The Bears Reload at the 2012 NAHL Entry Draft


June 1, 2012, Soldotna, AK– After a successful 2011-2012 season, the Kenai River Brown Bears had several holes to fill in the 2012 NAHL Entry Draft.  With the placement of 10 players to NCAA programs, the Bears began replenishing their roster with two 1st round selections. 

The Bears went for junior experience with the 2nd Overall pick in the Draft, selecting USHL veteran forward David Henry from the Sioux City Musketeers.  With the 12th overall pick, the Bears took Duluth Marshall (All-Area Minnesota selection) offensive defenseman, Jake Bushey.

For the team’s third selection, the Bears went to the Motor City to take Detroit Honeybaked power forward, and 2011 2nd Round USHL selection, Matt Seidel.  With their fourth pick, the Bears selected Alaska product Mason Anderson from the Alaska Wolves U16 AAA program. 

With the team’s fifth pick, the Bears went back to the Midwest to select Team Illinois playmaking center Mitch Hults.  For the team’s sixth pick, the Bears took scoring forward Anthony Croston (2012 6th Round USHL Draft pick) from the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes. 

With the Bears 7th pick, Coach David went with a familiar face in California native, Nick Newman, whom he coached for 2 years in the LA Selects program.  Newman comes from the Nelson Leafs (KIJHL) junior program where he was the team’s leading scorer, and Rookie of the Year.  With their 8th pick, the Bears went back to the desert to select young defensive prospect Carson Vance, from the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes program. 

The Bears 9th pick was used on Team Seattle goalie, Sean Healy, who comes to Kenai with a brief stint in the USHL, playing with the Lincoln Stars in the 2011 USHL Fall Classic.  With their 10th pick, the Bears selected DC Capitals U18 skilled playmaking forward, JB Baker Jr, who was also a 2011 USHL Futures Draft Selection. 

The Bears then selected Indiana Jr. Ice two-way defenseman, Drew Newmeyer, with their 11th pick, who was also a 2011 3rd round USHL Entry Draft selection.  Heading back to Minnesota for their 12th pick, the Bears took Forest Lake HS scoring forward (All-Area Minnesota selection), Lucas Kohls.  With their final pick in the 12th round of 2012 NAHL Entry Draft, the Bears went back to California, going with speedy, skilled center, Thomas Plese.

 “We feel very good about this year’s draft.  Our scouting staff did an excellent job in identifying players who will not only complement our returning veterans, but will solidify our roster at all positions.  We addressed specific needs, and in doing so, have added speed, skill, and a ton of size.”