haled from Sweden (Hampus Sjodahl, Razmuz Waxin-Engback). Odessa is hoping Ludwig Stenlund is no different. The 19-year-old (4/16/97) left-handed forward had 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 39 games, 35 PIM, and a plus-one rating with Skellefteå AIK J20 in the SuperElit league (Sweden). Stenlund (6-3, 192) has a strong shot and a physical presence that will be needed with the departures of 6’4” Pierce Pluemer (Air Force, D1) and 6’3” Brennen Miller (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, D3).
Matt Jakubowski – F (4th RD, 80th overall): The Penn State (Big Ten, D1) commit, who was drafted in both the OHL (Guelph Storm) and USHL (Omaha Lancers) in 2014, brings a winning pedigree to Odessa having claimed a USPHL 18U championship with Selects Hockey Academy this past season. The Lancaster, NY native was the youngest player drafted by the Jacks on Tuesday (9/18/98). The 17-year-old (6-0, 179) had 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) with the Selects in 26 games.
Justin Bofshever – F (4th RD, 82nd overall): The Jacks continued its offensive overhaul with the selection of forward Justin Bofshever, Bofshever (5-11, 194) has NAHL appearance having played 36 games with the Kenai River Brown Bears last year, collecting 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) with 70 PIM and a -28 rating. Bofshever was then promoted via trade to the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) where he had two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in 10 games with 25 PIM and an even-rating. The 18-year-old (1/2/98) Coconut Creek, FL native becomes the first Jack in franchise history to hail from the Sunshine State.
Zach LaRocque – G (5th RD, 106th overall): The Arvada, CO, native is from the same hometown as former Jacks netminder Dean Shatzer (Dartmouth, D1). The 19-year-old (1/26/1997) is expected to be in the mix to make the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) where he started eight games with the Riders going 4-2-0 with a 3.00 Goal-against average and a .902 save percentage in 2015-16. LaRocque (6-2, 209) also appeared in nine games with the Rocky Mountain Roughriders U118 ECEL and NAPHL 18U clubs before going to the USHL.
August Von Ungern-Sternberg – F (5th RD, 115th overall): Ungern-Sternberg brings a proven track record to the Jacks having played in 57 games with the Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) in 2015-16, scoring 42 points (18 points, 24 assists) with 15 PIM and an even-rating. In 2014-15 the 18-year-old (7/27/97) appeared in 28 games for the Wild (NAHL) scoring 17 points (10 goals, 7 assists) with 17 PIM and a plus-four rating after playing 19 games with the Lincoln Stars (USHL) where he scored two points (0 goals, 2 assists) in 17 PIM with a minus-four rating. The Eagle, ID native will attend the Bloomington Thunder’s (USHL) camp this weekend and will likely join the Jack if he doesn’t make the Thunder.
Noah Poindexter – F (7th RD, 178th overall): Poindexter proved his worth in his short stint with the Jacks at the end of the 2015-16 season. The Grand Rapids, MI native had points in his first four games (1 goal, 3 assists) as a Jack with zero PIM and an even-rating. Before stint with the Jacks, the 19-year-old (2/18/97) appeared in 31 games with Fox Motors U18 (T1EHL) with 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) and 60 PIM. Poindexter (5-10, 170) does all the little things at a high level and will be a large part of the Jacks penalty kill in his first full season in Odessa.
Matt Forchuk – F (8th RD, 178th overall): Forchuk (5-8, 146), a former Canmore Eagle’ in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), posted impressive numbers in his second year with the Eagles. The Okotoks, AB, CAN native had 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists) in 57 games including 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in seven playoff games. The 19-year-old (12/28/96) right-handed shot was originally drafted in the 11th round (236 overall) by the Tri-City Americans in the Western Hockey League (WHL) but never appeared in a game for the Americans. Forchuk will take one of the Jacks four import slots and will hopefully turn into a player such as Grey Marr did for Odessa last year in his final season of junior hockey.
Chase Thudium – F (9th RD, 202nd overall): Thudium, like Forchuk, will take another import spot, and will play his final year of junior hockey in the NAHL after playing the last three season in both the AJHL and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). Also, like Forchuk, Thudium was selected in the 2011 WHL Draft by the Red Deer Rebels in the 8th round (175th overall). In 58 games in 2015-16 with the Nipawin Hawks (SJHL), Thudium notched 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) and 122 PIM.
Rowan Savidant – D (10th RD, 226th overall): Savidant (6-0, 190) continued the run by the Jacks on Canadian-born players, and became the 2nd and final d-man taken in the draft by Odessa. The Carleton Place, ON, CAN native appeared in a combined 59 games between the Kanata Lasers, and Nepean Raiders of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) totaling 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists). The 19-year-old (7/10/96) left-hand shot blue liner is expected to be a solid stay at home d-man in comparison to the Jacks first pick, Christian Hausinger, who tends to be more offensive.
Jonny Hogue – G (11th RD, 250th overall): Hogue (5-10, 198), who is from Lethbridge, AB, CAN the same hometown as Head Coach Greg Gatto, spent the last three seasons in the AJHL with the Drumheller Dragons. Hogue is expected to compete for the #1 job between the pipes for the jacks next season and had a record of 18-16-4 with a 3.44 goal-against average and a 903 save percentage in 2015-16 with the Dragons. The 20-year-old (4/29/96) is not eligible to play NCAA hockey because he appeared in 18 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) going 2-10 with a 5.94 goals-against average and a .855 save percentage.
Michael Faliero – F (12th RD, 274th overall): Faliero (5-11, 185) was teammates with Jacks tender Zach Herrmann on the Burlington Cougars in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and had 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) and 105 PIM. The 20-year-old West Seneca, NY native is expected to add offensive depth for the Jacks in his final year of junior hockey and first in the NAHL.
Riley Bechard – F (13th RD, 298th overall): Bechard spent his first season in the AJHL in 2015-16, scoring seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 36 games with the Notre Dame Hounds. The 18-year-old (9/11/97) Sedley, SK, CAN native will add a gritty game to the Jacks while assisting on the penalty kill, while adding offensive depth.
The Jacks will set their 2016-17 opening day roster following the conclusion of the club's main camp in Chicago from on July 28-31.
In 2016-17, the Jacks will embark on their 20th season in the Permian basin and 6th as members of the North American Hockey League. Season tickets are on sale now and begin as low as $179. For more info make sure to call 432.552.7825 or visit Jackalopes.org
Also, be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all year long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.