Storm go offense, goalie with first round picks in Phase II draft

Filip Larsson (goalie) blocks a shot against Latvia while playing for Sweden in the U18 World Junior Championship for Sweden, April 15 , 2016 (NTV News/

Tri–City had two choices in the first round after sending three players away Monday evening, only to do some more juggling Tuesday morning and make the no. 2 and no. 12 choices become the 7th and 8th selections.

With the no. 7 pick in the Phase II draft, Tri–City adds Tyler Ward.

The 17–year–old scored 14 goals and had 30 points in his 34 games with the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL.

He increased his productivity with 16 points in 11 postseason games.

The Kamloops, British Columbia native is already committed to Denver University when he begins his collegiate enrollment.

Then for the first time in over a decade, Tri–City used a first round pick on a goalie, selecting Swedish–born Filip Larsson.

A 2016 6th round choice of the Detroit Red Wings, Larsson played junior hockey in Sweden this past year and also participated in the U18 World Junior Championship with his home country.

The Swedes went on to win the silver medal, while Larsson went 1–1 with a 4.50 goals against average in his two starts during the tournament.

His play improving greatly this past year, allowing a 2.24 GAA and a .925 save percentage with Djurgardens IF 20.

The Tri-City Storm filled out its 45-man roster with 19 picks in Tuesday’s 2017 USHL Phase II Draft, going with 11 forwards, six defensemen and two goalies.

The Storm also drafted Janesville Jets (NAHL) goaltender Jake Barczewski in the 3rd round, 34th overall. Barczewski went 27-6-0-1 this season and was 3rd in the league in goals against average (1.94) and second in save percentage (.929).

The Storm picked four forwards in the first four rounds, including Brown University commit Michael Maloney at no. 18 and Lake Superior State commit Jake Crespi at no. 32. In the fourth round, Tri-City drafted Filip Forsmark from Sweden.

To help the defensive corps, the Storm selected two in a three-pick span. At no. 62, the Storm selected Canadian Daniel Hilsendager and Swedish-born Hugo Blixt.

Tri-City looked for youth in the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds, selecting 17-year-old Ben Almquist and 16-year-olds Grayson Valente and Jami Krannila.

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