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Steel take Welsch in 1st round of NA3HL draft

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Steel did not make a lot of draft picks in the NA3HL draft on Wednesday.

In fact, they traded all but their top draft pick but used the returns from one of the trades to get defensemen Marcus Mack back from the Oregon (Wisconsin) Tradesman.

Mack played for the New Ulm Steel early last season before bring traded to Oregon.

The Steel’s lone draft pick came in the first round (and sixth overall) when they drafted forward Brady Welsch, from Fond du Lac Springs High School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

In 24 regular-season games last year, Welsch had 29 goals and 37 assists.

Welsch added six goals and six assists in three playoff games and completed his resume with four goals and an assist in two state tournament games.

Welsch is also tendered with Fairbanks, Alaska, of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).

“He (Welsch) will start next season in Fairbanks, and if he does not make the NAHL team there, he will play for us,” Stepan said.

Steel coach and General Manager Zach Stepan also had 12 players sign tenders with the New Ulm Steel.

Signed to tenders were defensemen Connor Souza (San Jose U18 Sharks), goalie Tyler McCarville (Hastings High School), goalie Alex Benson (Winona High School), defenseman Isaiah Gagerman (Des Moines Buccaneers U18), defenseman Zach Maret (Lincoln, Nebraska Jr, Stars) forward Jack Laser (San Jose Jr, Sharks U18), forward Cooper Bollmann (Simley High School), forward Finn Parkman (Des Moines Buccaneers U18), forward Kole Altergott (Ashwaubenon High School, Green Bay, Wisconsin), forward Kodall Mizuno (San Jose Jr, Sharks U18), forward Gus Cantwell (Cretin Derham Hall High School) and forward Matt Zauba (Hastings High School).

“I know quite a bit about most of them,” Stepan said. “I had some contacts get ahold of me and tell me that these kids can play at the next level. I am looking forward to what all of these players can do at Chippewa’s mini-camp (July 19-25).”

Chippewa is an NAHL parent club of the New Ulm Steel.

One tendered player that Stepan is excited about is Isaiah Gagerman.

“He had 36 points in 60 games as a defenseman, so he is a kid that can do well,” Stepan said.

As far as Welsh’s skills, Stepan said that he’s “as skilled of a hockey player as you will see in New Ulm — if we get him. He will be a prolific scorer for us and has an incredible hockey mind.”

Stepan now heads to Columbus, Ohio, and then Anaheim, California, for more summer hockey scouting.

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