The North American Hockey League held their own player draft this past Tuesday, June 4th, 2019. The Jr. Coyotes youth program had two players selected this season with 18U-Logan Bellar and 16U-Riley Stuart hearing their names being called in the middle portion of the elite draft process.
The New Mexico Ice Wolves selected Bellar in the 7th round, while Stuart’s name was called by the Jamestown Rebels in the 9th round. Along with Stuart and Bellar, former Jr. Coyote Jeremy Gabriele was chosen in the 4th round to the Springfield Jr. Blues. Since leaving the Jr. Coyotes program, Gabriele has been playing junior hockey for two seasons with various junior teams back east.
The NAHL is a high level, USA Hockey sanctioned, Tier II junior hockey league that is based coast-to-coast in the US. The NAHL junior draft occurs each year after the Tier 1 USHL draft has completed their process in early May.
Logan Bellar led his team with 11 goals in the tough Tier 1 Elite League while dishing out another 18 assists. Logan played for the 18U Jr. Coyotes the last two seasons and blossomed into one of the top players at his age at both ends of the rink.
Riley Stuart produced at a ‘point per game’ pace in the 16U division, collecting a strong 12 goals and 17 assists. Stuart was also selected last year in the USHL Futures Draft and has spent most of his youth hockey career with the talented 2002 birth year team.
Both Bellar and Stuart made significant leadership contributions on and off the ice to their respective midget teams this past year. The Jr. Coyotes program could not be more proud of these young men and wish them well in their junior hockey aspirations next year.