Jaksen Panzer and Trey Ausmus of East Grand Forks headline USHL Phase I Draft selections

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Red River's Jake Grandstrand watches from the ice as Green Wave defenseman Trey Ausmus (20) takes possession of the puck following a collision in the second period of Saturday's matinee boys hockey game at the East Grand Forks Civic Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Jaksen Panzer and Trey Ausmus both picked their college destinations long ago.

The East Grand Forks Senior High teammates both committed to UND, where they have family history. Panzer's father, Jeff, and Ausmus's older brother, Gage, both won NCAA national championships at the school.

On Monday, they learned some more info about their futures.

If there's a bridge between high school and college hockey for them, they now know one option.

The 2004-born Green Wave players were both selected early in the United States Hockey League's Phase I Draft, which features 2004-born hockey players.


Panzer, a forward, went in the second round, No. 22 overall, to the Sioux Falls Stampede. The Stampede just hired Marty Murray from Minot's North American Hockey League team to be their new head coach and general manager.

Panzer has some family history with the league. His father, Jeff, won USHL's Player of the Year honor in 1995-96 with the Fargo-Moorhead Bears.

Ausmus, a defenseman, went in the third round, No. 42 overall, to the Madison Capitols. The Capitols just hired Tom Upton from Mercyhurst to be their new head coach and general manager.

Their selections in the draft do not necessarily mean they will go play for those teams. It just means those teams will hold their USHL rights in case they opt to join the league, whenever that may be.

Panzer just completed his freshman year at Senior High after transferring from Grand Forks Central. He had 34 points in 25 games for the Green Wave. Ausmus, a sophomore, had 27 points in 27 games from the blue line.

Two other notables were picked in the Phase I Draft.


UND commit Bowden Singleton of Calgary went in the fourth round, No. 54 overall, to the Green Bay Gamblers. Singleton, a forward, played for Northern Alberta X-treme Prep team last season and spent two games with Sherwood Park in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Uncommitted Carson Reed of Warroad High went in the seventh round, No. 93, to Cedar Rapids. Reed, a sophomore defenseman, had 26 points in 25 games for the Warriors, who reached the Minnesota boys state hockey tournament.

For a full listing of Phase I picks, go here .

Phase II of the draft -- which is open to all USHL-eligible, unprotected players of all birth years -- will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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