Winter is coming — Winter Wallace that is.
The Lincoln Stars selected the 6-foot-2 center out of Boulder, Colorado, on Tuesday with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the USHL Phase II draft.
Wallace registered 50 points in 44 games with the Shattuck St. Mary's Sabres Prep in the USHS-Prep League in 2019-20 and looks to be a key component in replacing one of the league's most dominant lines last season.
“His size, his skating ability, and he has good skills to make plays off the rush,” Stars head coach and general manager Chris Michael said. “He has a big body to go through people, and knowing he is going to play inside the dot at the Ice Box helped make us choose him first.”
Wallace was not the only center Lincoln took out of Shattuck St. Mary's. The Stars drafted Will Traeger in the fourth round.
Michael told the Journal Star on Monday he planned on building the 2020-21 draft class from the net out, and did just that by selecting three goaltenders.
Guy Blessing, a second-round pick, brings a slim 6-foot-3 build out of Chandler, Arizona, while fifth-rounder William Rousseau offers a similar stature from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec City. Carson Cherepak of Winnipeg, Manitoba, became Lincoln's third netminder taken in the draft, coming in the 12th round.
The 6-foot Cherepak combined for a 47-6 record and 10 shutouts over his last two seasons in net with a 1.50 goals against average.
"They are competitors and guys that have won at other levels,” Michael said. “We want them to come in to camp and compete for the No. 1 job, and all three of those guys are more than capable.”
With the possibility of returning a solid foundation of defenseman, Michael and the Stars selected eight forwards in their first 11 picks. Jake Beaune, picked in the third round, was the only defenseman selected by Lincoln in the first nine rounds. Joaquim Lemay was the next defenseman for the Stars in round 11.
“When we look at our depth chart on what we lost and what we are returning, you look at your depth chart and realize you lost your top nine (forwards),” Michael said. “You are trying to replace the Sarlos, the Grolls, the Barbolinis, the Lopinas and the Bremers. We are trying to fill those shoes.”
The Stars were the first team in the draft to pass up a selection, coming in the 14th round, and took 11 forwards, three goaltenders and two defenseman.