This will be the Brahmas first ever Pre-Draft Camp following the late offseason sale of the team prior to last season. Due to the late date of the transfer of the team last season, the Brahmas held their only tryout camp in August after every other NAHL team had completed multiple camps and then went straight into training camp.
This season, Head Coach Dan Wildfong and Assistant Coach Jeff Potter will have a much better opportunity to evaluate talent and assemble the opening day roster. The additional time will be critical entering the 2014/15 season as the Brahmas moved several players on to the NCAA and then saw a sizable impact from the USHL Draft.
Lone Stars’ first three NCAA signings were announced April 8th. Last season’s Captain and leading scorer, Matt Lison is off to Bowdoin College for next season. Two other forwards from last season have moved on as well. The ever scrappy Kellen Wasell is headed to St Mary’s University and the speedy Conner Enciso to Milwaukee School of Engineering. One week later, the Brahmas announced the signing of blueliner and fan favorite Nick Blase who will be playing next season at Wisconsin River Falls.
In the USHL Draft, Dubuque selected rookie defenseman Johan Steen with the 85th overall pick in the fifth round. Green Bay drafted one of the Brahmas top tenders for next season Derek Barach in the sixth round. Barach played two games with the Brahmas last season as an affiliate player scoring one goal. Another tender in defenseman Bud Madej was selected by Green Bay in the eighth round. Possibly the biggest impact to next season’s chances came in round ten with the 162nd pick as Dubuque tabbed goalie TJ Black. Black was very strong in net for Lone Star last season with a 2.40 GAA and a .923 SV% as a rookie. To round out the USHL Draft selections, last season’s Alternate Captain Roman Uchyn was picked by Youngstown in the 13th round.
Late season addition Thomas Aldworth has signed with the Langley Rivermen of the BCHL for next season. Aldworth’s departure will remove a lot of speed from the ice that will be difficult to replace.
With all the departures the Brahmas coaching staff will definitely have their work cut out for them in their three tryout camps. The march back to the playoffs begins with the opening of camp on Friday. Luckily, there will still be a good young core for the Brahmas to build upon.
In other news, the NAHL announced the divisional alignment for the 2014/15 season. With the announcement the Brahmas’ playoff quest just became a bit longer as the South Division will grow from seven teams to eight. The Wenatchee Wild will join the division from the Midwest Division where they finished last season in second place before bowing out to eventual Robertson Cup Champions Fairbanks in the Division Finals.