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By AAHA, 05/23/17, 8:30AM PDT


The newly formed National Collegiate Development Conference junior league has selected three players with ties to the Anaheim Jr. Ducks.

 Forward Jiyoon Chae, who played this past season with the Midget 16U team that reached the Tier I USA Hockey Youth Nationals, and forward Mike Kerbrat, who went to Nationals with the 16s in 2015, were taken in the NCDC’s Entry Draft on May 17.

Defenseman Ryan Johnson, a teammate of Chae’s this past season, was selected in NCDC’s Futures Draft at the end of January.  

The U.S. Premier Hockey League announced the formation of the NCDC in December. The new circuit is being billed as a tuition-free junior hockey division geared toward Division I collegiate development and placement. It has 11 teams, primarily based in the Northeast.

“It’s another pathway for players, offering them more time to develop and reach their goals,” said Alex Kim, the Jr. Ducks’ director of player personnel and co-coach of the 16U AAA team. “It’s in a region where a lot of Division I and III schools can get plenty of looks at players.” 

Chae, a 2000 birth year who has played the past three seasons for the Jr. Ducks, is from Seoul, South Korea. He was selected by the New Jersey Rockets.

Chae had 18 points (six goals) in 35 Tier 1 Elite Hockey League games this past season, and he added a CAHA-high 12 points (seven goals) in 12 regular season and playoff games.

Kerbrat served as captain of Deerfield (Mass.) Academy this past season. The 1998 was taken by the Rochester Monarchs.

Two years ago he helped a Jr. Ducks team that included four players who have committed to Division I schools (Justin Dixson/UMass-Amherst, Jack Gates and Chad Sasaki/Colorado College and Patrick Choi/Bentley) reach Nationals. Kerbrat had eight points in 21 CAHA games that season and another nine in 25 North American Prospects Hockey League games.

Johnson, who earlier this month became the highest-ever Californian drafted in the United States Hockey League’s Futures Draft, was picked by the Islander Hockey Club in the Futures Draft, which was for 2001 and ’02 birth years. He was the only Californian picked in that NCDC draft.

Johnson, who was invited to the U.S. National Team Development Program’s top-40 prospects evaluation camp in late March, is a 2001 birth year and son of Jr. Ducks Director of Coaches Craig Johnson.  

Ryan Johnson had 28 points in 36 games in the Tier I Elite Hockey League, and added seven points in 11 CAHA games. He helped the Jr. Ducks 16U AAA team and the Santa Margarita Catholic High School both reach the USA Hockey Youth Nationals this past season. Santa Margarita, a member of the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, reached the championship game at Nationals.

-- Chris Bayee