Grizzlies First Draft Yields Familiar Names

Apr 19, 2018 – PostBulletin

The Rochester Grizzlies’ first go-round at the North American 3 Hockey League Draft started off small, included a couple of names familiar to local hockey fans, and ended with the team adding six potential players on Wednesday night.

The Grizzlies opened by using their first-ever draft pick – No. 5 overall in this year’s Draft – on diminutive forward Owen Bourdow of Saginaw, Mich. Bourdow, listed at 5-feet-5, 132 pounds, has played the past three seasons for the Meijer AAA program in Michigan. Bourdow, who will turn 19 in August, played for the Meijer 18U program the past two seasons.

Rochester went right back to the Meijer program in Round 2, this time going big, with 6-2, 185-pound defenseman Brandon Kucera.

Two picks later, the Grizzlies stayed at home and picked former Rochester Lourdes defenseman Logan Olson. The 5-10, 185-pound blue-liner had 10 assists in 30 games played for the Iowa Wild U18 AAA program last season. The 2017 Lourdes graduate had 37 points in three varsity seasons with the Eagles, including eight goals and 18 points as a senior. He turned 19 this past Saturday.

The Grizzlies added Logan Geisness in Round 6 (No. 213 overall). The 5-11, 185-pound left-shot forward had 16 goals and 37 points for University School of Milwaukee, which finished this past season as the No. 7-ranked team in Wisconsin high school hockey.

Rochester’s final pick in Wednesday’s draft was Brandon McGill (Round 8, No. 260 overall), a 5-10, 160-pound forward from Williston-Northampton High School in Massachusetts.

The Grizzlies’ inaugural roster is taking shape now, with their draft picks added to a group of tendered players that includes Austin’s Dylan Svoboda and Bryar Flanders, and Waseca’s Jackson Priebe and Peter Meyer.

The Grizzlies will play in the West Division of the NA3HL, along with Minnesota teams in Alexandria, Granite City (St. Cloud), Breezy Point, New Ulm and Willmar, and the North Iowa Bulls.

A handful of Section 1 players were also selected in Wednesday’s Draft. Northfield’s Jacob Halverson was picked No. 100 overall by New Ulm, Mankato East defenseman Jake Anderson went at No. 137 to New Ulm, and Mankato East goalie Jack Cusey was picked at No. 235 overall by the Willmar WarHawks.