ST. PAUL, Minn. — Incoming Michigan Tech hockey freshman Blake Pietila was taken by the New Jersey Devils in the fifth round of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft on Saturday. The Brighton, Mich., native was the 129th overall selection of the draft.
Pietila spend the past two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program playing on the Under-17 squad in 2009-10 and the U-18 team a year ago. He posted 14 goals and nine assists for 23 total points in 60 games in 2010-11.
\”I am happy for Blake that his hard work paid off by him being selected in Saturday\’s NHL draft,\” said Tech head coach Mel Pearson. \”The New Jersey Devils are a first rate organization, and they are getting a solid player in Blake Pietila.\”
Pietila helped the U.S. Men\’s National Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Crimmitschau, Germany, last April.
\”I knew going into it that there was a pretty good possibility of being drafted,\” said Pietila. \”I\’m excited that it happened, and I\’m ready to move on.
\”I look forward to coming to Michigan Tech and continuing my development under Coach Pearson. I think we should have a really good team.\”
The 5-11, 190-pound forward joins Michigan Tech beginning this fall. He is the first Tech player to be drafted since Jordan Foote (2004-08) was taken by the New York Rangers in the sixth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.