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RoughRiders Select Eleven in Futures Draft

Cedar Rapids, Iowa- Defenseman Chris Wideman was the first of eleven players selected by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in today's United States Hockey League Futures Draft.

The eleven draftees have been added to the RoughRiders' affiliated player list. Players on a USHL team's affiliated list are protected by that team but are not on its 23-player active roster.

"We're very happy with all of the players we've selected," said RoughRiders Coach and General Manager Mark Carlson. "We think these players have a chance to play key roles for the RoughRiders in the future."

The Riders took Wideman with the fourth overall pick of the draft. The 16-year old St. Louis native currently plays midget hockey for the St. Louis Jr. Blues.

The Riders selected New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs forward Greg Burke, 16, in the second round with the sixteenth choice. Burke, a native of Lee, New Hampshire, has already committed to the University of New Hampshire.

Michigan high school defenseman Greg Pateryn was the Riders' third round selection, taken with the twenty-eighth pick. Pateryn, a 16-year old native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, skates for Brother Rice High.

The Riders went with Team Illinois midget forward Chris Bournazos in the fourth round with the fortieth choice. Bournazos, 16, hails from Naperville, Illinois.

The Riders had a pair of fifth round picks and used both on forwards. Cedar Rapids tabbed Grant Blakey with the fifty-second selection and Ryan Knutson with the fifty-fourth- a pick acquired in a trade with the Chicago Steel. Blakey, a 17-year old native of Canton, Michigan skates for the Victory Honda midget program. Knutson, also 17, plays for Rochester (Minnesota) Century High School.

The Riders looked north in the sixth round, taking Sterling, Alaska, native Charlie Smith with the sixty-fourth choice. Smith, 17, currently plays midget hockey in Michigan for Belle Tire and will play collegiately at Northern Michigan.

In the seventh round the Riders grabbed 17-year old defenseman Eric Springer- a Team Illinois teammate of Bournazos- with the seventy-sixth overall pick. Like Bournazos, Springer is also a product of Naperville, Illinois.

The Riders went for strong hockey bloodlines when choosing Dean Chelios, the son of National Hockey League great Chris Chelios, in the eighth round with the eighty-eighth overall selection. The younger Chelios, 17, resides in Bloomfield, Michigan and plays forward for Cranbrook Kingswood High School.

In round nine, the Riders made 16-year old International Falls (Minnesota) High School goaltender Brady Hjelle the one hundredth pick of the draft.

The Riders closed out the draft by taking Westland, Michigan, defenseman Phil Wendecker in the eleventh round with the one hundredth twenty-fourth selection. Wendecker, 17, currently suits up for Churchill High School.

In all, the RoughRiders drafted six forwards, four defensemen and one goaltender.

The RoughRiders open the 2006-07 season Saturday night at 7:05 against the Green Bay Gamblers at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Tickets to Saturday night's game- and all remaining RoughRider home games- can be purchased in person at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena ticket office, over the phone at (319) 261-4625 or on line at www.roughridershockey.com. The ticket office is open from noon to 5:00PM on weekdays and from noon through the end of the second period on game days, including Saturday. Ticket prices range from $7 to $17 in advance and from $8 to $18 on game day. Beginning with the home opener, the RoughRiders will be in action at the ice arena on five consecutive Saturday nights.
 

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Bucs Build for Future in Draft

Des Moines, Iowa --- The Des Moines Buccaneers took part in the USHL's 2006 Futures Draft earlier today, acquiring the rights to six forwards, four defensemen and one goalie.

With the tenth overall pick in the first round, Head Coach and General Manager Regg Simon selected highly skilled and speedy forward Steve Moses (Leominster, MA) from the Boston Jr. Bruins.

"Steve is high-end player and will have the ability to be a difference maker for us in a year," said coach Simon. "He has exceptional speed and is already a proven point producer. He'll fit right into our style of up-tempo offensive hockey."

Other forwards taken by the Buccaneers were Adam Meuller (Roseville, MN), Adam Estoclet (Orono, MN), Kyle Jean (Saulte Ste. Marie, MI), Rob Maloney (Eagan, MN) and Clinton Bourbonais (Whitemore Lake, MI).

"It's really a talented group of forwards and we selected them for what they'd bring to our team," added coach Simon. "Mueller, Maloney and Bourbonais will bring speed, skill and goal scoring ability. Estoclet has tremendous hands, hockey sense and always seems to make a play. Jean has size and skill and will have the ability to be a dominant power forward in this league."

On the back-end, Ben Blood (Plymouth, MN) was the first defenseman selected by the Bucs when they took him in the third round. Other defensemen taken were Nick Pryor (Woodbury, MN), Andrew Panzarella (Columbia, MD) and Ryan McKiernan (White Plains, NY).

"Blood, Panzarella and McKiernan will bring us some size and puck moving ability, while we believe Pryor is skilled enough to run our power play one day," said Simon. "We wanted to draft defensemen who can skate and move the puck. With our style of play, it is important to have that type of player here."

The lone goalie selected by the Bucs was West Chester, Pennsylvania native Michael Milana. A product of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers program, he'll suite up for Kent Prep School this year.

"Michael is a very athletic goalie who is always square to the puck and on his angles," said Simon. "He's flown under the radar a bit, but after we had him to our Futures Camp last June, our entire staff was comfortable making him the only goalie we selected."

Each USHL team carries a 23-man active roster. A team is allowed to keep 12 players on their affiliate list. '89s selected become the property of the drafting team for two years, while '90s can be held for three years.
 

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Bucs choose 11 players in futures draft

The Des Moines Buccaneers selected 11 players in the U.S. Hockey League futures draft today, adding to their protected list of players.

Des Moines chose Steve Moses, a forward from Leominster, Mass., in the first round. Other picks that Des Moines now has the rights to: forward Adam Mueller from Roseville, Minn.; defenseman Ben Blood from Plymouth, Minn.; defenseman Nick Pryor from Woodbury, Minn.; forward Adam Estoclet from Orono, Minn.; forward Kyle Jean from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; defenseman Andrew Panzarella from Columbia, Md.; forward Rob Maloney from Eagan, Minn.; goaltender Michael Milana from West Chester, Pa.; defenseman Ryan McKiernan from White Plains, N.Y.; and forward Clinton Bourbonais from Whitemore Lake, Mich.
 

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Defending champs face opening challenge

When the University of Wisconsin and Northern Michigan University meet this weekend at the Resch Center, it will be a matchup of hockey-rich schools.

The Badgers are the defending national champions and are tied with Boston College for the top ranking in the preseason United States College Hockey Online.com poll.

The Wildcats have won at least 20 games the past five seasons and seven of the last eight, and are ranked No. 19.

UW and NMU, the host, will face off in non-conference games at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the season openers for both teams.

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Buccaneers go on the offensive

Injury kept Ben Ryan off the ice for the majority of preseason practices and out of the lineup for exhibition games.

When he returns to the ice early this season for the Des Moines Buccaneers, the expectations will be high.

He is one of the top returning scorers for the defending Clark Cup champion Buccaneers, who are looking to replace one of the U.S. Hockey League's most potent offensive lines from last season.

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Special teams to hold key for deep Lancers

As USHL rosters grow younger and younger, potential is a word - and also a scary one to coaches - used to describe teams at this time of year.

"It means you haven't gotten to where you can be or need to be," Omaha coach Mike Hastings said.

As usual, the Lancers, who open the regular season on Friday night at Lincoln and on Saturday night at home against Tri-City, have plenty of talent. Ten players return from a year ago to give Omaha a solid leadership base. Ryan Raven, starting his fourth season in the league and second with the Lancers, is the team's leading returning scorer with 26 points.

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