Two local players were drafted in the first phase of the United States Hockey League Draft on Monday.
Wexford’s Matthew DiMarsico and Pittsburgh native Braedon Ford were both selected in the 2020 USHL Draft.
DiMarsico was selected with the 39th overall pick in the third round by the Green Bay Gamblers. Ford was chosen with the 61st overall selection in the fifth round by the Des Moines Buccaneers.
DiMarsico, a 5-foot-10, 161-pound left-winger, played 51 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite under-15 squad in 2019-20, recording 37 goals, 40 assists and 77 points to lead the team in all three categories.
Ford, a 5-foot-7, 146-pound center, played his third season at the prestigious Minnesota hockey academy Shattuck St. Mary’s. With the SSM u-15 team, Ford played 46 games and scored 18 goals and recorded 27 assists for 45 points, finishing tied for third in goals, fourth in assists and fourth in the points on his team.
The USHL is the top level of junior hockey in the United States and is the primary feeder system for college hockey teams. It features players from 16 to 21 years old, with 16 teams spread across the midwest.
The first phase of the draft is for players under the age of 17. The second phase, which will be held on Tuesday, is for players over the age of 17.
The closest USHL team to Pittsburgh is the Youngstown Phantoms, though the league has held its Fall Classic scouting tournament in Pittsburgh for four straight years. The event is scheduled to return to UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex on Sept. 24-28, 2020.