Northeastern recruit Daniel Willett was selected by the Lincoln Stars in the second round of the 2012 USHL Futures Draft tonight. He was the 17th overall pick.
Willett, a ’96, is a defenseman from Bayville, NY. He committed to Northeastern back in September 2011. He spent last year with the New Jersey Rockets playing for their MJHL team (23 games). He was called up to their AJHL team for 3 games. He was recently picked by the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL Draft last month after a good performance in the OHL Cup.
Willett is expected to come to Northeastern in the fall of 2014, but if he chooses to sign for Plymouth, he would be ineligible to play NCAA hockey. Being picked in the Futures Draft means that Willett will be on the Stars’ Affiliate List for next season.
Northeastern recruit Dylan McLaughlin was selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the first round last year, and he appeared in 48 out of 60 games for them. That kind of playing time is far from a guarantee, though. Northeastern recruit Garett Cockerill was the second overall pick in the 2010 Futures Draft, but he played in just 2 games for the Muskegeon Lumberjacks in the 2010/2011 season. He was traded to Des Moines in February 2011, but did not play a single USHL game for either team in the 2011/2012 season. He did however play 2 games with the U-17 USNDTP.
The Lincoln Stars are no strangers to Northeastern. Colton Saucerman will come to Northeastern next season from Lincoln. Current Huskies Garrett Vermeersch and Ben Oskroba also played for Lincoln before coming to NU, as did Jake Newton who played 1 season with NU before signing with Anaheim. Zach Aston-Reese, a 2013 Northeastern recruit, also plays for the Lincoln Stars.
Being picked in the Futures Draft is a good sign, but it will be up to Willett to work himself into the lineup. Still, it is a positive sign for Northeastern as it may help keep him from the OHL and help retain his NCAA eligibility.