STORRS, Conn. – UConn rising sophomore Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) was selected on day two of the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, N.Y., going to the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the 6th Round (181st overall).
Masonius joins classmate Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) in the 2016 NHL Draft class. Thompson was taken in the first round Friday night by the St. Louis Blues with the 26th pick. Masonius is the second Husky drafted by the Penguins, joining defensemen Ryan Segalla (Rockland, Mass.) who was taken by Pittsburgh in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Masonius attended Pittsburgh’s development camp last summer before coming to Storrs to join the Huskies.
The duo make it six UConn players over the past four years to be selected in the NHL Draft. They join Maxim Letunov (St. Louis/2nd Rd/2014), Miles Gendron (Ottawa/3rd Rd/2014), David Drake (Philadelphia/7th Rd/2013) and Ryan Segalla (Pittsburgh/4th Rd/2013) as NHL prospects on the UConn roster.
They were also two of 59 NCAA or NCAA-bound players taken in this year’s draft.
The 6-0 defenseman led all UConn blue liners in scoring as a freshman. Masonius tallied 21 points on six goals and 15 assists and also finished third on the team in blocked shots with 42. On the season, Masonius was tied for 13th among Hockey East defensemen in scoring. On the power play, he had 14 points coming off three goals and 11 assists.
Earlier this week, Masonius and Thompson were both invited to participate in the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. The duo will be trying to earn a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in December.