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Tauros Draft Nine

By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com

Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros bolstered their roster today adding nine players through the NAHL Draft.  As the result of last season’s 35-19-6  record being the sixth best in the league the Tauros drafted 19th overall.  Trades over the last two seasons combined to have the Tauros picking five players in the first three rounds, before sitting the fourth and fifth rounds out, and then selecting one player in each of the sixth through ninth rounds. 

The NAHL Draft is slightly different than drafts sports fans may be more familiar with such as the NHL or NFL drafts in that teams draft until their protected list is full meaning there is no set number of rounds. This season the Tauros protected 21 players between veterans from last season and prospects whom have already signed tenders leaving nine spots for the Tauros to fill. 

A strong draft was a key to last season’s success with Cam McClue (1st round) , James LaDouce (2nd round), Grayson Gavin (6th round), and Zack Bross (7th round) all becoming big contributors in the first season as Tauros.  The year before that saw the Tauros grab Luke Davison (5th round), Quinn Fuchs (9th round), and Jake Dittel (13th round).  John Snodgrass (6th round) also was selected in the draft two summers ago and was a big contributor in his lone season as a Tauro. 

As usual the Tauros hockey operations staff lead by Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray took a balanced approach in the draft selecting three players with junior experience, five Minnesota High School standouts, and one player from the elite midget ranks.  Murray was pleased with how this year’s draft played out “hopefully you always have a good feeling coming out of the draft, but this year we certainly do.  The staff did a great job finding talent, it was one of those years you wish you had more picks.” 

Of course the Tauros strong returning roster and tender class are the reason the Tauros had just nine picks this year and that freed up the coaching staff a bit said Murray, “we feel good about our roster, we have some guys who we’re not sure if they’re going to be in the USHL or not, but we picked guys who we think are ready to step in and play day one.”

Here is the full list of nine players the Tauros drafted today:

1st round, 19th overall

Reid Stefanson

2/19/1997

Winnipeg South Blues (MJHL)

Winnipeg, Man, Can

5’10” 170lbs

Left Wing

56gp 18g 31a 49p 40pim

 

2nd round, 43rd overall

Nolan Sawchuk

9/24/1997

Burnsville High School (MNHS)

Burnsville, MN

5’11” 170lbs

Defenseman

25gp 4g 22a 26p 22pim

 

3rd round, 59th overall

Austin Dollimer

11/2/1997

Rosemount High School (MNHS)

Rosemount, MN

6’0” 180lbs

Forward

25gp 14g 14a 28p 16pim

 

3rd round, 63rd overall

Max Johnson

5/11/1998

Lakeville North H.S. (MNHS)

Lakeville, MN

5’10” 189lbs

Center

25gp 27g 19a 46p 14pim

 

3rd round, 67th overall

Josiah Slavin

12/30/1998

Colorado Thunderbirds 18U

Erie, CO

6’1” 165lbs

Forward

32gp 13g 10a 23p 24pim

 

6th round, 139th overall

Justin Howell

4/25/1997

Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)

St. Paul, MN

5’10” 196lbs

Center

55gp 13g 11a 24p 58pim

 

7th round, 163rd overall

Robbie McClellan

8/23/1996

Estevan Bruins (SJHL)

Palos Verdes, CA

5’10” 154lbs

Defense

58gp 3g 11a 14p 8pim

 

8th round, 187th overall

Charlie Weiand

9/4/1997

Rosemount High School (MNHS)

Rosemount, MN

6’0” 180 lbs

Defense

25gp 4g 12a 16pts 18pim

 

9th round, 211th overall

Tyler Jette

5/7/1998

Farmington High School (MNHS)

Farmington, MN

6’4” 191lbs

Defense

22gp 5g 17a 22p 34pims