2010 USHL Futures Draft: Defense Prospect Profiles

t's hard to determine which players will be selected in the USHL Draft. They can literally come from anywhere, as we learned in our USHL Draft primer, and it can be quite the toss up when names are announced at the event. With that said, we've enlisted the help of Justin Schreiber from the USHL Prospects Blog to pinpoint who exactly we can expect to be selected in the Futures Draft, which takes place at 11 AM Eastern on Tuesday, May 17.

We began with goalies, and we continue with defensemen.

By Justin Schreiber, USHL Prospects Blog

Dylan Blujus (Buffalo Regals U18) will kick off the coverage of defensemen.  I don't have a measurement for him, so giving him an accurate assessment will be tough. I can tell you however, that Blujus put up some good numbers on the offensive side of the puck for the Regals this past season. Back at the blue line, Blujus collected 22 points (5 goals and 17 assists) in 48 games last season. Of those 5 goals, 4 of them came on the powerplay, which I'm sure has scouts and coaches in the USHL drooling about the possibility of using Blujus as a powerplay quarterback. Blujus also racked up 36 penalty minutes in 48 games. This speaks to his physicality. I would compare Blujus to Des Moines blueliner Eric Knodel. Not based on the size, but on offensive output and PIMs.

Sam Piazza (Chicago Mission U16) is the opposite of Blujus. He is solid defensively more than he is offensively. Based on his playstyle, his offensive numbers were right on par. That said, Piazza has shown his glimpses of his potential offensive skills. In 21 games with the Mission midget minor squad, Piazza collected 3 goals and 6 assists for a total of 9 points on the year. He also played 29 games with the midget major squad, collected 2 goals and 2 PIMs on the season. The fact that he played with the U18 squad as a 16 year old speaks to his skills and it is obvious that he is a very solid defensive defenseman. Piazza is getting quite a bit of college interest too. While the 6'0"/190 defenseman out of Hinsdale, Illinois has not gotten a scholarship offer from any colleges yet, Boston College, Harvard, Yale, Michigan State, and Northeastern have all shown interest. I would compare Piazza to Lincoln Stars shut down defenseman Dax Lauwers. Expect to see Piazza's name called on Tuesday.

Grant Webermin (Honeybaked U16) was recently drafted in the first round of the OHL Draft last week. However, Webermin will more than likely stay in the US and play college hockey. Webermin is another guy who plays shut down defense with not much offensive production. In 32 games, he had 2 goals and 11 assists, adding 62 PIMs. 

Here is a quote from Webermin's Pointstreak profile:

"Grant is an intense ‘old school ‘competitor that plays with heart and passion for the game. He is a solid defenseman with outstanding physical and technical skills and has played AAA hockey for six years. Grant has been on three International Silver Stick Championship teams, Bell Cup Champion, State Champion, and Quebec PeeWee Championship teams. Grant is an honor student at Detroit Catholic Central with a 4.0 GPA and National Junior Honor Society Member. His goal is to play for the US Development program and to play Division I College Hockey."

I would compare Webermin to Omaha defenseman Mathieu Brisson.

Justin Wade (Chicago Mission U16) is Sam Piazza's defensive partner. Wade plays a very tight defensive game. His most recent size, 6'2", 197 pounds, is very big for a player of his age. That said, his game is not just one dimensional. Wade also has some hands that can dish out assists. In fact, Wade collected 12 assists in 34 games this past season. The defenseman out of Aurora, Illinois has also got a college to become interested in his game. Wisconsin has shown intrest in Wade, but has not gotten a scholarship offer from any universities. I would compare Wade to Fargo blueliner Marek Hrbas. Wade could be in the USHL within the next few years.

Visit our USHL Draft page for full coverage of the 2010 USHL Drafts, which includes live coverage of Tuesday's Futures Draft on our radio program, Rink Side Radio, at 11 AM Eastern.

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