photo credit: Kim Kowalski, Gametime Sports Photos
By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros have acquired forward Michael Louria from the Janesville Jets in a trade this afternoon. Louria, the North American Hockey League’s sixth leading scorer has 19 goals and 21 assists in 41 games for the Jets; but he cost the Tauros a high price. In exchange for Louria the Tauros send the Jets defenseman Michael Bigelbach and Port Huron’s first round draft pick which was acquired via trade earlier in the season.
Louria should bolster the Minotauros attack, which at 2.18 goals per game currently ranks 22nd in the 24 team NAHL. The Tauros’ 21st ranked power play should also get a boost at Louria had nine goals and seven assists while the Jets were skating up a man.
Tauros Head Coach/GM Marty Murray said that while he “feels this is the right move for the team it is bittersweet.” He continued to explain, “we getting a top end point producer in Louria; but it was very tough to give up a talent like Michael. He has been a hard worker and played well for us. We wish him nothing but the best as he moves forward with his career.”
Bigelbach was one of four Tauros to be named to a NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Roster which serves as the league’s all-star event. The rookie defenseman has four goals and 10 assists in 44 games this season, and has been a part of a 10th ranked Tauros defense allowing only 2.57 goals against per game.
In the end this move was about adding offense. In order to bring value in the Tauros had to send something of value back to Janesville. In Louria the Tauros have added an element that the team has never had in three seasons of existence, an elite goal scorer.