Incoming Union College hockey goalie Jake Kupsky was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round of the NHL Draft on Saturday.
The 6-foot-5 Kupsky played for the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League. He posted a 19-4-2 record in 30 games this season. He had a 2.16 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. In the NAHL Robertson Cup playoffs, Kupsky was 6-3 with a 1.86 GAA and a .930 save percentage. He was named to the NAHL All-Rookie team.
“I was pretty speechless,” Kupsky said when he heard his name called. “It was a great feeling. It feels like all the hard work has paid off with Union and San Jose. I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”
The 19-year-old Kupsky was the 193rd overall selection. He is the 13th Union player to be selected in the NHL Draft, and the seventh in the team’s Division I era.
“It’s a tremendous honor for him [to be drafted],” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “It’s based on his ability, work ethic and coachability with Lone Star. Dan Wildfong, the coach there, did a tremendous job with him. In the end, it’s tough to battle the size and the athleticism. That’s probably one of the reasons, outside of his season, that he was drafted.”
Kupsky is the third Union goalie in the team’s Division I era to be drafted. The others were Brandon Snee by the New York Rangers in the fifth round of the 2000 draft, and Justin Mrazek by the Washington Capitals in the eighth round of the 2004 draft. Union had two goalies drafted during the Division III years, both in 1977. Steve Baker was a third-round pick of the Rangers, and Jim Baxter was a sixth-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings.
“I’m really thrilled for him,” Wildfong said. “Obviously, for him to get drafted and get a chance with a great organization like San Jose is a great honor for him. It’s a great opportunity.”
It’s the second straight year Union has had a player drafted in the seventh round. Defenseman and Clifton Park native Jeff Taylor was picked by the Pittsburgh Penguins last year in that round.
Kupsky becomes the second Union goalie to be part of the Sharks organization. Troy Grosenick, who played for Union from 2010-13, begins his third season with the team in September.
“We had strong reports on [Kupsky] all throughout the year,” Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said. “He’s entering a program at Union with a very good tradition of developing goaltenders.”