Vancouver, British Columbia:
Three different Saginaw Spirit hockey players fulfilled a lifelong dream, hearing their respective names called on the second day of the 2019 NHL draft in Vancouver, British Columbia today; an exciting afternoon which started with Spirit defenseman Mason Millman being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fourth round, followed by forward Nicholas Porco, who was drafted in the fifth round by the Dallas Stars, before forward Cole Coskey was selected in the seventh round by the New York Islanders, completing the Spirit tri-fecta.
Millman, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound left-shooting defenseman from London, ON who was drafted by the Spirit in the seventh round of the 2017 Ontario Hockey League priority selection draft, but only played 6-games in the OHL that year, seasoning his game with 22-points (6-goals, 16-assists) for the St. Thomas Stars in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League instead.
This year, Millman jumped up to No.125 on the list of North American skaters in final NHL central scouting rankings thanks to a strong OHL season where he put up 25-points (3-goals, 22-assists) through 66-games in his first full year with Saginaw during the 2018-19 OHL season, adding 5-points (2-goals, 3-assists) in a deep playoff run. He will join the Flyers at training camp later this summer.
Porco, a 6-foot, 176-pound left-shooting forward from Sault Ste Marie, ON was Saginaw's top pick (No. 4 overall) in the 2017 OHL priority selection draft, putting up 14-points (5-goals, 9-assists) through 57-games as a rookie during the 2017-18 season.
In his second OHL season this year, Porco was ranked No. 103 among North American Skaters on the final NHL central scouting list after racking up 36-points (20-goals, 16-assists) through 67-games with the Spirit in the 2018-19 season, adding 7-points (3-goals, 4-assists) through 16-games in the 2019 playoffs. One of the fastest skaters in the OHL, he will join the Dallas Stars for training camp later this summer.
Coskey, a 6-foot-1, 201-pound right-shooting forward from Zion, IL was a third round pick (47 overall) of the Spirit in the 2015 OHL priority selection draft and had verbally committed to play NCAA hockey at the University of Miami (OH.) however, he ultimately chose to hone his skills in the OHL with the Spirit, earning a free agent invitation to the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp in 2017, followed by another NHL free agent invitation to the Buffalo Sabres' 2018 training camp.
With continued improvement throughout his fourth OHL season, Coskey put up 63-points (31-goals, 32-assists) through just 52-games after an injury shortened regular season, but a heroic return in the post season saw Coskey put up an unprecedented 8-points (3-goals, 5-assists) in 13-playoff games after having his jaw wired shut for six weeks. That toughness earned Coskey a visit to his third straight NHL training camp, this time as an NHL draft pick; where he'll join Spirit teammates Blade Jenkins and Bode Wilde (2018 draft picks) at the New York Islanders training camp.
Millman and Porco will return for their third OHL season, while Coskey will have over age eligibility in his fifth year, as all three are expected back in Saginaw to join the Spirit for the 2019-20 season.