Force take Priskie with first pick of Phase II

The Fargo Force kicked off Phase II of the United States Hockey League Entry Draft when they selected Chase Priskie with the 233rd overall pick.

Priskie showed some of his promise at the recent Force tryout camp that was held in the Twin Cities. He played well enough to be named to the Young Guns All-Star game at the end of the weekend.

The 5-foot-10, 165 pound defenseman is already committed to Quinnipiac for the 2015-16 season. He is a good skater who has a bit of a physical element to his game. The 16-year-old still has some developing to do, but he has a high-end skill set.

Here is what Reel Hockey Scouting says about Priskie:

One of the more promising ’96 U.S. born two-way rear-guards. Carries himself with a quiet physicality and swagger.

Transitionally smooth skater with balance and mobility. Gets stuck in one gear when activating laterally and needs to develop varying speeds and thrust. Could use more punch with his defensive footwork.

Shows the ability to contain his man down-low at this level but will have to develop more strength to do so at the next one. Would like to see him become more intolerant near his net. Works a nifty, quick and strong defensive stick. Although he connected on a few pristine outlet passes, he is somewhat inconsistent in his own zone when under pressure with the puck – seems to hear footsteps when beneath his blue line and tries to force the play out more times than not. Supported his partner effectively.

Anticipates the game well and does a good job disrupting plays and jumping on loose pucks in the neutral zone – does a fantastic job reclaiming possession and resuscitating the play by simply sending the puck back into the offensive zone. Will join the rush much like a fourth forward. Confident with the puck when offensively charged and protects it well with his wide skating base, size and reach. Good vision from atop the blue line and can read just when to spring into open ice to become the option. Possesses a strong nose for the net and shows glimmers of having soft hands but does not run awry with them. Needs to power up his shot.

Already committed to Quinnipiac University for 2015. Owns an intriguing blend of burgeoning defensive prowess and offensive upside. Not unlikely that he will be playing USHL hockey within the next year.  Still has two years to get stronger and put it all together before becoming eligible for the NHL Draft in 2014.


The Force had a need at defense entering the draft and that need is even greater with Taylor Richart committing to Miami (OH) for the fall of 2012. Richart, Brian Cooper (Nebraska-Omaha), and Willie Corrin (Minnesota-Duluth), three of the teams top four defensemen from a year ago have all completed their USHL careers.

The team will return Justin Wade (Notre Dame) and Dominic Racobaldo next year to man the blue line. Neal Goff and Taylor Fleming are also set to return next year, but both players spent a fair amount of time at forward last season. The future of David Mead is murky after being drafted 17th in the NAHL draft.

Players are waiting in the wings in the form of Butrus Ghafari (Western Michigan), Charles Hemstrom, Charlie Pelnik, Dante Suffredini, and others. It seems unlikely that Priskie would make the 2012-13 addition of the Fargo Force, but there may be a direct need for him to join the club for the 2013-14 campaign.

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