By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – As the Minotauros seventh season draws near it is time to start meeting the players heading to Minot for training camp. Camp opens September 3rd and the pre-season opens on September 9th against the Bismarck Bobcats at the Maysa Arena. We continue meeting the team with forward Aaron Grounds.
Grounds comes to Minot after nearly being a Bismarck Bobcat last season. The rival Cats selected Grounds in the second round of the 2016 NAHL Draft but he elected to play his junior season of high school hockey instead of reporting to Bismarck. Grounds and Tauro fans will probably agree that decision was the right one. In his final season of high school hockey Grounds posted 21 points in as many games for Team Wisconsin in the Fall Elite League and then posted 24 goals and 14 assists in 23 games while leading Hudson High School to a Wisconsin State Title.
The Ohio State University commit passed through the 2017 NAHL Draft without being selected as teams assumed he would either return to Hudson for his senior season or if he did play junior it would be in the USHL. That left Grounds free to choose any team in the NAHL and on the recommendation of the USHL Chicago Steel’s coaching staff Grounds picked the Tauros. Grounds explained, “the coaches in Chicago [of the USHL Clark Cup Champion Chicago Steel] spoke very highly of Minot and the staff. They convinced me it was the place to go for my development.”
Tauros’ Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray believes Grounds will be a key cog in the Tauros wheel, “he’ll have an immediate impact on our hockey club and will play a prominent role,” said Murray. Chris Lonke, the Tauros Assistant General Manager agreed, “What I think is unique with Aaron along with his impressive skill set is his competitiveness and physical play! He had an edge to his game. We see him as a high impact player for sure.” Lonke added, “He is committed to major university for a reason.” Grounds’ assessment of his own game echos that of Lonke’s saying he models his game after Andrew Shaw of the Montreal Canadiens because he, “like[s] his gritty/hard game.”
Come back tomorrow when we will meet Sam Hanson. Do not miss your chance to see Grounds and all of the Tauros in for the first time Monday at 1:00 p.m. in a free to the public practice and then in game action for the first time September 9th at 7:35 at the Maysa Arena when the Bismarck Bobcats come to Minot to open the pre-season.