WATERLOO | Waterloo Black Hawks standouts Brandon Montour and Mark Friedman were selected Friday and Saturday in the opening rounds of the National Hockey League draft.
Montour went to the Anaheim Ducks in the second round with the 55th overall pick. Friedman was the Philadelphia Flyers' third-round selection at No. 86 overall. Both players are defensemen.
Montour has risen to prominence after he was an 18th-round United States Hockey League draft pick and No. 267 overall by Waterloo. This past season, he was recognized as the USHL's Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year, as well as earning first-team all-USHL honors.
"Brandon is truly a special player, and the Black Hawks organization is so proud of what he accomplished here last season, as well as the bright future ahead," said Waterloo head coach P.K. O'Handley.
Montour, who has committed to Massachusetts to play college hockey, ranked ninth in the USHL in scoring with 62 points last season (14 goals. 48 assists). No other defenseman in the league finished among the top 30 scorers. He also had six goals and 10 assists in the Clark Cup playoffs and a +35 plus/minus rating.
Friedman, a Bowling Green commit, spent two seasons in Waterloo and helped lead the team to the Anderson Cup regular-season championship last season. In addition to the veteran's leadership, he scored 10 goals and handed out 30 assists to rank fourth among all USHL blue-liners. He posted a +22 plus/minus ratio and contributed seven assists during the Black Hawks' run to the Clark Cup championship series.
"We knew Mark needed to have a solid year for the Black Hawks to be successful lats season, and he didn't let us down," said O'Handley. "When he was on the ice, we were a better team."