MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s not often that a player from the North American Tier 3 Hockey League gets chosen in the North American Hockey League’s annual draft. Each NAHL team has 10 tenders that it can use to sign players ahead of the June draft, and one must be used on a player from the NA3HL.
This year, though, NAHL teams were ready and more than willing to snap up players from the NA3HL, including a pair of North Iowa Bulls. Both players were chosen in the seventh round, just 10 picks apart.
Cam Fagerlee was chosen by the Kenai River Brown Bears, and will get his next shot in the NAHL with a very familiar coach. Former Bulls associate head coach Kevin Murdock became the Brown Bears’ head coach in April, and has coached the St. Anthony, Minnesota native each of the last two years.
Murdock knows as well as anybody what Fagerlee could bring to the table for the Brown Bears, who are looking to bust out of a five-year playoff drought and have never won a playoff series. After starting his Bulls career last season with an 18-game point streak and earning a call-up to the Amarillo Bulls and a tender from the Aberdeen Wings, he notched 54 points during the 2018-19 regular season and postseason. His contributions were just some of those that propelled the Bulls to their sixth Fraser Cup tournament appearance in seven seasons.
Hank Nagel represented the NA3HL at the Robertson Cup, in the NAHL’s 18-and-under Top Prospects Tournament. Turns out, it was an impressive audition for some of the NAHL scouts in attendance. Nagel was selected by the Minnesota Magicians, who swapped seventh-round picks with the Minot Minotauros to select him. He posted six points during the regular season for the Bulls, and added two more in Blaine last month.
Neither player had previously made a college commitment or signed an NAHL tender for the 2019-20 season. It is the first time in franchise history that the team has had players selected in the NAHL Draft.