CEDAR RAPIDS — The Zmolek family has been very good to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. And vice versa.
The Riders selected Bennett Zmolek with their first available pick Monday night of the 2018 United States Hockey League Draft, Phase I.
The draft consisted of 16-year-old players only. Zmolek was the 21st overall selection, as Cedar Rapids did not have a first-round pick because it recently tendered Russian forward Andrei Bakanov.
Bennett is the third Zmolek brother to be drafted by the RoughRiders. He is a sophomore at Rochester (Minn.) Century High School.
Riese Zmolek just finished his freshman season at Minnesota State. He played the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the RoughRiders, serving as team captain in 2016-17.
Will Zmolek played this past season for the RoughRiders and is expected to return in 2018-19. All three Zmoleks are defensemen, as was their father, Doug, who played 10 seasons in the National Hockey League for San Jose, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The RoughRiders also selected nine other players Monday in the Phase I draft.
They included defenseman Charlie DesRoches (third round/Summerside, Prince Edward Island), Austin Cook (sixth round/West Berlin, N.J.), Makai Mitchell (ninth round/Fort Collins, Colo.) and Alexander Khondatenko (10th round/Yaroslavl, Russia). Goaltender Carter Clafton (Grand Rapids, Minn.) went in the fifth round.
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The other picks were forwards: Thomas Stift (fourth round/Chino Hills, Calif.), Nathaniel Hanley (fifth round/Rocky Point, N.Y.), Winter Wallace (seventh round/Boulder, Colo.) and Jake Quillan (eighth round/Dartmouth, Nova Scotia).
Phase II of the 2018 draft is Tuesday, beginning at 10 a.m.
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