New Ulm Steel draft 8 new players for next season

Hockey season continued for the New Ulm Steel on Wednesday as the NA3HL draft was held.

The Steel drafted eight players and also got a signed tender from one player for next season.

“We had a list of players that we wanted and were able to get most of the players that we wanted,” New Ulm Steel General Manager Bryant Black said. “And this year in our draft strategy we had a different philosophy that we used going into the draft and we feel that it paid off. We talked to each player that we drafted over the week leading to the draft. Overall we are pleased and excited for the future.”

Black said that last year the Steel took the approach of drafting players who would start out at the Tier II level and eventually would fall down to the Steel.

“That was how we got [defenseman] Zach Heiser who was our first overall pick this past season,” Black said. “This draft we went with the approach that a lot of the players we drafted this year played high school hockey or AAA last year and they were a lot younger and are more in the development stages.”

In the first round, the Steel selected Bryan Louis, a forward from Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

“He is a raw talent,” Black said. “He played at Shattuck which is one of the most prominent programs.”

The Steel followed that up by drafting forward Freddie Macciochi from the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield.

The Steel had a pair of third-round selections and chose defenseman Jeff Bishop from the Superior Rough Riders (Boulder, Colo.) and then forward Jacob Halvorson from Northfield High School.

Defenseman Jake Anderson, from Mankato East High School, was taken in the fourth round. In the fifth round, New Ulm selected defenseman Kellen Theraldson from the Soo Eagles (Saulte Ste Marie, Mich.).

Defenseman Cam Birkeland of Mt. Iron High School was taken in the sixth round followed by goalie James Royce from Simley High School.

New Ulm’s final selection came in the eighth round when it chose defenseman Luca Foglio from the Tri-State Spartans (Cincinnati, Ohio).

The Steel also signed Luverne High School forward Declan Beers to a tender.

New Ulm still has 10 other signed tenders out but does not want the names public yet.

Black said that one drafted player thay may surprise people is Theraldson.

“He is a potential D-I talent,” Black said.

NEED MORE GRITTIER PLAYERS: Black said that last year the Steel had a lot of talent and won hockey games.

“But at the same time, we need more guys who are wiling to do the dirty work,” he said. “You need players like Nick Wieben and Jack Park. And I think a player like Brandon Mehlhop has a lot of skill and has a big opportunity to play a big role for us as he develops. And another local player like Bayler Kraus is going to be a good defenseman for us next season.”