LINCOLN, Neb. – The Lincoln Stars announced Saturday the signing of defenseman Chase Pietila of the HoneyBaked Hockey Club (U15) to a USHL tender agreement for the 2020-21 season.
Pietila is the second tender in Stars franchise history, joining Christian Krygier (2016).
“Chase has been on our scouting department’s radar for the last twelve months," Stars Interim GM and Head Coach Chris Michael said. “We’ve had plenty of conversations about Chase with our scouting staff and they’ve done a great job gathering enough information about him on and off the ice to give us the comfortability to go down the tender process with the Pietila family.”
"We had to pay close attention [because] he was invited to the USA National Team Development Program camp and unfortunately it didn’t happen," Michael continued. "Once we heard the news that he did not get selected by the NTDP, we were fully ready to get after the process and get the tender done.”
“I’m very excited to play in Lincoln, it’s a great opportunity and I’m sure they’ll help me develop and get me to my goal to play at the next level,” Pietila said. "I’ve heard [Lincoln] is a great organization and I can’t wait to play with them."
"The type of player he is fits with the game we'd like to play but more importantly the type of person he is a perfect fit for the Culture we are trying to continue to enhance," Michael remarked. "The family is very comfortable with the league as they've had two older boys go through so they understand the process. They understand this is a tough league so it’s going to be a lot of work from day one, but he’s a mature 16-year-old that we feel is physically ready to begin the process. We couldn’t be more excited to add him to our family."
The Howell, MI native registered 64 points (12 goals, 52 assists) in 61 games in the 2019-20 season for HoneyBaked. Pietila prides himself on using his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame to compete in all three zones.
"I try to describe myself as a hard-working teammate that plays for the person next to him and every one of his teammates," Pietila said. "Those points … I wouldn’t have got them without my teammates working hard with me."
The USHL tender process allows teams to sign up to two 2004 birth year players prior to the 2020 USHL Phase I Draft, which takes place next month. Pietila's signing will take the place of Lincoln’s first-round pick in the 2020 USHL Phase I Draft. Tendered players are required to play in 55 percent of a Member Club’s games during the regular season, notwithstanding injury, illness or suspension.