Ice Dogs select six forwards in NAHL Draft

FAIRBANKS- As Boo from the Soo says, the Ice Dogs don’t rebuild, they reload.  The Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Tuesday selected seven players in the NAHL Entry Draft. The group, comprised of six forwards and a lone defenseman, will look to make the roster out of main camp later this summer.

“We went heavy with forward selections,” said Ice Dogs Head Coach Trevor Stewart. “We have a solid class returning and we want to score more.”

The Dogs used their first round pick to select 18-year old center Ben Helgeson, who tallied 19 points off 4 goals and 15 assists for the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL last season. The native of Roseau, Minn played high school hockey for Hill Murray, scoring 28 goals with 26 assists for 54 career points.

It was back to Canada in the second round with the Ice Dogs selecting Reilly Funk, a left handed forward out of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. The 18-year old notched 53 points off 18 goals and 35 assists for the Portage Terriers out of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last season.  He added a 2-6-8 line for the Terriers in post season play.

Other forwards included Domenic Garozzo, out of Sewell, NJ; Nathan Butler from Dallas, Texas; Austin Becker from Amery, Wi; and Valera Rykov from Moscow, Russia.

The Dogs went back to Canada to select the lone defenseman of the draft class in Matteas Derraugh, an 18-year old who has spent the past two seasons in the Central Canada Hockey League. The native of Ithaca, NY scored 8 goals, with 36 assists between Pembroke and Whitewater.

Stewart credits a team effort in building this year’s draft class.

“Our staff did a terrific job of identifying and communicating with prospects for the draft, as we look forward to the 2019-20 season,” Stewart said.

The Dogs will hold Main Camp later this summer, and will return to Fairbanks in August for Training Camp leading up to the season opener.  Stay tuned for information on the 2019 Ice Dogs Golf Scramble, with season tickets available throughout the summer online.