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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program was featured in this weekend's National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft as forward Kyle Schempp (Saginaw) was chosen in the sixth round on Saturday as the 155th overall pick by the New York Islanders.
Schempp, who tallied 10 goals and 25 points in 43 contests as a freshman in the 2013-14 campaign, became the first Bulldog skater to be drafted since former standout defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) was chosen in the seventh round in 2008. He represents the 28th individual in Bulldog Hockey history to ever be picked by an NHL squad.
The 6-0 Schempp was among seven individuals chosen by the Islanders in this year's draft. The 52nd annual NHL Entry Draft was held in Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center with players born between Jan. 1, 1994, and Sept. 15, 1996, eligible for selection along with undrafted, non-North American players born in 1993.
Schempp is now among only four Ferris State players to be selected in the last 15 years, joining past draftees Derek MacIntyre (2004), Chris Zarb (2004) and Redmond (2008). Redmond spent four seasons with the Bulldogs and has played in 18 career NHL contests with the Winnipeg Jets over the past two seasons. Ferris State had a school-record six selections apiece in both the 1987 and 1991 NHL Entry Drafts.
A total of 11 former Ferris State players have went on to play in the NHL, including two-time Stanley Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Chris Kunitz, wing Dean Clark, defenseman Mike Colman, defenseman Jason Blake, defenseman Dave Karpa, defenseman John Gruden, defenseman Andy Roach, forward Rob Collins, forward Greg Rallo and defenseman Chad Billins along with Redmond. This past season, in 2013-14, four different Bulldogs played in the NHL as Kunitz, Billins, Rallo and Redmond all spent time on hockey's biggest stage.
In his initial campaign at Ferris State this past season, Schempp claimed All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Rookie Team honors, becoming FSU's first-ever player to earn freshman recognition in the league. He also was a WCHA Rookie of the Week and placed fifth overall among first-year scorers in the conference with 18 points in league action. He also ranked among the top 40 freshmen nationally in scoring.
As a freshman, Schempp placed tied for fourth on the squad in scoring and posted a +10 plus/minus efficiency rating with 88 total shots. He had three power-play goals, a game-winner and 12 blocks in his initial season.
Prior to his Bulldog arrival, Schempp began his playing career with the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors for three seasons from 2008-10. He then played for the Traverse City North Stars of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for 59 games in 2011-12 before spending the 2012-13 season with the United States Hockey League's (USHL) Sioux Falls Stampede.
During the 2013-14 campaign, Schempp helped Ferris State win the WCHA Regular-Season Championship in the Bulldogs' debut season. FSU also the WCHA Final Five Championship game and came within a single victory of reaching the NCAA Frozen Four for the second time in three years.
Along the way, Ferris State set a school-record with a nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak that stretched from late October to early January and the Bulldogs' 29 total wins led the country and ranked as the second-best seasonal mark in school history. The Bulldogs were ranked as high as second in the nation during the regular-season and finished sixth in the final rankings.
Ferris State was the lone team from the state of Michigan to reach the NCAA Tournament and one of only two schools from the WCHA along with Minnesota State. The Bulldogs led the WCHA race for the McNaughton Cup from wire-to-wire and became only the third program ever to win both the former CCHA along with the WCHA.
The Bulldogs will open defense of their WCHA Regular-Season Championship as they begin the 2014-15 campaign in early October. The home opener is set for Saturday, Oct. 4, when FSU hosts the University of Michigan in Big Rapids.