In preparation for the upcoming USHL season, the Fargo Force released their 25 man protected roster today. After going 2-0-2 in four exhibition games, the Force begin regular season play this Friday Nov. 6 and Saturday Nov. 7, vs. the Lincoln Stars at Scheels Arena.
The Force have a veteran laden line-up this year as 20 players have played at least one full season of hockey at the Junior level. The list of veterans includes seven returning Force players: Forwards Tristan Broz, Kyle Smolen, Casey McDonald, Mason Salquist and Jake Dunlap, Defenseman Nick Strom, and Goaltender Brennan Boynton. Additionally, three players have played in the USHL on other teams. Forward Tyler Rollwagen (Cedar Rapids), Defenseman Owen Galletin (NTDP), and Michael Suda (Cedar Rapids).
Seven players played Junior Hockey in other leagues last year: Forwards Erik Bargholtz (Corpus Cristi, NAHL), Matthew Crasa (Cowichan Valley, BCHL), Huston Karpman (Aberdeen, NAHL), and Ryan Richardson (Smiths Falls, CCHL). Defensemen Trevor Griebel (Wenatchee, BCHL), and Tucker Hodgson (Steinbach, MJHL), as well as Goaltender Andrew Miller (Bismarck Bobcats, NAHL).
The most experienced players however, are the three guys that played Division I college hockey last year. One is Forward Jeremy Davidson, a former Force player from the 18-19 season. He returns to Fargo after spending last year at UMASS. The other two college players join the Force from Harvard University: Defenseman Ryan Siedem, and Forward Austin Wong.
While the roster is full of veterans it also includes five players starting their first full season of Junior Hockey. Forwards Grant Slukynski (Warroad HS, MN), and Jake Braccini (Buffalo HS, MN), Defensemen Jack Peart (Grand Rapids HS, MN) and Aiden VanRooyan (Sioux Falls Power 16U) and Goaltender Anton Castro (North Jersey Avs 16U).
This year’s opening night roster has a definite “home grown feel” to it, as all but three players are from the United States. McDonald, Richardson, and Wong all come to Fargo from Canada, and the team has no European players this year.
In another roster move recently, the Force traded Forward Alex Nordstrom to the Green Bay Gamblers for a conditional 2021 Phase 2 pick in next May’s USHL Entry Draft.
A complete numerical roster for the Force and the rest of the USHL teams can be found here.