June 25, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS - For the second straight day, a pair of future Miami University hockey players were selected in the 2011 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, as Blake Coleman and Sean Kuraly each heard their name called Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Coleman (Plano, Texas), an incoming freshman in 2011, was the 14th pick in the third round, going 75th overall to the New Jersey Devils. Kuraly (Dublin, Ohio), who will join Miami as a freshman in 2012, was taken 133rd overall, going as the 12th pick in the fifth round to the San Jose Sharks. On Friday, two other incoming freshmen were chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft as defenseman Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) was selected 20th by the Phoenix Coyotes while forward Tyler Biggs (Loveland, Ohio) went 22nd to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Miami will now have 10 NHL draft picks on its 2011-12 roster, including four of the eight incoming freshmen in Biggs, Coleman, Murphy and Jimmy Mullin (Cincinnati, Ohio), who was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The other drafted RedHawks are senior goalie Connor Knapp (Buffalo Sabres), senior defenseman Chris Wideman (Ottawa Senators) and junior forwards Reilly Smith (Dallas Stars) and Curtis McKenzie (Dallas Stars), who were all chosen in the 2009 draft, and senior defenseman Will Weber and senior forward Trent Vogelhuber, who were both taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2007 draft.
Coleman was named the 2011 Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year by USA Hockey while also earning the 2010-11 United States Hockey League (Tier 1 Juniors USHL) Player and Forward of the Year Awards. The 5-foot-11 forward claimed the USHL scoring title recording 34 goals and 58 assists for a total of 92 points in 59 games for the Indiana Ice. His 92 points were the most scored in over a decade in the USHL, and also 17 points more than the next highest point scorer on the year. Coleman recorded 29 multi-point games while racking up a +52 rating during the season, the highest rating on record since the USHL became Tier I in 2002.
Coleman and Kuraly are the 55th and 56th RedHawks in program history to be drafted in the NHL, including at least one current or future player each year since 2001. Overall, 24 current or future RedHawks have been drafted during head coach Enrico Blasi's tenure at Miami.
Three of the future freshmen were drafted by teams that currently have former RedHawks on them, as Andy Greene (2002-06) plays for the Devils, who drafted Coleman, Dan Boyle (1994-98) and Tommy Wingels (2007-10) both play for the Sharks, who took Kuraly, and Hobey Baker winner Andy Miele (2007-11) was signed in April as a free agent by the Coyotes, who drafted Murphy.
Miami's talented 2011 freshmen class will make its debut Oct. 7 at home against Bemidji State, when the RedHawks begin their 2011-12 regular season.