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Muskegon Lumberjacks shake up roster with pair of major trades

Muskegon trades two of its leading scorers in Owen Mehlenbacher and Tyler Dunbar to Fargo and Lincoln

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The USHL saw a pair of major trades Wednesday afternoon as Muskegon dealt two of its leading scorers to the Western Conference.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The USHL saw a pair of major trades Wednesday afternoon and the Muskegon Lumberjacks were front and center in both.

Muskegon dealt forward Owen Mehlenbacher to the Fargo Force for rookie forward Ty Henricks .

The Lumberjacks followed it up by sending defenseman Tyler Dunbar to Lincoln for a 2023 Phase I third-round pick and 2023 Phase II sixth-round pick.

Mehlenbacher was third on Muskegon’s roster in points (24), fourth in goals (11) and also had a "C" on his chest this season.

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Mehlenbacher comes to Fargo after skating in 31 games this season with the Lumberjacks. This is the third USHL season for the Wisconsin commit, all of which have come in Muskegon.


The Ontario native was also the Detroit Red Wings’ seventh-round pick (201st overall) in last summer’s NHL Draft.

As for Henricks, the rookie forward had six goals and nine points in 28 games for the Force this season. However, the Western Michigan commit has just one point over his past eight games and has predominantly played at the bottom of Fargo’s lineup.

A change of scenery and bigger opportunity in Muskegon could very well benefit the California product.

The Lumberjacks dealt another one of their top point producers in Dunbar to Lincoln. The 6-foot, 197-pound defenseman has three goals and 22 points in 36 games this season. He is also a plus-5.

Dunbar ranked fifth on the Lumberjacks roster in points and his 22 points were tied for ninth amongst USHL defensemen.

"He's a veteran defenseman and he's in the midst of another successful season with Muskegon, and we're hoping that continues with us," Lincoln general manager Nick Fabrizio told The Rink Live.

Similar to Mehlenbacher, Dunbar is no stranger to the USHL. This is his fourth season in the league and the Colorado College commit has 176 USHL games under his belt. However, they’ll all been played in a Muskegon uniform.

Dunbar had eight points (1-7-8) in nine games in January, including a four-assist night on Jan. 7. Muskegon is 3-7-0-0 in its last 10 and the Lumberjacks are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference with 34 points.


He joins a Lincoln team in the thick of the Western Conference race. Fargo (24-8-0-3) leads the way with 51 points while Lincoln (20-13-1-0) is currently third in the conference with 41.

The Stars have dropped four straight and are 5-5-0-0 in their last 10. Perhaps Wednesday’s deal can give Rocky Russo's squad a spark.

"Tyler has a lot of experience in this league and we're excited to add him," Fabrizio said. "We're hoping he can bolster our lineup."

Jordan McAlpine is a junior and prospects reporter for The Rink Live.
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