CHICAGO | Sioux City Musketeers defenseman Matt Hellickson was chosen by the New Jersey Devils in the seventh round of the NHL Draft, which concluded its two-day run Saturday.
Hellickson, the 214th overall selection, was one of three current or former Musketeers selected on the final day of the draft. Hellickson was picked the day after Musketeer right wing Eeli Tolvanen was a first-round pick (30th overall) of the Nashville Predators.
Forward Morgan Barrow, who played five games for this season's Musketeers squad, was a sixth-round pick of the New York Rangers. Meanwhile, forward Sebastian Repo, a member of the 2014-15 Western Conference regular-season championship squad, was a sixth-round pick of the Florida Panthers.
Hellickson, a 6-foot, 187-pound left defenseman from St. Louis Park, Minn., ranked ninth in scoring among United States Hockey League blue-liners during the regular season with 28 points (6 goals, 22 assists).
The first overall selection in the 2016 USHL Phase II Draft, Hellickson was one of four Musketeer defensemen who scored more than 20 points. Twice during the regular season he was a “C” rated player by NHL Central Scouting.
A Notre Dame recruit, Hellickson played for the United States squad that won the gold medal at the World Junior A Championships in Bonnyville, Alberta Dec. 13-19. Hellickson also competed in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 10 in Sioux Falls.
Both the World Junior A Championship team and the Western Conference squad that defeated the Eastern Conference 4-0 in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game were coached by Musketeers Coach Jay Varady.
Under Varady's guidance, the Musketeers won the Western Conference regular-season championship for the second time in the last three years. The franchise won the Anderson Cup for the third time in team history and advanced to the Clark Cup Finals.
Barron, a 6-2, 176-pound pound left wing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, didn't score a point in his limited time with the Musketeers. A C-rated player by NHL Central Scouting, Barron is also a Cornell recruit.
Two seasons ago, Repo, a 6-2, 181-pound center/right wing from Lahti, Finland, had six goals and nine assists in 25 games.
The USHL was well-represented in the NHL Draft as 48 players with ties to the league were selected the last two days. Overall, 40 athletes who played in the USHL this season were selected, setting a league record for most NHL Draft, breaking the previous mark of 37 set at the 2014 and 2015 drafts.
Seven players with USHL ties were selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft, topped by the Green Bay Gamblers’ Casey Mittelstadt, picked eighth by the Buffalo Sabres.