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Chippewa Steel Logo (Online)

The Chippewa Steel made defenseman Sam Miller their first pick in the North American Hockey League draft on Tuesday, choosing the Pewaukee native with the fourth overall selection of the first round.

The 5-foot-11 Miller most recently played with the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League and was the first of 15 selections made by the Steel on the day.

Overall the team chose seven defensemen, seven forwards and one goaltender during the draft.

Four of the players chosen are Wisconsin natives, including Eau Claire Memorial forward Hutson Collins who was chosen in the 14th round. Collins scored 19 goals and added 18 assists for the Old Abes in his senior season as the team advanced to the state championship game.

Other players chosen with Wisconsin ties were forward Michael Gebhardt from Mequon, forward Austin Mikesch from Howard and defenseman Marshall Walker from Sheboygan.

After Miller, the team chose forward Niko Castro (Round Two, Pick Four), Gebhardt (Round Four, Pick Ten), defenseman Jordan Gonzalez (Round Five, Pick Four), defenseman Dylan Moulton (Round Six, Pick Four), Mikesch (Round Seven, Pick Four), forward Trevor Schroder (Round Eight, Pick Four), goaltender Brian George (Round Nine, Pick Four), defenseman Lassi Lahteenmaki (Round 10, Pick Four), Walker (Round 11, Pick Four), defenseman Dylan Dent (Round 12, Pick Four), defenseman Will Crane (Round 13, Pick Four), forward Cam Theising (Round 15, Pick Four) and forward Gramm McCormack (Round 16, Pick Four).

In all 11 players from the state were selected during the draft.

The team will host an open tryout camp from Friday-Sunday at Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse and begins its first season of play in Chippewa Falls at the Chippewa Area Ice Arena this fall.

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