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Record-tying six players selected at NHL Draft

By Kendall Grayson, 07/28/21, 9:00AM PDT

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Six players with ties to Tri-City selected 2021 NHL Draft

Kearney, NE. – A record-tying six players with ties to the Tri-City Storm organization were selected at the 2021 NHL Draft. The 2021 NHL Draft was conducted virtually for the second straight year and featured fifty picks from the United States Hockey League (USHL). Six players with ties to the Storm organization were also selected in the 2006, 2019, and 2020 NHL Drafts. Matthew Knies was Tri-City’s highest selected player this year, going 57th overall in the 2nd Round to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Carter Mazur was selected 70th overall in the 3rd Round by the Detroit Red Wings. Guillaume Richard was drafted 101st overall in the 4th Round by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Minnesota Wild selected Nate Benoit 182nd overall in the 6th Round. Chase Clark was selected 183rd overall in the 6th Round by the Washington Capitals. Arsenii Sergeev was selected 205th overall by the Calgary Flames. Fifty-seven players with ties to the Storm organization have been selected in the NHL Draft by twenty-seven different franchises. A complete list of Tri-City’s NHL Draft picks can be found online at https://www.stormhockey.com/nhldraft.

 

On Friday night, the USHL made history in Round 1 of the 2021 NHL Draft. For the first time in the league’s forty-two-year history, four of the first ten picks in the NHL Draft consisted of USHL alumni. Six of the first thirteen players in the draft had USHL experience, and the league finished the night with nine total players selected in the opening round. Forty-one players with ties to the USHL were selected in Rounds 2-7 of the 2021 NHL Draft. For the fourth consecutive year, the USHL claimed at least fifty picks in the NHL Draft. Multiple players selected on Saturday are projected to be featured on the Storm’s roster for the 2021-2022 regular season.

 

Matthew Knies was the first Storm player selected in the 2021 NHL Draft. He was one of fifty Americans drafted by NHL member clubs in Rounds 1-7. Knies was selected 57th overall in the 2nd Round by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Knies, 18, Forward, of Phoenix, Arizona appeared in ninety games with the Storm from 2018-2021 after being drafted 38th overall by Tri-City in the 2018 USHL Phase I Draft. Knies spent the 2018-2019 season on Tri-City’s affiliate list and played for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 16U AAA organization. He appeared in two games as an affiliate list callup during Tri-City’s 2018-2019 Anderson Cup Championship season. Knies made his USHL debut on November 23rd, 2018, in the Storm’s 3-0 shutout victory over the Omaha Lancers at the Viaero Center. Knies scored fourteen goals, recorded thirty-one assists, and provided the Storm offense with forty-five points in forty-four games played with the team in the 2019-2020 season. Knies led the Storm in assists and finished second on the team in points in the same season. Of players who played more than forty regular season games during the 2019-2020 season, Knies was one of only seventeen USHL players to record more than one point per game. He was named to the U.S Junior Select Team for the 2019 World Junior A Challenge and won a Bronze Medal at the event. He was also named the USHL’s “Forward of the Week” on December 31st, 2019. Knies was selected to and participated in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game. Knies scored seventeen goals and recorded twenty-five assists in the 2020-2021 regular season. He scored thirty-one goals and notched fifty-six assists during his Storm career. Knies was selected as one of Tri-City’s Alternate Captains for the 2020-2021 season. Knies previously announced a commitment to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota.

 

It’s hard to put into words how excited and honored I am to be drafted by the Maples Leafs! It was always a dream and a goal of mine to get here, and I’m so grateful for everyone’s support along the way! Something I’ll never forget about my time in Kearney is the people. Everyone was extremely welcoming, from the community to the coaches, and my awesome billet family! Kearney meant the world to me, and I’m so grateful I got to play my junior hockey career in such a wonderful place! Thank you to the coaches, staff, billet family, and the people of Kearney for the continuous support!” - Matthew Knies

 

Carter Mazur was the Storm’s second overall selection in the draft and the final Storm forward to be drafted. He was selected 70th overall in the 3rd Round by his hometown Detroit Red Wings. Mazur, 19, of Jackson, Michigan appeared in ninety-five games with the Storm from 2019-2021. He was drafted 3rd overall in the 1st Round of the 2018 USHL Phase I draft by Tri-City. Mazur made his USHL debut during the 2018-2019 regular season as an affiliate list call-up. Mazur played his first game with Tri-City on November 10th, 2018, in the Storm’s 4-2 home win over the Sioux Falls Stampede. He netted his first career USHL goal on November 8th, 2019, in Tri-City’s 5-2 home win over the Des Moines Buccaneers. Mazur scored six goals and provided the Storm’s offense with seven assists in forty-seven games played during the 2019-2020 regular season. Mazur scored twenty goals and recorded twenty-four assists for forty-four total points during the 2020-2021 regular season campaign. Mazur’s twenty goals scored during the 2020-2021 season tied for the most on this year’s Storm team. His forty-four points posted were the second-most among Storm players this season. Mazur produced five multi-goal games during the 2020-2021 season. He scored twenty-six goals and notched thirty-one assists for fifty-seven total points during his Storm career. Before joining the Tri-City, Mazur skated for the Little Caesars AAA program in Detroit, Michigan. Mazer was selected to and participated in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game in his home state of Michigan. Mazur was selected as one of Tri-City’s Captains for the 2020-2021 season. Mazur previously announced a commitment to play college hockey at the University of Denver.

 

It’s a tremendous honor to be drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, it’s just unbelievable hearing your name called, it’s something you dream about your whole life! Kearney to me was very special, from the coaches to my billet family, to the fans, it’s easily the best two years of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! The organization from the top to the bottom was always supportive and always made it easier as a player to just play the game I love to play!” – Carter Mazur

 

Guillaume Richard was the Storm’s third overall selection of the draft and the first Storm defenseman to be drafted. He was selected 101st overall in the 4th Round by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Richard, 18, Defenseman, of Cap-Santé, Quebec appeared in fifty-one games with the Storm from 2019-2021 after being drafted 91st overall by Tri-City in the 2019 USHL Phase I Draft. Richard spent the 2019-2020 season on Tri-City’s affiliate list and played for Mount St. Charles Academy 16U AAA team in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He appeared in five games as an affiliate list callup during the 2019-2020 season. Richard made his USHL debut on October 4th, 2019, in the Storm’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Omaha Lancers at the Viaero Center. He scored his first career goal in the USHL on  January 29th, 2021, in the Storm’s 6-0 thrashing of rival Omaha at the Viaero Center. Richard netted two goals and recorded thirty assists during the 2019-2020 season at Mount St. Charles Academy. He also appeared in eight games with the Rhode Island Saints 16U AAA team. He scored two goals and registered three assists during that time. Richard also skated for Canada (Team White) at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He led Tri-City with three goals scored during the 2020-2021 preseason. Richard scored two goals and recorded fourteen assists for sixteen total points in fifty-one games played during his career with the Storm. He was selected to and participated in the 2021 Under-18 World Junior Championship for his home nation of Canada. He previously announced a commitment to play college hockey at Providence College.

 

Getting drafted is an honor, it is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life! I’m so happy that I got selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets! I would like to thank the fans in Kearney, you guys brought a great atmosphere every game. I would also like to thank my coach, teammates, billet family, and everyone that I met during my time in Kearney! The community was amazing and that’s what I will remember most!” - Guillaume Richard

 

Nate Benoit was the Storm’s fourth overall selection of the draft and the final Storm defenseman to be drafted. He was selected 182nd overall in the 6th Round by the Minnesota Wild. Benoit, 18, Defenseman, of Bow, New Hampshire appeared in three games with the Storm during the 2020-2021 regular season as an affiliate list callup. He was drafted 49th overall by Tri-City in the 2020 USHL Phase II Draft. Prior to joining the Storm, Benoit appeared in thirty-three games during the 2020-2021 season for Mount St. Charles Academy’s 18U AAA team in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He served as Captain of this year’s Mount St. Charles team. He scored eleven goals and recorded twenty-one assists for thirty-two total points. He led all defensemen on the team in goals, assists, and points. He scored thirteen goals and recorded thirty-eight assists for fifty-one total points in sixty-three games played during the 2019-2020 season. Prior to joining Mount St. Charles, Benoit skated for the Northern Cyclones AAA program in Hudson, New Hampshire. He also appeared in seven games during the 2019-2020 season for the Rhode Island Saints 18U AAA team. Benoit was the highest-drafted defenseman by the Storm in the 2020 USHL Phase II Draft. Benoit previously announced a commitment to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota.

 

I was super happy and excited for not only myself but for my family when I found out I had been drafted by the Minnesota Wild. I’d like to thank my family and my close friends for their commitment to me and their support over the years, and I’d like to also thank my coaches and my teammates for pushing me and holding me accountable every time I got on the ice. My goals for next season are to win as much as we can as a team and continue to grow and develop.” – Nate Benoit

 

Chase Clark was the Storm’s fifth overall selection of the draft and the first Storm goaltender to be drafted. Clark was chosen with the next pick in the draft, 183rd overall in the 6th Round by the Washington Capitals. Clark, 19, Goaltender, of Williamsville, New York appeared in three games with the Storm as an Emergency Backup goaltender during the 2020-2021 season. He was drafted 39th overall by Tri-City in the 2021 USHL Phase II Draft. Clark made his USHL debut in net for the Storm on April 18th, 2021, in Tri-City's 4-2 home loss to the Des Moines Buccaneers. Clark posted an 18-2-1 record during the 2020-2021 season for the Jersey Hitmen (NCDC). He also produced a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 1.92, and a Save Percentage (SV%) of .935%. Prior to joining the Hitmen, Clark posted a 12-8-1 record in twenty-four games played during the 2019-2020 season for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL). Clark appeared in twenty-nine games during the 2018-2019 season with the Buffalo Regals (GOJHL). After leading the team to a Founders Cup Championship in the regular season during 2020-2021, Clark posted a perfect record in net during the NCDC postseason and carried the Jersey Hitmen to a Dineen Cup Championship.

 

I am truly honored and blessed to have been drafted by the Washington Capitals. Since I was six years old, it has been my dream to play hockey at the highest level. The hard work is just beginning. During my time in Kearney at the end of last season, the entire Tri-City Storm organization and community welcomed me like family. I can’t wait to get back at it this coming season and bring home the Clark Cup for the best fans in the league!” - Chase Clark

 

Arsenii Sergeev was the Storm’s sixth and final selection of the draft, and the second Storm goaltender to be drafted. Sergeev was selected 205th overall in the 7th Round by the Calgary Flames. Sergeev, 18, Goaltender, of Yaroslavl, Russia was drafted 4th overall in the 1st Round of the 2021 USHL Phase II Draft following a breakout season with the Shreveport Mudbugs (NAHL). Sergeev posted a 14-4-2 record during the 2020-2021 season in Shreveport in twenty appearances in net. He produced a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.17, and a Save Percentage (SV%) of .936%. Sergeev posted a perfect record in net during the NAHL postseason which concluded with the Mudbugs capturing the 2021 Robertson Cup Championship. Sergeev appeared in fifteen games in net during the 2019-2020 season with the New Jersey Junior Titans (NAHL). He was originally drafted 331st overall in the 22nd Round of the 2019 USHL Phase II Draft by the Sioux Falls Stampede. Sergeev appeared in two games with the Stampede during the 2019-2020 regular season. He made his USHL debut in net on November 15th, 2019, in Sioux Falls’ 5-2 road loss to the Sioux City Musketeers. Sergeev previously announced a commitment to play college hockey at the University of Connecticut.

 

I am glad to be drafted by the Calgary Flames, and I will try to do everything I can to one day become part of the team. I would like to thank my family, my adviser, and my trainers for their support and help in my development. My goal for next season is to play well and win a Clark Cup Championship with Tri-City.” – Arsenii Sergeev

 

Two forwards, two defensemen, and two goaltenders with ties to the Storm organization were selected by NHL member clubs at the 2021 NHL Draft. Matthew Knies was the second Storm player in history to be drafted by the Toronto Maples Leafs, joining future University of Minnesota teammate Mike Koster, who became the first player in organization history to be drafted by Toronto in the 2019 NHL Draft. Knies was also just the fourth 2nd Round pick in organization history, joining Geoff Paukovich (2004), Wade Allison (2016), and Shane Pinto (2019). Additionally, Knies was the 900th player from the USHL to be selected at the NHL Draft. Carter Mazur became the fourth player in organization history to be drafted by the Detroit Red Wings when he was chosen in Saturday’s 3rd Round. Nick Oslund (2006), Filip Larsson (2016), and Kyle Aucoin (2020) were also drafted by the Red Wings in previous drafts. Only the St. Louis Blues have selected more Storm players at the NHL Draft than the Detroit Red Wings with five total selections (Tomas Troliga in 2002, Andy Sackrison in 2006, Maxwell Tardy in 2009, Jaden Schwartz in 2010, and Austin Poganski in 2014). The Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild have also selected four Storm players in the NHL Draft. Nate Benoit joined Chris Hickey (2006), Brandon Duhaime (2016), and Sam Hentges (2018) as Storm players to be drafted by the Minnesota Wild when he was selected in the 6th Round on Saturday. Chase Clark became the first player in Storm history to be drafted by the Washington Capitals with his selection in the 6th Round. Arsenii Sergeev joined 2006 NHL Draft pick, Aaron Marvin, as the only other player in Storm history to be drafted by the Calgary Flames when he was selected in the 7th Round on Saturday. Seventeen NHL organizations have selected multiple Storm players in the history of the NHL Draft. The 2021 NHL Draft marked the second time in history five or more players with ties to the Storm organization were selected in consecutive NHL Drafts. Five or more players were also selected in the 2019 & 2020 NHL Drafts. Tri-City has now produced thirty-four forwards, thirteen defensemen, and nine goaltenders who have been selected by member clubs at the NHL Draft.

 

Saturday was a special day for our organization and for these players. The NHL Draft is the culmination of our season and a reflection of the development of our players throughout the course of their time with Tri-City. We are extremely happy for those guys, their families, and their support systems. It was a day that those guys won’t forget, and I think it says a lot about the resources that are provided to us by ownership, and it also speaks to the type of players we’re bringing here to Tri-City. I’m fortunate to have our staff around me to help develop these guys every day.” President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Anthony Noreen

 

It was another great season for our team and NHL Draft weekend for our players and our organization. We are so proud of our players from last season that earned this opportunity and recognition, and we are excited for our incoming players that get to walk into Kearney next month with the honor of already being selected in the NHL Draft. I personally can't say enough about how lucky we are to have an ownership group and coaching/development staff here in Tri-City that allows us to do business the right way and place such an emphasis on the growth of our players, on and off the ice. We are very fortunate to have an elite caliber hockey operations staff, business operations department, and ownership group that give our players and staff the resources to be successful in a variety of ways - but today, for the honor of having our players recognized as NHL draft selections and potential NHL players. I've been with Tri-City now for two seasons and this has been my most enjoyable experience in hockey and I'm sure our players would say the same thing. Congratulations to our players, parents, coaches, and all the connected parties who have helped these six young men reach a significant accomplishment in the young hockey careers” – General Manager Jason Koehler

 

The Tri-City Storm opens the 2021-2022 regular season on Thursday, September 23rd at the 2021 DICK’S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania in a cross-conference matchup against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Tri-City will host the Waterloo Black Hawks on Friday, October 8th for the 2021 Home Opener at the Viaero Center in Kearney. The 2021-2022 season will be the twenty-second season of Tri-City Storm hockey. Season tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling the Viaero Center Box Office during Box Office Hours at 308-338-8144. For more information on the Tri-City Storm, visit www.StormHockey.com. #StormAhead