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Two UConn Men’s Hockey Commits Selected in 2017 NHL Draft

Both Kale Holwarth and Tomas Vomacka are expected to be in Storrs for the 2018-19 season.

hockey Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

On Saturday, the 31 NHL franchises completed the 2017 NHL Entry Draft with rounds 2-7 taking place on the second day of the festivities. This day saw two future UConn players selected.

Canadian Kale Howarth and Tomas Vomacka of the Czech Republic were both picked in the fifth round, and not too far apart.

Howarth, a forward, went 148th overall to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He stands at 6-foot-5, 207 pounds, and was the 128th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.

Originally from Alberta, Howarth has played the last two years in the British Columbia Hockey League for the Trail Smoke Eaters, amassing 85 points (42-43—85) in 104 career games. He came into his own in his second season for the Smoke Eaters, scoring 30 goals in 51 games, grabbing 58 points. His 30 goals were tied for 12th in the BCHL as well.

Vomacka just completed his first season in the United States as a goaltender for the Corpus Christie Ice Rays of the North American Hockey League and was selected 154th overall by the Nashville Predators.

He played in 41 games for the Ice Rays with a GAA of 2.43 and a save percentage of .923. The 14th-ranked North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting finished ninth in goals against and eighth in save percentage. He also notched one shutout.

Vomacka, at 6-foot-3, is a larger goaltender, fitting more in the mold of Adam Huska, who is 6-foot-4, than Rob Nichols, who was just 5-foot-11.