Cedar Rapids - The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders took 16 forwards, 10 defensemen and two goalies over both phases of the United States Hockey League draft, held Monday and Tuesday of this week.
“Our staff worked very hard and we are excited with how the two drafts went. We added exciting players for the future in the Phase 1 2002 draft Monday evening and we drafted players in the Phase 2 entry draft that will join the Roughriders in the near future. I'd like to thank our scouts, coaches and our entire organization for the positive contributions they made, not only over the last 2 days, but all season long. We look forward to camp here in Cedar Rapids May 31- June 3," commented Mark Carlson, Head Coach and General Manager of the RoughRiders.
The first phase of the draft, known as the “Future’s Draft” was held Monday evening, and encompassed players with the birth year of 2002. These players are most likely to play other places in the upcoming season, but are bound to the RoughRiders upon entering the USHL. In this phase, the Riders took five forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender. A familiar name hit the Rider draft board in the 2nd round, when Bennett Zmolek was chosen. Two of Bennett’s brothers, Riese and Will both played for the RoughRiders.
The second phase of the draft, known as the “Entry Draft” was held Tuesday, and saw the Riders pick up 11 forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender. Both Goaltenders from last season’s USHL roster could return, along with several position players. The RoughRiders will conduct a main try-out camp, as well as a futures and goaltender camp over the summer to evaluate all potential players.