SUNRISE, Fla. — Incoming Providence College men’s hockey freshman forward Erik Foley (Mansfield, Mass.) was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the third round (78th overall) of the 2015 National Hockey League (NHL) Draft. Next, incoming freshman defenseman Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) was chosen by Anaheim in the sixth round (178th overall). The two-day draft took place at the Florida Panthers’ BB&T Center (June 26-27).
Foley, who was recently invited by USA Hockey to U.S. National Junior Team Evaluation Camp (Aug. 1-8), becomes the fifth Friar all-time to be selected by Winnipeg.
Foley played the 2014-15 season for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL). He appeared in 55 games, netting 27 goals and adding 27 assists to lead the RoughRiders in scoring with 54 points. His 27 goals tied for 10th in the league, while his 54 points ranked 15th and he was selected to the USHL All-Rookie First Team. He had six multi-goal games and also netted five game-winning goals.
Foley also was a member of the 2014 USA Ivan Hlinka Team, which placed third in Piestany, Slovakia (Aug. 9-16, 2014). Foley joined the RoughRiders for the end of the 2013-14 season, playing in one regular-season game before appearing in two playoff contests. Prior to joining the RoughRiders, Foley played at Tabor Academy (Marion, Mass.).
Ruggiero is the first Providence College player to be selected by Anaheim.
Ruggiero played the 2014-15 season with the U.S. National Under-18 Team of the United States Hockey League (USHL). In 66 games, he scored a goal and added 14 assists for 15 points and recorded 42 penalty minutes. He was also a member of Team USA’s gold medal-winning squad at the 2014 Four Nations Tournament in Sundsvall, Sweden, notching an assist in four tournament games. Ruggiero played the 2013-14 season with the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL). In 41 games he scored a goal and added four assists.
Foley and Ruggiero become the second and third members of Providence’s freshman class to be selected in the NHL Draft, joining goaltender Hayden Hawkey (Parker, Colo.), who was chosen in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2014 draft by the Montreal Canadiens. They will become the 100th, 101st and 102nd NHL draft picks to play for Providence.
Foley, Ruggiero and Hawkey will be joining a Friar roster with five additional NHL draft picks, including seniors Mark Jankowski (Calgary, first round, 21st overall, 2012) and John Gilmour (Calgary, seventh round, 198th overall, 2013), junior Anthony Florentino (Buffalo, fifth round, 143rd overall, 2013) and sophomores Brian Pinho (Washington, sixth round, 174th overall, 2013) and Jake Walman (St. Louis, third round, 82nd overall, 2014).
— GO FRIARS —