Two Iowa-bred players were selected during the United States Hockey League Entry Draft on Tuesday. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders chose Des Moines native Williem Nong-Lambert with the first pick of the 15th round, then the Waterloo Black Hawks snagged local prospect Rhodes Dolan in the 20th circuit.
Cedar Rapids has had success in the past with players from Des Moines, notably Sean Muncy (who went on to also play for the Des Moines Buccaneers, then the Black Hawks) and Chad Costello. Nong-Lambert has been playing midget hockey in Kansas City for Russell Stover. At the midget major level this year, the forward appeared in 40 games and was Russell Stover’s second-leading scorer with 42 points. The 6-2, 187-pounder also led the club in penalty minutes (60) and paced the team with six power play goals.
Dolan makes for an intriguing prospect after his sophomore season for the Waterloo Warriors. Already 6-4, the defenseman could still get a little bigger, and having just turned 16, has time to fill out his frame. Skating with the hometown Black Hawks when the opportunity presented itself during the 2011-2012 season could have only helped.
“Strength is always a big thing, along with quickness,” said Dolan of what he learned being around Young Arena and Black Hawks coaches. “Getting stronger is one of the biggest things they talk about.”
Last spring, the organization drafted former Warrior goalie Cal Petersen, who left Iowa to play midget hockey in Chicago. Petersen joined the Hawks for a handful of games during 2011-2012 and will likely appear more in 2012-2013. Dolan indicated he did not yet know if his path to the Black Hawks would be similar.
Top picks by Iowa teams during the USHL Entry Draft:
Sioux City Musketeers – Cameron Brown (1st Rd., 7th overall) – Maine recruit from Massachusetts.
Waterloo Black Hawks – Chris Calnan (1st Rd., 10th overall) – Another player from Massachusetts, going to Boston College.
Dubuque Fighting Saints – Mark Jankowski (1st Rd., 11th overall) – From Ontario, going to Providence.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders – Judd Peterson (2nd Rd., 16th overall) – Prepping for St. Cloud State after Duluth Marshall and Cedar Rapids.
Des Moines Buccaneers – Nick Ellis (2nd Rd., 18th overall) – Maryland native just the second goalie chosen in the draft.