MASON CITY, Iowa – Last year’s North American Tier 3 Hockey League draft saw just one player taken by the North Iowa Bulls. In the 2019 draft, that same player was chosen again…along with 14 other players. It was a busy night for the Bulls, with a dozen of the Bulls’ 15 picks hailing from Minnesota. Seven of the Bulls’ picks this year also appeared in last month’s Great 8 senior tournament in Minnesota, and six are playing in this month’s CCM National Invitation tournament.
“The Great 8 tournament wasn’t great for us timing-wise, because we were playing for the Fraser Cup,” said head coach Todd Sanden. “We had our scouts there taking notes, and grinding it down for us. It was a pretty good draft for us.”
Here are the Bulls’ 15 draft picks this season:
1st Round (26th Overall):
LIAM MALMQUIST (Edina, Minn./Edina H.S.) – Malmquist was one of two Edina Hornets to be chosen, and both went early. Malmquist had 52 points this season, ranking second on a Hornet team that won the Minnesota AA state championship. His father, Derek, played at Harvard and older brother Dylan is currently on the roster at Notre Dame.
2nd Round (52nd Overall):
KEVIN DELANEY (Edina, Minn./Edina H.S.) – Delaney is the other Hornet chosen by the Bulls in this year’s draft. He had 28 regular-season points in his only varsity season for Edina, and added four more in the state tournament. Two of those (a goal and an assist) came in the title game.
2nd Round (60th Overall):
NICK DAINTY (Andover, Minn./Andover H.S.) – Dainty was an alternate captain for the Huskies in his senior year, racking up 39 points in just 25 games. In all, he compiled 122 points in a three-year varsity career at Andover.
2nd Round (62nd Overall):
NICK HAUCK (Ham Lake, Minn./Blaine H.S.) – Hauck became the first blueliner chosen by the Bulls in this year’s draft, exploding for 31 points as an alternate captain in his senior year with the Bengals. He also spent time in the North American Prospects Hockey League this year with the Minnesota Blizzard 18-and-under team.
3rd Round (98th Overall):
NICOLAS COPPOLA (Glendale, Ariz./Arizona Mission 18U) – The first non-Minnesota native chosen by the Bulls, Coppola is a senior at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in the Phoenix area. O’Connor closed its season as the runner-up in Arizona’s state tournament.
4th Round (112th Overall):
DREW EID (Robbinsdale, Minn./Armstrong-Cooper H.S.) – Oddly enough, one of two players named Drew Eid chosen in this year’s draft (the other is from Maine and played for the EHL’s New York Apple Core), the senior captain finished with 43 points in 24 appearances this past year for the Armstrong-Cooper co-op program. That was enough to earn an all-conference nod for the Wings.
4th Round (129th Overall):
CARTER EHA (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson H.S.) – The Jefferson Jaguar forward posted 15 goals and 11 assists this past season, and appeared (among many Bulls draft picks) at last month’s Ted Brill Great 8 senior showcase in Minnesota.
4th Round (134th Overall):
NICK SHEREK (Eagan, Minn./Eagan H.S.) – Sherek was a senior captain for the Eagan Wildcats this past year, racking up 33 points in just 18 regular-season games. A four-year varsity career allowed him to become one of only seven Eagan players to date to post 100 career points at the high school level.
5th Round (160th Overall):
JACKSON VERCELLONO (Laconia, N.H./Northstar Christian Academy) – After a 2017-18 campaign in the USPHL with the Northern Cyclones, Vercellono moved to the Midwest last year, playing at Alexandria’s Northstar Christian Academy. All he did was rank third on the team with 58 points, leading NCA to more than 40 wins during the 2018-19 campaign.
5th Round (170th Overall):
LUKE HERZOG (Mendota Heights, Minn./St. Thomas Academy) – Herzog played three years at St. Thomas Academy, and led the Cadets to state in all of his three seasons on the varsity roster. He’s a multi-talented athlete, leading STA’s linebacking corps on the football field, and is currently committed to play FCS college football at North Dakota.
6th Round (210th Overall):
HENRY SWEENEY (Hopkins, Minn./Hopkins H.S.) – Sweeney, a 2001 birth-year, was one of the Bulls’ younger draft picks this time around. He notched 35 points in 24 games in his third year of varsity hockey for the Royals.
7th Round (242nd Overall):
CONNOR BIZAL (Elk River, Minn./New Jersey Hitmen) – Bizal is the second Bulls draft pick this year with junior experience, playing 24 games this past season for New Jersey’s USPHL Premier club. After posting 51 points in his final year at Elk River High School in 2017-18, he signed an NAHL tender with the Northeast Generals.
7th Round (246th Overall):
DAUNTE FORTNER (Kingsford, Mich./La Ronge Ice Wolves) – Fortner was the North Iowa draft pick a year ago, but opted to play his first season of juniors in Saskatchewan. The former Flivver was part of the Humboldt Broncos rebuild at the start of this past season, posting eight points in 14 games before moving on to La Ronge. He was also chosen in the 15th round of last year’s NAHL Draft, going to the Corpus Christi IceRays.
8th Round (279th Overall):
LANE GLASER (Hutchinson, Minn./Hutchinson H.S.) – Glaser was the standout quarterback for the Tigers’ football team in addition to a dynamic three-year forward at Hutchinson. The senior captain posted 40 points in 2018-19 to close out a 114-point varsity career, falling to New Ulm in the section title game.
8th Round (283rd Overall):
DEREK ROBERTS (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park H.S.) – Roberts was a senior captain for the Rebels this past season, creeping past the 100-point plateau late in the 2018-19 campaign. Half of those points came during his senior year – Roberts racked up 52 points, including 38 goals, in 25 games this past season.
“When you look at what we have coming back for defensemen, the focus really was on forwards and trying to find kids who have a history of being goal-scorers. The more leaders you’ve got, and the more guys that are capable of taking care of their own business and taking on the business of others, that’s going to keep our team doing what we want it to do.”