Fighting Saints Add 29 Across 2 Phases of USHL Draft
According to a press release from the organization, the Dubuque Fighting Saints have completed Phase II of the 2023 USHL Draft brining a total of twenty selections between the first and nineteenth rounds of the draft; 9 players were selected in the Phase 1; this does not include tendered pick in Liam Kilfoil.
The Fighting Saints opened Phase II by adding goaltender Kevin Reidler at the 8th overall selection. Reidler, a Gävle, SWE native, played this last season with AIK and posted a 2.89 goals against average (GAA) and a .911 save percentage (SV%) to couple with a 14-16-0 record. In the postseason, Reidler recorded his first shutout of the year and turned in a 2.35 GAA and .940 SV%. He is a 2022 NHL draft pick of the Ottawa Senators who selected him in the 151st overall in the 5th round.
In the second round, Dubuque grabbed a defenseman from Espoo Finland with the selection of Joona Väisänen at 24th overall. Väisänen, a right shot defenseman and a 2004 birthyear, registered 28 points (4 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games for the Kiekko-Espo U20 squad.
After sitting out in the fourth round, the Fighting Saints made two additions in the fourth round. With their first selection (55th overall), Dubuque selected forward Erik Påhlsson form HV71 of the J20 Nationell league in Sweden. He was the third leading scorer in all of the J20 Nationell league with 63 points (26 goals, 37 assists) in 46 games.
Then, at 59th overall, the Fighting Saints submitted their selection for defenseman Colin Ralph. The Maple Grove, MN native spent this past season at Shattuck St. Mary's where he produced 35 points (2 goals, 33 assists) in 54 games for their 18U team.
Marcus Limpar Lantz was the next selection for Dubuque eleven slots later at 70th overall in the 5th round. Limpar Lantz is a native of Sollentuna, SWE but spent last year playing for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). With Sarnia he posted 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 65 games and added nine more points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 11 playoff games.
Two picks later (72nd overall) the Fighting Saints selected Dubuque native Ritter Coombs. Coombs netted 31 goals and grabbed 18 assists in 70 games for Northwood School and played in six games in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) as well. He is the son of former Dubuque Thunderbirds head coach (2005-2010) and Fighting Saints assistant coach (2010-2013) Joe Coombs.
In the 6th round, the Fighting Saints selected their second goaltender in Hugo Laring from Frölunda HC of the J18 Nationell in Sweden. Laring went 5-3-0 in eight starts at the J18 Nationell league with a shutout and a 2.62 GAA and .920 SV%.
To open the 7th round, Jonathan Morello was the pick for Dubuque. Morello, a forward, spent last season in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) with the St. Michael's Buzzers. With St. Michael's, the Toronto, ONT native recorded 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 51 games.
Defenseman Isaiah Norlin was the Fighting Saints selection at 101st overall in the 7th round. Norlin, a Minneapolis, MN native, spent the past two seasons with the West Kelowna Warriors in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). This past season he racked up 44 points (6 goals, 38 assists) in 54 games.
After not picking in the 8th round, the Fighting Saints selected Simon Wang from Beijing, China with the 131st overall selection. Wang, a defenseman, played last year for the North York Rangers U16 AAA squad. With North York, Wang produced 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 33 games.
At 146th overall in the 10th round, the Fighting Saints submitted Caton Ryan as their selection. Ryan is a native of San Francisco, CA and played this past season in Canada with the Carleton Place Canadians of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL). He registered 28 points (14 goals, 24 assists) in 55 regular season games.
The Fighting Saints selected defenseman Dryden Allen in the 11th round at 161st overall. The Ottawa, ONT native spent this season with the Southern Tier Admirals U16 AAA team appearing in 36 games and grabbing two goals and 22 assists. He also represented Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games where he recorded four assists in six games.
In the 12th round, Dubuque selected Kole Altergott (176th overall). The Green Bay, WI native played last season with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the NAHL. With the Ice Dogs, the forward compiled 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) in 52 games.
Jordan Murray was the selection for the Fighting saints in round 13 at 191st overall. Murray, a 2006 birth year defenseman from Decker, MAN, spent last season playing for the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). In 39 games for the Terriers, Murray netted a goal and notched 11 assists.
With their 14th round selection, Dubuque selected forward Saxton Tess (206th overall). Tess, a native of Chicago, IL, spent last season playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 18U AAA program. In 68 games, Tess registered 51 points (24 goals, 27 assists).
Then at pick 221 in the 15th round, the Fighting Saints added defenseman Nick Baer. Baer spent last season with the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL. The Minnetonka, MN native played in 57 games last year for the Bobcats notching 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists).
In the 16th round (236th overall), Michael Valdez was the selection for the Fighting Saints. Valdez is a defenseman out of Westminster, CO. He spent this season in the BCHL with the Wenatchee Wild and is a former teammate of Saints defenseman Fisher Scott with the Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL) in 2021-22. Valdez recorded 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in 48 games for Wenatchee this season.
Defenseman Sam Frandina was the Fighting Saints pick at the 251st overall pick in the 17th round. Frandina spent parts of last season with the Madison Capitols and the Chippewa Steel (NAHL). In 19 games with Madison, he posted a goal and six assists. Then with Chippewa, Frandina netted two goals and 15 assists in 26 games.
The Saints grabbed another defenseman in the 18th round selecting Matthew Desiderio (266th overall). Desiderio played last season in the NAHL with the Austin Bruins. He recorded 20 points (5 goals, 15 assists) in 59 games for the Bruins in his first season playing juniors. He is from North Caldwell, NJ.
The Saints added defenseman John Brown of the Cleveland Barons 16U AAA program. Brown, taken with the 281st overall pick in the 19th round, recorded 25 points (7 goals, 18 assists) in 59 games for the Barons. He is a native of North Canton, OH.
The Fighting Saints closed out both phases of the USHL Draft selecting a total of 29 players and the tendering of Liam Kilfoil ahead of the Phase I draft. The Fighting Saints kick off their Main Camp on June 13-16.