WMU Press Release
Western Michigan's Chase Balisy was selected with the 170th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon.
Balisy, a center from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., finished second on the team in scoring with 30 points on 12 goals and 18 assists to help lead the Broncos to the CCHA Tournament finals and their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1996. He was also name to the CCHA All-Rookie team and was named to the Freshman All-American Team by Inside College Hockey.
"It is a pretty cool experience to be drafted," said Balisy, who watched the draft with some of his teammates at Derek Roehl's house. "All the work that I put in and the sacrifices my family made, really made this a special thing for me. I do know, however, that there is still a ton of work to be done and that this is just one step in the process to be a NHL player."
Balisy becomes the 49th Bronco to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft and the first since former Bronco Kevin Connauton was selected in the third round of the 2009 draft by the Vancouver Canucks. He was also one of 62 players either in college or college-bound to get drafted this year.
"I'm very excited for Chase to be drafted by a quality organization in Nashville, who has done a great job developing their process," said head coach Jeff Blashill. "I also think Nashville got a great prospect in Chase, who has NHL quality skills in his elite hockey mind and elite poise, who I know will work hard towards becoming an NHL player."
Balisy joins junior assistant captain Luke Witkowski as the only other draftee on the 2011-12 roster. Witkowski was selected 160th overall in the sixth round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2008 draft.
Photo courtesy WMU