Three With Storm Ties Selected In NHL Draft

PHILADELPHIA – The Tri-City Storm had a total of three players with ties to the organization selected on the second day of the 2014 NHL Draft Saturday.

The selections included forwards Austin Poganski and Sam Lafferty, as well as goaltender Alec Dillon.

Poganski was the first Storm player chosen, going to the St. Louis Blues in the 4th round, 110th overall.

The St. Cloud, Minn. native played 55 games for Tri-City during the 2013-14 season, scoring 19 goals and 12 assists.

“I think when you watch today’s NHL, it’s the big power forwards that help you win games, especially at your depth positions,” said Storm Head Coach Jim Hulton. “When I look at St. Louis and the current head coach Ken Hitchcock, he believes in big bodies and playing down low. That fits right in to the bill of what Austin is right now and he’s only going to continue to develop into that type of a player.”

15 of Poganski’s points came on the power play last season, including 11 goals, which was fourth-best in the league. The forward’s three short-handed goals were also tied for fourth in the USHL. Before he makes the jump to professional hockey, Poganski is committed to play at the University of North Dakota.

The Blues are the only NHL team with a Storm alum currently on their roster, in 2010 first round pick Jaden Schwartz.

Just three picks later, the Pittsburgh Penguins selected forward Sam Lafferty, of Hollidaysburg, Penn., 113th overall. Lafferty was an undrafted main camp invite who is expected to play in Kearney for Tri-City during the 2014-15 season.

“Some of our scouts stepped up and had a lot of positive things to say about him,” Hulton said. “We were really impressed with his play and his poise. The one thing that stuck out for me was that I thought he was the smartest player on the ice at our camp last week with his patience and positioning, and obviously Pittsburgh saw that as well.”

Last season the forward played at Deerfield Academy Prep School in Massachusetts. He is also committed to play collegiately at Brown University.

Dillon, who the Storm drafted in the second round of last month’s USHL Phase II Draft, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the final pick of the 5th round, 150th overall.

Dillon spent the 2013-14 season with his hometown team, the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). He is committed to play college hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

“We knew that Dillon was going to go at some point in the draft and being a goaltender, you never know when the run’s going to start,” Hulton said. “We knew prior to the draft that Los Angeles had some interest and privately we were hoping they would take him.”

The Storm plan on announcing their 30-man roster to begin the 2014-15 season at the beginning of July.

Courtesy of Tri-City Storm Media Relations