Eight Players With USPHL Ties Selected In 2024 NHL Entry Draft

The United States Premier Hockey League is pleased to announce that eight players with USPHL ties were selected in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, held June 28-29, 2024, at The Sphere in Las Vegas, Nev. This includes alumni of the league itself plus alumni of its member organizations. 

The USPHL, with two junior alumni selected, matched the North American Hockey League for second most among U.S. junior leagues, ranked just after the Tier I United States Hockey League. 


Blake Montgomery – Selected by Ottawa Senators, 4th Round, 117th Overall

Montgomery, a left wing, played for the Rockets Hockey Club during the 2022-23 season. He also played two seasons prior for the Skipjacks Hockey Club in the former USPHL 16U (now Tier 1 Hockey Federation 16U) Division. Additionally, Montgomery spent the 2021-22 season with Seacoast Performance Academy, run by the Seacoast Spartans organization that recently joined the NCDC. Montgomery spent the 2023-24 season with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL and he is committed to the University of Wisconsin for the 2025-26 season.  

Montgomery became the 18th player to play in the NCDC and be drafted by an NHL team, which puts the NCDC ahead of five Canadian Tier II leagues (Manitoba Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Maritime Junior “A” Hockey League, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and Quebec Junior Hockey League) since the 2017-18 inaugural season of the NCDC.  


USPHL Premier

Simon-Pier Brunet – Selected by Buffalo Sabres, 4th Round, 123rd Overall

Brunet played defense for the Las Vegas Thunderbirds (now the Henderson Force) during the 2021-22 season before returning to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Drummondville Voltigeurs. While in Las Vegas, Brunet scored 12 points in nine regular season games, plus four points in four playoff games. 

Fact: The USPHL Premier is the only Tier III junior hockey league in the United States with alumni selected in the NHL Entry Draft since the Premier’s 2017-18 formation – and it hasn’t been just a one-man show. Brunet became the second former USPHL Premier player selected after former Chicago Cougar Mats Lindgren was selected in 2022, also by the Buffalo Sabres. 


Additional Players With USPHL Ties

Owen Allard – Selected by Utah Hockey Club, 5th Round, 135th Overall

Allard played in the 2018-19 USPHL 18U (now THF 18U) Division playoffs with the Northwood School. He has played the past three seasons with the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds. 


Ben Merrill – Selected by Montreal Canadiens, 6th Round, 166th Overall  

Merrill skated with the Boston Advantage in the former USPHL 16U (now THF 16U) Division in 2020-21. He has also played for the South Shore Kings 18U AAA Prep team. This past year, Merrill (a Harvard University recruit) played for St. Sebastian’s School, the Cape Cod Whalers and the USHL’s Chicago Steel. 


Cole Eiserman – Selected by New York Islanders, 1st Round, 20th Overall 

Eiserman played youth hockey with the Islanders Hockey Club’s youth hockey program for their ‘06 teams up to the 13U level. He played the past two years with the U.S. National Team Development Program and is committed to Boston University. 


Teddy Stiga – Selected by Nashville Predators, 2nd Round, 55th Overall

Stiga was a youth hockey teammate with Eiserman on the Islanders Hockey Club ‘06 teams, and also played with IHC up to the 13U level, and he has also played with Eiserman the last two years on the U.S. NTDP squads. He is committed to Boston College. 


Kamil Bednarik – Selected by New York Islanders, 2nd Round, 61st Overall

Bednarik, another U.S. NTDP player with Eiserman and Stiga, played for the Rockets Hockey Club 16U team in 2021-22. He is committed to Boston University. Bednarik also played in the NCDC 2022 Young Guns All-Star Game. 


Joe Connor – Selected by Tampa Bay Juniors, 7th Round, 195th Overall 

Connor played for the Northern Cyclones 15U Fall Prep team during the 2020-21 season. He played this past season with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks and he is committed to Northeastern University.