116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - It took NFL teams like the Chicago Bears three days to draft six players. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders drafted 31 in roughly 15 hours.
That's why Coach/General Manager Mark Carlson and his staff looked a little weary Tuesday afternoon after the completion of Phase Two of the 2015 United States Hockey League Draft. They were weary.
It's not easy replenishing your organization with new players.
'Our guys did a great job. Worked really, really hard at it,” Carlson said. 'We feel good about what we did. Now it's all about the work the kids put in in the summertime.”
The RoughRiders selected nine players with 1999 birthdates in Monday night's Phase One. They took another 22 of various ages Tuesday.
First on the list was right winger Will Garin, who was the 13th-overall pick. The 17-year-old played high-school hockey in Mound, Minn., this past season and is committed to the University of Connecticut.
'He's just a real solid hockey player,” Carlson said. 'He plays hard all over the rink. He's not afraid to run over people, he can make plays, he can score, he gets around the rink, he's a good character guy. We think he's a real well-rounded player.”
The Riders' second-round pick was 18-year-old defenseman Riese Zmolek, another Minnesotan, from Rochester. His father, Doug, played in the National Hockey League for eight seasons.
'Just a good solid defenseman,” Carlson said. 'He plays hard, is good down low, plays physical, has great character. He moves the puck up smartly.”
Cedar Rapids went young with its third-round pick, center Matt Gosiewski. He's a 16-year-old Harvard commit who played this past season at Milbrook Prep School in New York.
The team had three fourth-round draft picks and selected a right wing (Charlie Michalowski of West Roxbury, Mass.), a center (Jack Gates of Oceanside, Calif.), and a goaltender (Matt Ladd of Getzville, N.Y.).
A most intriguing pick was 19-year-old Czech defenseman David Nemecek, who came in the 18th round. He has two years of high-level Major Junior hockey in Canada under his belt.
'For sure,” Carlson said, when asked if he felt Nemecek would have a chance to make the team. 'He's an experienced player, has gotten better over the years. He has good mobility, can move the puck. We think he can be a real good presence back there on defense.”
Carlson said there was no position of emphasis in either phase of the draft.
'Not necessarily,” he said. 'We knew we needed to add some defensemen, we knew we needed to add some forwards. Yesterday we were drafting for the future, but we also feel we added some guys who can come in and compete to make the team.”
The RoughRiders drafted the brothers of current players Ben Blacker and Cal Burke in Monday's Phase One. Counting the drafts, possible returnees from 2014-15 and the affiliate roster, they own the USHL rights to 57 players.
Tryout camp is June 4-7 at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
'There's good depth there, is going to be a lot of good competition there. It'll be fun to get the guys here for camp in June.”
Here is a list of Tuesday's picks, with round, overall selection, hometown, last season's team and age:
1. (13) Will Garin, RW, Mound, Minn. (Holy Catholic HS/ 17 years old)
2. (29) Riese Zmolek, LD, Rochester, Minn. (Century HS/ 18)
3. (45) Matt Gosiewski, C, Wilton, Ct. (Milbrook Prep School/ 16)
4. (61) Charlie Michalowski, RW, West Roxbury, Mass. (Belmont Hill Prep School/ 18)
4. (62) Jack Gates, C, Oceanside, Calif. (Anaheim Jr. Ducks U16/ 17)
4. (63) Matt Ladd, G, Getzville, N.Y. (Buffalo Regals 16U/ 17)
5. (81) Matthew Baker, C, Midhurst, Ontario (Upper Canada College HS/ 18)
6. (95) Zach Metsa, RD, Delafield, Wis. (Milwaukee Jr. Admirals Minor Midget/ 18)
7. (100) Tyler Irvine, RB, Livonia, Mich. (Topeka Roadrunners NAHL/ 18)
7. (112) Collin Rutherford, C, Tonawanda, N.Y. (Buffalo Jr. Sabres 18U/ 17)
8. (128) Scott Clark, LW, New Boston, Mich. (Alberni Valley Bulldogs BCHL/ 20)
9. (144) Chase Ellingson, C/RW, Blaine, Minn. (Breck HS/ 17)
10. (156) Ben Foley, LD, Edina, Minn. (Edina HS/ 18)
11. (176) Samuel Solensky, LW, Michalovce, Slovakia (Liberec Jr./ 16)
13. (208) David Jankowski, C, Waterdown, Ontario (Stanstead College HS/ 17)
14. (224) Ryan Doolin, F, Hanover, Mass. (Boston Advantage Minor Midget/ 16)
15. (240) Cam Strong, LW, Billings, Mont. (Topeka Roadrunners NAHL/ 20)
16. (256) Casey Linkeheld, LW, Bartlett, Ill. (Johnstown Tomahawks NAHL/ 19)
17. (272) Ryan Murphy, RW, Orono, Minn. (Okawagan Hockey Academy/ 17)
18. (288) David Nemecek, LD, Plzen, Czech Republic (TPS Turku/ 19)
19. (304) Perry Winfree, D, Cary, N.C. (Carolina Jr. Hurricanes U16/ 15)
20. (320) Brandon Wilky, RW, Denver, Colo. (Rocky Mountain RoughRiders U16/ 17)
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