Tauros Roster Shaping up Ahead of Draft
by Ken Oda
Minot, ND - Tomorrow marks the unofficial start of the new season as the Tauros and the rest of the NAHL participate in the NAHL Supplemental Draft. The Supplemental Draft is being held in place of the NAHL Entry Draft which would usually take place in early June. The goal of the Supplemental Draft is to help teams build for next season by locking three additional players in while still allowing for a larger Entry Draft in July after teams hopefully will be able to hold tryout camps which ordinarily would be in May but have been postponed due to the current pandemic. Teams will each be given three selections in the Supplemental Draft, and once the draft is completed one additional Tender Contract to offer to any free agent player.
As a result of the uncertainty created by the pandemic, teams will be allowed to protect 38 players this summer as opposed to the traditional 30. Heading into the Supplemental Draft the Tauros have six forwards, six defensemen, and one goalie from last year's roster that will be eligible to return and protected. Additionally, they have signed 14 players to Tender Contracts for next year (see below).
The Tauros will have picks number 16, 39, and 41 tomorrow making them the first team to complete all three of their picks. The Tauros had acquired second round picks in exchange for Wilmer Skoog (traded to Maryland) and Matt Gellerman (traded to the Minnesota Magicians) along with their own second round pick which will not be made as teams are limited to three picks in the Supplemental Draft. The Tauros then traded Brennan Couet and pick 37 to the Wichita Falls Warriors for a Tender Contract and pick 41.
Couet played two seasons as a Tauro and three in the NAHL overall. He played 87 games, scored three goals and had 16 assists to go with a +21 rating. The Tender acquired from Wichita Falls in exchange for Couet was used to sign NCAA DI University of Minnesota commit Jake Braccini. Tauros Head Coach and General Manager Shane Wagner said that it was difficult to move Couet, "Brennan was a great player and a even better kid. We are going to miss his presence on the ice and his leadership in the room." Tauros Assistant General Manager Chris Lonke quickly agreed with Wagner and then explained the the rationale behind the move, "This was a great opportunity for him and we could make a move to replace some offense potentially lost up front."
With so many players eligible to return from last year's team along with 14 players signed to Tenders the Tauros have 14 forwards, 11 defenseman, and two goaltenders already protected the Tauros hockey ops staff can make moves like this one dealing from strength and adding competition to the roster rather than just plugging holes. That is especially beneficial given the uncertainty around teams' ability to hold camps.
The Tauros will have full NAHL Supplemental Draft coverage on social media 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 Supplemental Draft. Tauros NAHL Draft coverage is brought to you by Applebees, Farmers Union Insurance, First International Bank & Trust, and Trinity Health.
Tauros Finalize Tender Contract Class
Each season every NAHL team is given 10 Tender Contracts that can be used to sign players for the next season, from there teams can acquire additional Tenders via trade, they can also add one additional Tender by meeting league set scouting goals. In preparation for tomorrow's NAHL Supplemental Draft the Minotauros have completed their Tender class for next season with a flurry of moves since the season ended. The Tauros have signed 14 players since the Tender window opened in November, including nine of whom who signed between the season ending and this afternoon.
Aside from the Tauros 10 original Tenders, the Tauros acquired three via trade and one for hitting the league scouting goal. The Tenders acquired via trade were from Maryland for Wilmer Skoog, Johnstown for Quinn Warmuth, and Wichita Falls for Brennan Couet.
The full list of Tauros Tenders is below.
Tendered Player Last Team Position Hometown Committed
Mason Campbell Rosemount High School D Rosemount, MN
Zach Kilen Hermantown High School F Virginia, MN
Grant Kwapick Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep F Mahtomedi, MN
Tucker Hodgson Steinbach Pistons D Grand Forks, ND
Donte Lawson Cedar Rapids Roughriders F Taconite, MN Bemidji St.
Joey Moffatt Portage Terriers F Portage la Prairie, MB
Mack Motzko St. Cloud Cathedral F St. Cloud, MN
Ben Strinden North Star Christian Academy F Fargo, ND
Connor Kurth Gentry Galaxy 16U F Elk River, MN Minnesota
Tal Halliday Granite City Lumberjacks D Roseau, MN
Williamm Schimek Grande Prairie Storm D Mendota Heights, MN Providence
Carson Cherepak Winnipeg Wild 18U G Winnipeg, MB
Sam Saccone Buffalo Jr. Sabres 18U D Clarence Center, NY
Jake Braccini Buffalo High School F Hanover, MN Minnesota
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