Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that we selected three players in yesterday’s 2021 NAHL Supplemental Draft. Please help us welcome to Springfield: Jonathan Panisa, Lucas Doran, and Ethan Roberts!
After the NAHL implemented the Supplemental Draft last Spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league decided that continuing the process this year would be a benefit for each team.
“The Supplemental Draft is necessary to serve as an additional outlet for teams to make decisions on how players performed in the 2020-21 season. A lot of time and effort has gone into scouting and recruiting. This way teams can make some decisions early,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “Equally as important, the rescheduling of the NAHL Entry Draft was necessary to allow teams time to make decisions on how players perform at team tryout camps. Players develop over the summer and some of the best players in the NAHL are discovered through the tryout process.”
Our first pick in the Supplemental Draft is a familiar face for Jr. Blues fans as Jonathan Panisa played parts of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons here in Springfield. Panisa, a native of Irvine, CA, has consistently put up numbers while a member of the Jr. Blues. In 2018-19, the right handed forward scored 3 goals and 4 assists in 12 games before being called up to the Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL).
Panisa started the 2019-20 campaign with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) before returning to Springfield and exploding for 11 goals and 18 assists in 35 games. He was named to the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects tournament where he accumulated 1 goal and 2 assists in 2 appearances.
With our second pick in this year’s Supplemental Draft, we selected right handed defenseman Lucas Doran. Doran, a native of Dearborn, MI, played with both the Vermont Lumberjacks (EHL) and Lake Erie Bighorns (USPHL) this past season. In 13 combined games he tallied 7 assists after posting 4 goals and 32 assists in 55 games played for Little Caesars 18U AAA in 2019-20.
Our third and final pick in this year’s Supplemental Draft is goaltender Ethan Roberts. Roberts, a left handed catching netminder from Cary, NC, played this past season for the Nashville Jr. Predators. In 18 GP for the Jr. Preds, Roberts posted a 13-4-1 record with a 1.46 GAA and .966 SV%. Before playing in Nashville he spent the 2019-20 season as part of the Loomis Chaffee School hockey team, posting a 2.04 GAA and a .917 SV% in 10 appearances.
This isn’t the end of drafting this summer, however, as the annual NAHL Entry Draft will take place on Wednesday July 14th at 1 pm (Central). The draft, pushed back due to COVID-19 and the extended regular season, will be broadcast live on HockeyTV and we will post updates throughout the draft on our social media pages.
We want to extend a special congratulations to Jonathan, Lucas, and Ethan for being selected today. We look forward to seeing all three of your this summer here at The Nelson Center!