The Minot Minotauros took a different approach in Thursday's North American Hockey League draft than they did in their first go-round a year ago.
The second-year team, which finished its inaugural campaign with the league's worst record (7-49-4), used five of its 11 selections on veterans of the highest junior league - the United States Hockey League.
"It's gonna be a real wild card to see if our USHL players are gonna be on board," said coach Marty Murray, who took over midway through the season. "We decided to shoot high for some of these players. If we miss on a good player who goes to a higher level, so be it, but we wanted to get the highest quality players that have a chance of playing with us."
The NAHL is a tier below the USHL.
Murray used the first overall pick on Dan Sherer, a 20-year-old forward of the USHL's Indiana Ice. Sherer had 10 points in 40 games with the Ice. In 2010-11, he played with the NAHL's Amarillo Bulls, tallying 38 points in 48 appearances.
"He had an outstanding year as an 18-year-old," Murray said. "In the right role he can really thrive here. We're thinking he might fall to our league as one of those 1992-born players."
Minot Minotauros' 2012 NAHL draft picks
Dan Sherer, F, Indiana Ice, USHL, first overall
Bryan Sinz, D, Tri City Storm, USHL, second round, first pick (26 overall)
Ryan Ruck, G, LA Selects Hockey Club, third round, 12th pick (60)
Taylor Love, D, Salmon Arm, British Columbia Hockey League, third round, 15th pick (63)
Mitch Hughes, F, Sioux Falls Stampede, USHL, sixth round, first pick (105)
Logan Smith, F, Lincoln Stars, USHL, seventh round, first pick (118)
Beau Ricketts, F, Helena Big Horns, AWHL, eighth round, first pick (131)
Wesley Iverson, F, Breck High School (Minn.), ninth round, first pick (142)
Stephan Beauvais, D, Orchard Lake St. Mary's (Mich.), 10th round, first pick (151)
Jake Maxson, D, Burnsville High, 11th round, first pick (158)
Evan Moore, D, Sioux Falls Stampede, USHL,12th round, only pick (162)
NAHL teams are allowed four 20-year-olds.
With the first pick of the second round, Minot took 19-year-old defenseman Bryan Sinz. The Anchorage, Alaska, native will be 20 in August. The majority of Sinz's top hits on Google refer to his ability as a fighter.
"He's a big body, big stay-at-home, tough defenseman who will hopefully provide some grit on the back end," Murray said.
Sinz played the 2011-12 season with the USHL's Tri City Storm of Kearney, Neb.
Murray was especially high on his third-round pick of goaltender Ryan Ruck, 18, of the Los Angeles Selects, a U18 AAA team.
"I invited him to our pre-draft camp in Vegas and he was hands down the best goaltender there," Murray said.
All drafted players have to make the team or be picked up after being dropped from a higher division.