Tauros NAHL Entry Draft Preview
by Ken Oda
Minot, ND - Tuesday the Minotauros will participate in their tenth NAHL Entry Draft. Despite the NAHL expanding protected lists this summer the Tauros will still have just five selections, one in the NA3HL round of the draft and four in the open portion. The Tauros will make one pick in the first round (17th overall), two in the second round (39th and 44th), and one pick in the third (71st) to finish the day.
Entering the draft the Tauros have the NAHL rights to 33 players. This includes the Tauros veteran players, Tauros taken in the first five rounds of the USHL draft, players whom have signed Tender agreements, and the three players taken in the NAHL's Supplemental Draft in May. With 19 forwards, 11 defensemen, and three goaltenders already in the mix the Tauros staff will be able to target players they feel can add to the mix rather than feeling compelled to fill a need.
Of course, holding a players NAHL rights does not make it a lock that he will report to training camp either. Players may make USHL teams or be out-performed by free agents at Main Camp in late July; this year there is also the added mystery of COVID-19 and whether or not international players will be able to come through the border. As former Tauro Keenan Lund said earlier this summer, "it is intimidating coming into camp not drafted or tendered. However, after spending two seasons in Minot, it's clear that nobody gets special treatment. If you can play, you'll have the same opportunity." Players taken in tomorrow's NAHL Entry Draft will have the same opportunity to make the team as the 33 players already in the mix.
The Tauros five selections tomorrow will be the fewest the Tauros have ever had in the NAHL Entry Draft, the previous low had been seven selections in the 2015 Entry Draft. Of course with the change in draft rules this season including the addition of the Supplemental Draft as a means to help teams plan during the pandemic the Tauros will still have added eight picks over the full course of the off-season.
The Tauros will have full NAHL Entry Draft coverage on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instgram) and minotauroshockey.com tomorrow including live updates of the picks as they happen. Also the Wednesday's episode of Tauros Weekly will recap the Tauros selections in the Entry Draft. Tauros NAHL Draft coverage is brought to you by Applebees, Farmers Union Insurance, First International Bank & Trust, and Trinity Health.
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