Three Jr. Blues Players Picked in USHL Draft

May 6, 2020

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forwards Hunter Longhi, Leo Bacallao, and Caden Villegas were all selected during the 2020 USHL Phase II Draft yesterday evening. 

The USHL Draft takes place during the first week of May each year and is completed in two “Phases”. Phase I of the Draft is ten rounds of “Futures” age players only, which are U-17 players for next year’s season (2004 birth year players only for the 2020 Draft). Phase II of the Draft takes place the following day beginning with round one. This draft is open to players of all ages eligible to play junior hockey and are not currently protected by another USHL team.

Hunter Longhi, a native of Collinsville, IL, was the first of the trio of forwards selected yesterday when the Madison Capitols drafted him in the 7th Round #93 overall. Longhi had an impressive rookie campaign this past season, appearing in two games for the Bismarck Bobcats and 46 games for the Jr. Blues. The Harvard University commit ranked 2nd on the team in points (30), goals (12), and assists (18), earning the team’s Rookie of the Year award at the conclusion of the season. 

Leo Bacallao, a native of Madison, WI, was selected next by the Lincoln Stars in the 10th Round #145 overall. Bacallao joined the Jr. Blues in November after beginning the season with the Janesville Jets and earned a spot on the Selects Red Team at the Top Prospects Tournament in February. In 13 games with the Jets, Bacallao recorded 1 goal and 3 assists before recording 7 goals and 6 assists in 24 games in Springfield. At the Top Prospects Tournament he scored a goal and added an assist in two games. Bacallao has yet to make an NCAA commitment. 

Caden Villegas, a native of Plano, TX, was the final selection when the Des Moines Buccaneers picked him in the 13th Round #186 overall. The Union College commit put up a career year last season for the Jr. Blues, scoring 40 points on 15 goals and 25 assists in 54 games, leading to his selection as team MVP at the end of the season. Villegas joined Bacallao on the Selects Red Team at the Top Prospects Tournament in February, where he scored one goal. Villegas has previous USHL experience when he appeared in 6 games for the Central Illinois Flying Aces in 2018-19, recording one assist in that time. In 104 career games for the Jr. Blues, Villegas has 60 points on 25 goals and 35 assists.