Trio of Wolverines go in first round

It's the second year in a row that the U-M hockey program has set a new school best in the first round of the NHL draft. In 2005, it was Jack Johnson going No. 3 overall that set a new school record for the highest pick in school history. Now, just one year later, the program has seen another first with three U-M icers going in the first round of the 2006 NHL entry draft on Saturday night.

The NHL Entry Draft has become a comfortable place for the Wolverines as of late. In 2005, it was Jack Johnson and Andrew Cogliano that paced the Wolverines draft class becoming the first pair of Wolverines to go in the first round during the same year in program history. Just a year later, the record has been broken again. Trevor Lewis, Mark Mitera and Chris Summers were all selected in the opening round of Saturday nights draft, and U-M goalie Billy Sauer went in the seventh round to conclude the Wolverines action on the day.

Trevor Lewis, the first of four Wolverines selected on the day, went to the Los Angeles Kings with the No. 17 overall pick of the first round. A top center prospect from the USHL, Lewis enters the U-M program after a dream season with the Des Moines Buccaneers.

In 56 regular season games, Lewis led the Buccaneers with 35 goals and 40 assists. He also helped the Buccaneers to the USHL playoff title with three goals and 13 assists in just 11 playoff games. As a result of his efforts, Lewis was awarded the USHL Player of the Year award along with the CCM Forward of the Year award. He was also given the Curt Hammer award as a player who distinguishes himself as the most gentlemanly player both on and off the ice while demonstrating outstanding performance skills, pride and determination.

Just two picks later with the No. 19 selection, the Anaheim Ducks selected U-M sophomore Mark Mitera. A regular along the Michigan blue line as a freshman, Mitera saw his stock shoot up the charts after an impressive performance in the 2005-6 World Junior Championships. Mitera was on the Wolverines second defensive pair as a freshman and is poised for another spectacular season.

With the No. 29 selection, the Phoenix Coyotes looked to the Wolverines for the third time in as many years. Already owning the rights of junior's Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik, the Coyotes went with Chris Summers, an incoming freshman for the Wolverines.

As a defenseman for the U.S. National Team Developmental Program for the past two seasons, Summers notched 17 points in this latest campaign. In the World Under-18 Championships, Summers netted the gold medaling winning goal in the closing seconds for the United States.

Billy Sauer, the Wolverines sophomore to be netminder, went to the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round to conclude the Wolverine draft picks. As a part-time starter for the Wolverines during the 2005-06 season, Sauer started 22 games for the maize and blue compiling a record of 11-6-4. In his 23 games played, Sauer recorded a 3.04 goals against average along with a save percentage of .898 with one shutout. Sauer is expected to secure the Wolverines starting job in the offseason.

With the selections, the Wolverines expect to enter the 2006-07 season with 13 NHL selections on the roster.

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