The first USA Hockey protected lists for the 2016-2017 campaign are now public. The up-to 30 player list for the Phantoms is only at 22 players for now and we're likely not to get much in the way of updates until the Phantoms release their camp roster and/or when the August 19th deadline for final cuts to bring the list down to 23. That 23 man mark is actually 1 more than the 22 players actually on the list. Don't worry, most other teams don't protect a full 30 player list, as of now Sioux City only shows 7 players protected.

What's surprising is a couple players that aren't on the list. Ty Farmer and Eric Esposito were both cited as players returning from last season and were both in tryout camp. I'm not counting them off the roster yet but I do find this curious. Also curious is that we only list 2 overage (1996 born players) and no import players, both of which we're allowed 4 on the roster. 

I've copied the list as of this morning here and updated the roster page. As any updates come in, I'll keep posting them here. Hopefully, the Phantoms will release their camp roster soon.

Edit 1: Full camp roster is here.
Edit 2: I updated the table with the addition of Ty Farmer, Eric Esposito and Coale Norris from the USA Hockey protected lists. The USHL Protected/affiliate list had Farmer and Esposito on the affiliate list. 

While it's still too early to have a lot of updates on the roster, I do have some news on that front. The first item is an early trade with the Phantoms acquiring Austin Pooley from the Fargo Force in exchange for a conditional 2017 Phase 2 (Entry) Draft pick. Pooley started his USHL career with the Omaha Lancers in 13-14 before spending the last 2 seasons in Fargo. The 6'1" 200lbs center is a defensive minded forward capable of making a big impact on the penalty kill. He's a Dublin, Ohio native who spent a couple seasons in the Ohio Blue Jackets youth hockey system and committed to Ohio State University. Fans should know of my affinity for the players coming out of the Columbus area so I was happy to see Austin at the tryout camp and making the All-Star roster there. However, the primary reason Fargo traded him was a lack of spots for an overage player as teams are only allowed to roster 4 players with a 1996 birth year and there is no guarantee that he'll make one of those 4 spots. I counted 7 players with a 96 birth year in the tryout all star game.

The second roster item is not such good news. German Poddubnyi, the Phantoms 1st pick in the 2016 Phase 2 Draft and one of the standout offensive forwards from tryout camps might be heading to the OHL. Poddubnyi was selected by the Erie Otters in the 1st round of the 2016 CHL Import Draft. While the USHL may have gained a lot of ground on the Canadian major junior leagues in terms of talent and scouting opportunities, the OHL is still considered to be the top junior league in the world. Poddubnyi does not appear to be perusing a NCAA future and NCAA eligibility is a primary draw for the USHL over the major junior leagues. Poddubnyi has been compared a lot to Max Letunov, a tall and lanky Russian forward with excellent vision and soft hands. He's been very complimentary of the Phantoms organization and hasn't announced signing with Erie but it will be a tall order to convince him that the Phantoms will be a better move for his draft stock.

Also, the Youngstown Phantoms 2016-2017 Schedule is out. Expect some changes at some point as times and dates get juggled to accommodate things like concerts, etc.

The Youngstown Phantoms have activated defenseman Ryan Shea from the injured reserved list. Shea had been on the IR since the beginning of the season with an upper body injury. He's know as an excellent skating defenseman with superb puck moving skills. Shea has played youth hockey for Boston College High School and the Cape Cod Whalers. He played 2 games as an affiliate for the Phantoms last season and looked comfortable making the jump. He was selected in the 4th round, 121 overall, of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He may have gone higher but he hasn't proven himself on the defensive end of things, one trustworthy analysis citing gap control and consistency as areas he may need to work on. It may take him a few games to adapt to the Phantoms system and get into game shape after missing so much of the season but hopefully he'll be able to quickly add to the transition game and powerplay.

With the return of Ryan Shea and the recent addition of Jason Cotton, the Phantoms had to drop a player from the roster to get back down to 23. Unfortunately, it looks like that player was Ty Farmer. He has been removed from the USA Hockey's USHL protected list and from the Phantoms roster on the USHL website. The young defenseman, tendered back in April of 2014, played 39 games in 2014-2015 registering 5 assists with a plus/minus of +2 and played 16 games this season registering 1 assist and a +5. He had been injured most of last month, playing only 1 game in December on the 27th, and was an injured scratch all this month. I'll definitely post more information on his status when I get it.