MASON CITY, Iowa – North Iowa got its first taste of the North American Hockey League draft last month with its first run through the NAHL’s Supplemental Draft.
If the Supplemental Draft was an appetizer, the Bulls feasted on the main course Wednesday afternoon with the league’s annual Entry Draft, selecting eight players to fill out its initial 2021-22 Protected List. Six players selected were forwards, and the Bulls’ first-ever Entry Draft list also had a distinct international flavor with players selected from Italy, Canada and Slovakia in addition to their five American selections.
“The biggest thing with the draft is, you can always take some flyers, but we were able to address some things from the outside with the group that we thought we might need some help with,” said associate head coach and general manager Kevin Murdock. “We took a lot of forwards and only one defenseman, just looking to add some depth up front.”
Two former Bulls were selected by other teams in the NAHL Entry Draft, with Zach Simon earning a selection from the Anchorage Wolverines in the seventh round and Noah Roitman heading to the Minot Minotauros in the seventh round.
Next up in the selection process for the Bulls’ NAHL roster is the team’s Main Tryout Camp, scheduled for July 29 to August 1 at the Fifth Third Arena – Chicago Blackhawks Community Ice Rink in Chicago, Illinois, across the street from the United Center. Click here for information on the Bulls’ Main Tryout Camp, or to register for the camp.
NORTH IOWA SELECTIONS IN THE 2021 NAHL ENTRY DRAFT
22nd Overall: Tyler Wishart (F – Pound Ridge, N.Y. – Westchester Express 18U)
Tyler is a player who has the smarts in the classroom to match his smarts on the ice, with a commitment already in hand to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He has spent the last couple of seasons in the Westchester Express AAA program, but recently finished his junior year at John Jay High School. He has been on several junior hockey scouting radars in recent years, going to the Lincoln Stars in last year’s United States Hockey League Phase I Draft, and to the Barrie Colts in last year’s Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. He’s given his swing plenty of practice, also playing golf in the John Jay High School program.
44th Overall: Simone Dadie (F – Brunico, Italy – Okanagan HC Europe U20)
Simone comes from the same Okanagan Europe club that brought fan favorite Sota Isogai to the River City, posting 45 points this past year at the U20 level. It was his third season at the U20 level for Okanagan, following a U16 season with the Cortina Pieve club in his native Italy. In March of last year, his overtime goal capped a comeback from a 3-0 deficit, setting an Okanagan Europe record for the biggest comeback in club history and sending his team to the Erste Bank Juniors League semifinals.
51st Overall: Matthew Gerke (F – Edmonton, Alberta – Selkirk Steelers)
After a couple of transactions north of the border this offseason, Matt has perhaps found a solid landing spot in Mason City for the 2021-22 season. He was able to squeeze in a few games for the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 2020-21 before being acquired by the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints, and Gerke was traded again to Selkirk in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last month. His ability to set up teammates in the big moments could be a big advantage for the Bulls.
128th Overall: Nicholas Liotino (D – Commerce Township, Mich. – Compuware 18U AAA)
A player with an extensive history on the ice for the Compuware program, Nick has long been on the radar of junior hockey coaches. Earning an NAHL tender to the Shreveport Mudbugs for the 2020-21 season, he finally landed a shot at the junior level with the Oklahoma City Blazers, playing four games and notching four points for the eventual Fraser Cup semifinalists. Liotino may get a chance to reunite with Compuware teammate Logan Dombrowsky, who played 29 games and scored five points for Amarillo last season and has two seasons of junior eligibility remaining.
138th Overall: Anthony Domina (F – Severna Park, Md. – Northern Cyclones)
Anthony will begin his second season of junior hockey in 2021-22, playing 18 games and posting six points for the Cyclones in the National Collegiate Development Conference. The Maryland-born forward is a defensive-minded center who says builds his game on that of Patrice Bergeron, himself a two-way star on the forward line. Domina came up through the Washington Little Caps program before heading north in 2019-20.
167th Overall: Matus Hadusovsky (F – Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia – IF Sundsvall U20)
Matus is the Bulls’ second draft pick of the day with a Division I commitment already in hand, heading to American International College in 2022-23. After an outstanding run at the U16 and U18 level in his native Slovakia and a 2019-20 campaign in Springfield, Massachusetts, he took his talents to Sweden last season, playing for Sundsvall’s U18 and U20 programs this past winter. He played two junior contests for the Springfield Jr. Pics, but spent most of his time in the Jr. Pics’ 16U program, notching 72 points.
196th Overall: Michael Mumm (F – Livingston, N.J. – New Jersey Rockets 18U AAA)
Mumm will look to make the move to juniors after a solid finish to his prep career at Livingston High School this past season, closing out a four-year run with 77 points for the Lancers. He also suited up for the Rockets’ 18U squad this past year after developing in the New Jersey Devils’ youth program. Mumm battled back from injuries that limited his ice time as a freshman and sophomore, and is noted for balancing his skill with a good work ethic who will bring drive and passion to whatever team enjoys his services this coming season.
225th Overall: Carsen Stokes (G – Prior Lake, Minn. – North Iowa Bulls)
North Iowa’s final pick of the 2021 NAHL Entry Draft is also the one who needs the least introduction to the Bulls faithful, as the North Iowa Bulls close out their draft by selecting…a North Iowa Bull. Carsen came to the team from the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness just ahead of the roster deadline and flew under the radar through the remainder of the regular season with a 2-2 mark in eight appearances. His first win as a Bull didn’t even come until March 6, gutting out a 3-1 win at the Willmar WarHawks. Stokes ripped through the competition in the postseason, though, playing every single second of the Bulls’ 10-game run to the Fraser Cup national championship. He won eight of those 10 decisions, notching a 1.39 goals-against average. The production against him was even more paltry at the national tournament, allowing just four total goals for an unconscious 0.99 GAA.