In case you missed the 2011 United States Hockey League entry draft on Monday, two New Jersey natives playing in the Garden State during the 2010-11 campaign were selected in the later rounds.
Delbarton Prep senior Peter McMullen, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lead his team to a state Non-Public championship at Prudential Center on March 13, was chosen in the 19th round (281st overall) by the Omaha Lancers.
McMullen, rated No. 200 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, is the grandson of the late Dr. John McMullen -- the man responsible for bringing NHL hockey to the Garden State in 1982. He finished the season as the leading scorer for the state's No. 1-ranked team, with career-highs in goals (25) and points (45).
McMullen is committed to Boston College in the fall of 2011.
"He's definitely what I consider a late bloomer," Delbarton coach Bruce Shatel told NHL.com. "After playing three years on the wing, we had a void in the middle this year and he filled that role nicely. When he drives the net he's a force. He can really shoot the puck and he'll only get better with time. He's a kid who never specialized -- he kind of put lacrosse first. But now that hockey is on his horizon, he's going to really develop over the next two years into a fine college hockey player."
The transition to center wasn't an easy one for McMullen, but he certainly played a key role for the Green Wave.
"I've had to work on face offs a lot in practice and I played with two sophomores (John Baiocco, Drew Melanson) and they're both quick and they liked to use their speed," McMullen told NHL.com. "I like to play in the defensive zone and work the corners.
"I've always loved hockey and when I was given the opportunity to play in college, I didn't think twice about it," he added. "I'm just focused on the game and not worrying about the future right now."
Additionally, former Delbarton forward Charles Orzetti, who played for the New Jersey Hitmen in 2010-11, was taken in the 18th round (267th overall) by the Indiana Ice. Orzetti, who is headed to Yale in September, wasn't rated among the top 210 North American skaters by Central Scouting at their final meeting.
"He's a very strong forward at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds," Shatel said of Orzetti. "He can really shoot and if he plays in the middle, that adds a whole other dimension to your team where he can win face-offs. He can skate for a big guy and he should be a really good college hockey player as well."
For a full recap of the 2011 USHL entry draft, click here.
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