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In a busy and active day on the hockey operations front today for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League, the 50th Anniversary celebrating franchise obtained four players while losing the services of three other players in the league's dispersal and expansion drafts. Both conscriptions of players were conducted on this date in successive fashion with all seven IHL member clubs participating.

In the first order of business on the league's agenda, a special dispersal draft was conducted for purposes of re-allocation of all eligible player personnel from the 2008-09 Kalamazoo Wings club which has withdrawn from competition in the growing IHL circuit.

Selecting fifth overall in each round of the dispersal draft, the Lumberjacks chose a total of four players, including two forwards and two defensemen.

With their initial choice, the ‘Jacks opted for prolific-scoring left wing LUCAS DRAKE, a 70-points artisan last campaign with the K-Wings. Muskegon then followed that pick with defenseman JOHN GLAVOTA, who formerly performed in Muskegon with the Fury in the 2002-03 season. Completing their four total selections, the Lumberjacks called the names of center TOMMY LANGE with the third pick and defenseman CASEY HANDRAHAN with their fourth and final selection.

DRAKE, 29, is set to enter his seventh pro season, having enjoyed a star-studded previous 4-seasons in Kalamazoo. The 5-10, 190lb native of Holt, MI was Kalamazoo's second top scoring architect in '08-09, registering 70-points in 68-games on 28-goals, 42-assists. The former standout at Western Michigan U., topped the Wings in goal production while finishing second in assists. In addition, he delivered 7-PPG, second most for the Wings, team-highs of 3-SHG and 4-UG. Moreover, his 4-GWG ranked Wings runner-up. Overall for the IHL, he ranked a lofty 11th in league-wide scoring. Drake will be forever remembered in both Kalamazoo and league-wide lore for scoring the dramatic GWG in OT in the deciding game of the 2006 Colonial Cup Finals as Kalamazoo captured its first league championship in 26-years since 1980's IHL Turner Cup crown. In those 2006 playoffs, his 10-goals in 13-games were foremost in the league. In the past 4-seasons under the Kalamazoo employ, Drake collected 103-goals, 129-assists, 232-points in 259-games..

GLAVOTA, 33, is embarking on his ninth pro season after recording 20-points in 75-games on 5-goals, 15-assists with 104-PIM. His +14 rating tied for the best on the Kalamazoo club. The 6-1, 205lb Sault Ste. Marie native was a member of the Muskegon Fury in 2002-03 when he was 63(1-6-7) with 32-PIM and excellent +10 rating.

LANGE, 21, recently completed a highly-successful IHL rookie season clad in Kalamazoo colors. Finishing fourth in league rookie scoring, the American-bred from St. Louis, MO authored 49-points in 75-games on 25-goals, 24-assists with 73-PIM. He ranked rookie runner-up in goal productivity while his 258-SOG topped all first-year IHL pros and his 6-PPG ranked rookie third.

HANDRAHAN, 29, is approaching his sixth pro season following his second tour of duty with the Wings. The Niagara Falls, ONT native by way of Niagara U. shared the point-scoring team leadership among defensemen by engineering 36-points in 70-games on 3-goals, 33-assists with 2-PPG, 1-GWG with his 16-PP/Assists ranked as second best for his K-Wings squad. He finished eighth in IHL scoring for the blue line brigade and was also a member of the Kalamazoo UHL Championship team of 2006.

The dispersal draft was immediately followed by the IHL expansion draft with the latter expressly designed to begin the stocking of player personnel for the two newest league members, the Dayton Gems and the Quad City Mallards.

Permitted to protect 1-goaltender and 13-skaters, each team could lose a maximum of three players while having the ability to add one more player to its protected list with each player selected from its roster. The Lumberjacks lost the maximum of three players when defenseman Darryl McArthur was tabbed in the second round by Dayton, center Jon Grabarek was picked #5, also by the Gems, with another defenseman, Shaun Fisher the sixth selection of Quad City.

McArthur had previously indicated to the Lumberjacks of his intentions to give serious consideration to retirement.

The 2008-09 season represented the rookie campaign for the Detroit Wayne State U. product Grabarek. Muskegon had originally acquired Fisher in a late season deal from the Bloomington Prairie Thunder.
 
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