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Minotauros add three in NAHL Supplemental Draft

The Minot Minotauros selected three players — a forward, a defenseman and a goaltender — Tuesday afternoon in the NAHL Supplemental Draft.

Blaine Warnert, Keenan Rancier and Cole Stofflet joined 27 players already under the Minotauros umbrella that features players who are eligible to return and players who have signed tenders for next season.

The draft was held to help teams deal with the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the inability of teams to hold tryout camps. The NAHL Entry Draft will still be held on July 21.

The Supplemental Draft on Tuesday featured 81 selections with each of the 27 NAHL teams making three selections (before trades granted more or fewer picks).

In the first round with the 17th overall pick, the Minotauros selected Warnert. The power forward at 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, isn’t “afraid to mix things up,” according to Minotauros assistant general manager Chris Lonke.

After captaining the Chaska High School (Minnesota) boys hockey team in his senior season, Warnert joined the Bismarck Bobcats at the end of the 2018-19 season. He was held scoreless over 10 games in the regular season but did score a goal against the Minotauros in the first round of the 2019 NAHL playoffs.

Warnert is already committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha (NCAA Division I) and only has one year of eligibility remaining at the NAHL level.

Minot used its first second-round pick, 39th overall, on Rancier. The 6-foot-1 Canadian goaltender from Victoria, British Columbia, spent this past season with the Estevan Bruins in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

With the Bruins, Rancier posted 25 wins in 48 games with a 2.91 goals against average and a 91.2 save percentage.

“We are very excited to add a goaltender with Keenan’s experience and skill level to our roster,” Minotauros assistant coach and former goaltender Wyatt Waselenchuk said in a press release. “He will certainly bring in a sense of calmness with his demeanor, as he is a very controlled and technical goaltender.”

Five picks later, the Minotauros went again and selected its final selection of the draft by taking Stofflet. The Indiana defenseman last played for the Culver Military Academy, which also produced Minotauros alum Johnny Walker.

In 40 games this past season, Stofflet collected 46 points (seven goals and 39 assists).

“(Stofflet) is a great skater who can break the puck out every time,” Minotauros head coach Shane Wagner said in a press release.

With a protected list of 30 players, the Minotauros will have eight selections in the upcoming NAHL Entry Draft on July 21.

“We are very pleased with the (supplemental) draft,” Lonke said in a press release. “We identified three players we wanted, and we got all three of them.”

Cole Wigestrand from Grand Forks was the only North Dakota native player selected in the draft on Tuesday. He was picked 56th overall by the Kenai River Brown Bears. Also, former Fargo Force goaltender Brennan Boynton went 12th overall to the Minnesota Magicians.

Follow the Minot Daily News on Twitter @MinotDailyNews.

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