USHL DISPERSAL DRAFT RESULTS - THREE PLAYERS EXPECTED TO JOIN FORCE TRAINING CAMP THIS WEEK
FARGO, ND — The Fargo Force announced today their selections in the USHL dispersal draft for players that were on the rosters and affiliate lists of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Madison Capitols for the 2019-2020 season.
The USHL announced on September 18 that both the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Madison Capitols would be suspending operations for the 2020-2021 season and will return to play in 2021-2022. The USHL playing rights of players taken in the Dispersal Draft will return to their original teams following this season.
With their first three picks, Fargo selected players that all played in the USHL last season, and are expected to join the Force training camp sometime in the next week.
Fargo took defenseman Owen Gallatin with the #1 overall pick in the draft. Gallatin, a native of White Bear Lake, MN, has played in over 100 games in the last two seasons with the NTDP. He was the #1 overall pick (by Madison) in the 2020 Phase 2 Entry Draft last May, and is committed to the University of MN-Duluth.
The Force also picked forward Tyler Rollwagen and defenseman Michael Suda, who both played in Cedar Rapids last year. Rollwagen is from Bloomington, MN, and the rugged winger had 23 points on 6 goals and 17 assists in 46 games for the RoughRiders last season. He is committed to the University of Nebraska Omaha, and played his youth hockey at Shattuck St. Mary’s.
Suda hails from the Buffalo, NY area and the strong, 2 way defenseman played in 37 USHL games in 19-20, totalling 6 points. He is a graduate of Nichols Prep, and is committed to play at Cornell University following his junior hockey career.
“Obviously, this was an unprecedented situation with the timing of this draft, and we feel for the Madison and Cedar Rapids organizations not being able to play this season,” said Force General Manager Cary Eades. “However, we are excited to add three USHL veterans to the group of players currently attending our training camp and who are competing for spots on our opening night roster. These guys have all played at the USHL level, and know the level of intensity it takes to be successful in our league”.
Fargo also selected four players that are currently attending NCAA schools: Stephen Davis (Boston College), Jackson Millar (Colorado College), Stepan Pokorny (Ferris St.) and Hunter Weiss (Notre Dame). All of these players are expected to play collegiately this season, however, the Force now hold their USHL playing rights for this season and will place them on their “college protected list.”
Fargo won the right to the #1 pick in the Dispersal Draft via a weighted lottery. By finishing with the 4th best record in the USHL when the 19-20 regular season was abruptly ended, the Force only had a 4.4% chance to win to win the #1 pick. It was the 3rd consecutive time the Force had the #1 selection in a USHL Dispersal Draft. With those picks, they chose Denis Smirnov (2014), and Lynden Breen (2019).
FORCE NAME RJ GICEWICZ ASSISTANT COACH
FARGO, ND – The Fargo Force have named Richard Joseph (RJ) Gicewicz as an Assistant Coach for the 20-21 season. Gicewicz was an Assistant Coach at Fredonia State University last year, after serving as a Student Assistant Coach the two previous seasons at Division I St. Lawrence University.
Gicewicz is an alumni of the USHL, as he was a defenseman for the Green Bay Gamblers in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He then went on to play for St. Lawrence University in the NCAA.
Gicewizc played youth hockey in Buffalo, NY and prep at The Nichol’s School. He represented USA Hockey in two separate events – the 5 Nations and Ivan Hlinka tournaments.
RJ hails from an athletic family, as the Gicewicz family have all played Division I sports. His father Rich, played football for the 1988 Michigan State Spartan Rose Bowl Championship team, and spent 4 years in the NFL. RJ’s brother, Carson will be playing hockey in his fifth year at UMass Amherst this season, and both of his sisters, are involved with the University of Vermont Women’s Lacrosse Team. Abbey was a freshman this year, and his sister Anabel is a member of the 2021 recruiting class.
“We are excited to add RJ to our coaching staff” said Force Head Coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux. “RJ comes with experience as a player and coach at both the USHL & NCAA level. He is an up-and-coming hockey mind with a great work ethic, knowledge of the game, and communication skills. RJ is highly regarded amongst his peers and former coaches. He will fit in great with our staff. We look forward to welcoming him to the FM-Metro community and Fargo Force family.”
Gicewicz will be arriving in Fargo in the next few days, as he will join Coach Lamoureux and Coach Demers as they prepare for the Force’s fall training camp when the players report in mid-September.
Force pre-season Games will begin in October, and the USHL 54 game regular season is scheduled to begin on November 6. A full schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
CHICAGO, IL - The United States Hockey League (USHL), the only Tier I junior hockey league in the United States, announced Tuesday that it has targeted Friday, November 6 as the start of the 2020-2021 season. Under the plan, teams will play 54 regular season games between November 6, 2020 and April 24, 2021.
Players are scheduled to arrive in market over a four-week period beginning September 14 with preseason games targeted to begin in mid-October. All activities are designed to take place in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines as well as the League’s Return to Play Protocols which are currently being finalized.
The regular season schedule allows for flexibility for games to be moved to the back of the schedule due to postponements, capacity restrictions, or other factors.
“We have created a plan to bring players to our markets and in order to safely begin development and ultimately competition,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. “Should conditions change, this plan will allow our league the flexibility to react to new circumstances, and we will adjust accordingly.”
The plan was formulated in consultation with all USHL Member Clubs. The league expects to announce the release of its 54-game regular season schedule in the coming weeks.