Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros are proud to announce that forwards Colby Joseph and Justin Dauphinais along with defenseman Nick O’Hanisain have been selected to represent the Tauros as members of Team Central at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. Top Prospects will take place in Pittsburgh, PA, February 6th and 7th.
Team Central will take on Team East at 4:00 p.m. on the opening day and Team South at 11:00 a.m. on the second day. Unlike in years past when there have been “Selects” teams featuring additional younger or already NCAA committed players this year there will only be the four divisional teams limited to players whom are not yet committed to NCAA schools. Roster spots were assigned based on each team’s place in the standings. Which means for the Central Division roster, the Austin Bruins send four players, the Aberdeen Wings, Minot Minotauros, and North Iowa Bulls will each send three, and the St. Cloud Norsemen and Bismarck Bobcats will each send two. The head coach of the Central team will be Steve Howard from the Austin Bruins and the assistant coach will be Scott Langer from the Aberdeen Wings.
Joseph said “It’s a huge honour! It’s a great opportunity for myself and others. But also a great opportunity to represent Minot and the Central Division.” Joseph leads the Tauros with five power play goals this season and has 30 goals in his NAHL career. The second year forward is sixth overall on the Tauros with 18 points on the season (7 goals 11 assists). Tauros Head Coach/General Manager Cody Campbell said of Joseph, “Colby’s presence on the power play and his willingness to get to the tough areas of the ice makes him difficult for our opponents to play against.”
Dauphinais agrees with Joseph saying, “being picked for the top prospect is an honour and privilege. I’m excited to have the opportunity to showcase myself and represent the central division.” Campbell points to Dauphinais’s growth as part of why he is headed to Pittsburgh, “Justin’s speed and knack around the net as been incredibly important to our team this year. He also has continued to improve and raise his level of play throughout the course of the season.” Dauphinais is third on the Tauros with 26 points (11 goals 15 assists).
Nick O’Hanisain echoed Joseph and Dauphinais, “an incredible honor to get selected to go and to have the opportunity to play in front of all those scouts that will be in attendance!” Through 32 games played this season O’Hanisain has eight goals and 16 assists for 24 total points. He is just 14 points from tying Sam Skinner for the Tauros all-time record for defenseman points and three goals from matching Cole Mickel’s franchise mark of 11 goals by a defenseman in a single season. O’Hanisain is currently fifth overall in the NAHL among points by defensemen. While the offensive numbers jump off the page Campbell points out O’Hanisain’s value goes beyond that, “”Nick has been a steady offensive contributor on the backend for us this year and has also been one of our most dependable players defensively.”
As for playing with Bobcats, Wings, and players from the rest of the Central none of the Tauros seem too worried about it. “With the division rivals, we’re all there for the same thing in getting a scholarship so I think we’ll put our differences aside and get a job done and put on a show,” said O’Hanisain. Joseph agreed that “we all are striving to reach the same individual goals,” but added, “It definitely will be weird off the start for sure, but after you play guys as many times as we do you gain a respect for each other.” Dauphinais added that once they get past the “awkward” feeling of being in the room together there is a chance it may help cool some of the rivalries, “if anything playing with each other will just grow our mutual respect for each other.”
Ultimately as all three pointed out the goal at Top Prospects is to secure the opportunity to play at the NCAA level. Campbell believes all three have what it takes, “we are excited for the opportunity that these guys have earned and look forward to watching them preform in Pittsburg and continue on there path towards division 1 hockey.”