JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets selected two defensemen and two forwards in Tuesday afternoon’s NAHL Entry Draft.
Originally scheduled for early June, the 2020 NAHL Entry Draft was moved to July due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prematurely ended the 2019-20 season, and delayed NAHL Combines and several teams’ Pre-Draft Evaluation Camps.
The draft was conducted virtually, with live coverage and commentary available on HockeyTV.com.
Each team began the draft with a protected list comprised of returning players and tendered players. Each team was permitted to make as many selections as they needed to reach 28 on their protected list. Each team also received a bonus selection to use on a player from the NA3HL.
The Jets’ list of returning and tendered players totaled 25, so they made four total selections, including their NA3HL pick. Janesville selected 11th, 65th, 88th, and 92nd. Their 2nd round pick, 38th overall, belonged to the Corpus Christi IceRays from a January trade for forward Justin Thompson.
Jets general manager Joe Dibble, head coach Parker Burgess, and associate head coach Lennie Childs conducted their draft via video conferencing.
“Today was an exciting day for our staff and for the Jets organization,” said Burgess. “We believe that with the combination of our core returners, and the draft picks and tenders we have acquired, we have the group that will make the city of Janesville proud in our pursuit of a Robertson Cup.”
With their first selection, the Jets selected right-handed defenseman Dominick Campione, a native of Kohler, Wisconsin. Campione spent the last two seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds U18 AAA program in Saskatchewan, Canada, and led the team in scoring with 45 points.
The Jets selected another defenseman with their second pick. AJ Casperson, a 19-year-old from the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Casperson played the last two seasons for the Salisbury Crimson Knights, a prep school in Connecticut, and added 29 games with the Rochester Coalition 18U program. Last season, the Jets tendered goaltender Grant Riley from the Coalition’s 16U team.
It was at 88th overall that the Jets dipped into the pool of Minnesota high school hockey, selecting senior forward Caden Smith from the Lakeville North Panthers. Smith’s 18 goals and 32 points were each Panther bests last season.
With their fourth and final selection, the Jets picked 50-goal-scorer Joe Clark from the NA3HL’s Lewiston-Auburn Nordiques. The native of Gardiner, Maine, finished third in NA3HL scoring last season, playing just 30 minutes from his hometown.