By @MichaelCaples –
The first Michigan name is off the board for the USHL selection process.
Ben Schoen has signed a tender with the Youngstown Phantoms, locking him in for a 2018-19 campaign with the USHL franchise in Ohio.
Schoen is a member of the Little Caesars 15U team that just finished as national runner-up in the 2018 USA Hockey National Championships in Plymouth. He is a Miami verbal commit, as well.
“I am proud and very excited to sign a tender with the Youngstown Phantoms and be able to choose my USHL team for my future and college development,” Schoen said. “This is a great fit for me to be able to hone my skills and help the Phantoms win a USHL championship. I’m looking forward to working with Coach Patterson and Assistants Jeff Potter and Nick Peruzzi on the ice every day and can’t wait to get started this off-season leading into training camp.”
Schoen, originally from Ohio, has spent the last two seasons with Kris Draper’s Little Caesars squad; previous to that, he skated with the Belle Tire Bantam Minor team in 2015-16.
“Our staff has been able to track Ben and his progress going back to last summer at the Mid-Am District Camps and at the U15 USA Hockey Select Festival,” said Youngstown General Manager Jason Koehler. ”As we followed his season with Little Caesars this year in multiple viewings, Ben continued to be an elite level scoring threat at his age group and level and every time we watched and was one of, if not the best player on the ice. We see a young man that plays the game the right way, has a very high skill set and scoring ability, has outstanding hockey IQ and playmaking ability, and we see him as having a chance to become one of the best forwards in the USHL over the next few seasons as his focus and drive is very mature for someone his age.”
The Phantoms are no strangers to signing Michigan names to tenders. In 2012, they tendered Kyle Connor, and in 2016, they tendered Max Ellis.
Schoen is the first Michigan resident to sign a tender this season, and the fifth overall. He joins Ruben Rafkin (Tri-City Storm), Chase Bradley (Omaha Lancers), Colby Ambrosio (Tri-City Storm) and Alex Gaffney (Muskegon Lumberjacks) as players who USHL teams are forfeiting their first-round pick for to secure for the upcoming season.