CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders had a wish list of four guys they wanted to take in Phase II of the 2018 United States Hockey League Draft. They got one of those four.
Left winger Garrett Worth was selected by the club with the fourth-overall pick Tuesday. He helped Duluth East High School to a runner-up finish in Class AA at the 2018 Minnesota State Hockey Tournament, then scored six goals and nine points in 10 games for the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League.
Worth is an Arizona State commit.
“We like Garrett a lot,” said RoughRiders Coach Mark Carlson. “We thought he was a tremendous player at Duluth East and also did well with the Minnesota Wilderness. We like his offensive ability. He’s a creative player. We think he works. As it is for everybody, it will be an adjustment coming into our league. But we think he’s a real nice player that will help us on the offensive side of things.”
The RoughRiders took 15 players Tuesday, to go along with the 10 guys they selected in Monday’s Phase I draft and the pre-draft tender they extended Russian winger Andrei Bakanov. They did lose an expected returnee Monday when defenseman Jake Johnson announced he has signed with R.I.T. and will begin his college career in the fall.
“We looked at every area with this draft,” Carlson said. “We thought it was important to get a couple of forwards off the bat, because we’ve got some ‘D’ returning.”
The RoughRiders selected German center Tim Fleischer in the second round, then Canadian defenseman Dustyn McFaul in the third round. He is a Clarkson commit.
“We think he’s a versatile player,” Carlson said of Fleischer. “We think he can do some good things offensively. He plays hard, wins a lot of faceoffs, blocks shots. He has a little bit of physical-ness to his game. We think he’s a well-rounded player and will be an important part of our team this year.”
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The team drafted players from every position, including goaltender Garrett Nieto in the 11th round. He starred last season for Janesville of the lower-level NAHL, and makes you wonder how the netminder position will work out this season.
Both Jiri Patera and Blake Pietila could, theoretically, return to the team. The RoughRiders will conduct a Futures Camp in Woodbury, Minn., June 8-10. Main camp has yet to be announced.
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