THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay North Stars are already bracing for Keighan Gerrie’s departure.
The Waterloo Blackhawks may have hastened his decision.
The Blackhawks snagged the North Stars forward with the 13th overall pick on Tuesday in Phase 2 of the United States Hockey League draft, giving Gerrie a chance to advance to a higher level of hockey for one season before he’s expected to join Bowling Green University in the fall of 2020.
Gerrie led the Superior International Junior Hockey League in scoring with 102 points in 2018-19, and was named the Junior A circuit’s playoff most valuable player, scoring eight goals and 16 points in leading Thunder Bay to its first title in nine years.
The 18-year-old has also caught the attention of National Hockey League scouts, with several teams, including the Washington Capitals, sending staff to Thunder Bay and other league checkpoints to meet with him and watch his game in person.
Thunder Bay Kings defenceman Alex Pineau was taken in the 10th round by Lincoln in Phase 1 of the draft on Monday night. Pineau had four goals and 10 points in 20 games with the Kings this season, and joined the major midget squad during the recent TELUS Cup.
Phase 1 of the draft is for under-17 players only, while the second phase is open to all other eligible players not already protected by a USHL team.