FAIRBANKS, AK-It may be spring time but that doesn't mean nothing is happening on the local hockey scene. Today was the NAHL Draft and your Fairbanks Ice Dogs made use of their eight picks.
The Ice Dogs had the third overall pick and selected forward David Kaplan from HC Letnany. Also in the first round with the 12th pick Adam Kleven from the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes U18 team was picked up by Fairbanks. In round three Willie Brooks from Salisbury Prep was selected.
Fairbanks did their damage in round four with three picks. Forward Nikola Rados from Shattuck St. Mary's was taken 77th overall followed by defenseman Niclas Frahmer and forward Viktor Liljegren.
The Ice Dogs went local with Lathrop product Connor Nilson with the 116th overall pick in the fifth round. Fairbanks last pick was forward Josh Smith going 125th overall in round six to round out the Ice Dogs draft picks.
We caught up with Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart today by phone who said the team addressed their needs in regards to size with this draft class. That seems to be a winning recipe for the championship Ice Dogs team in 2011 and the Amarillo team who won the Robertson Cup this season who put bigger teams on the ice.
"We wanted to get a little bit bigger than we were last year and we felt that we addressed that across the board with our draft picks," Stewart said. "A number of the guys being over six feet tall and being strong as well so we felt that we addressed that, especially with our draft."
Coach Stewart also feels that this class can compliment that returning players.
"We got a good group of returners back and I think that this class is going to gives us more depth. I think that they're going to add a little, a different element of strength that maybe we lacked a little bit last year," Stewart said.
The Ice Dogs will have a team camp in Minnesota on July 10-12 and training camp is slated for August 26th.