Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rangers add draft picks, tenders, make trade

The Marquette Rangers concluded a busy day last Tuesday with the signing of seven tenders and two draft picks from the 2007 North American Hockey League draft.

"We're excited about the talent level we were able to bring to our organization" said Rangers head coach Randy Enders. "This has been a long process. We've covered a lot of miles and watched hundreds of players over the past few months and we're confident we've brought in a good group of guys to compete to be a part of our final roster."

Players Tendered:

Ian Andrews - Sheboygan (WI.) H.S./Team Wisconsin, 5' 10" 170 lb. forward
Finalist for player of the year in Wisconsin. A smooth skating forward who put up impressive numbers in his senior season of high school. Andrews scored 35 goals and registered 31 assists in just 22 games for the Red Raiders. A team player and all-around competitor, he was also a three time captain. He led team in both scoring and blocked shots.

Josh Bussell - Detroit Honeybaked Midget AAA, 5' 10" 180 lb. forwardTied for his team's scoring leadership, finished 11th overall in league scoring. A hard-working gritty forward with big point ability, led his midget team to the national quarterfinals.

Kyle Jean - Soo Indians Midget AAA, 6'2" 190 lb. forward
A big, strong highly skilled forward who is able to score and control play in front of the net. Jean provides good size and a solid presence not common in the NAHL. Has the potential to produce high numbers on special teams.

Josh Kesler - Victory Honda Midget AAA, 6' 3" 180 lb. forward
A forward who skates very well, is an all-around solid forward capable of immediate impact in the NAHL. He is a developing forward that has a huge upside as shown in being a draft pick in the recent USHL draft. Kesler scored six goals and 12 assists for 18 points last season in MWEHL play.

Kevin Kranker - Lake Orion (MI.) H.S., 5' 9" 170 lb. forward
All State First team forward. Kranker finished in the top five in both goals scored and assists on a team that finished in the state quarter-finals. Also played for the Metro Jets of the CSHL. A speedy playmaker that is not afraid to get physical. A great team player with a "first on the ice, last off" attitude.

Tyler Matthews - Buffalo Junior Sabres OPJHL, 5' 11" 185 lb. defenseman
A solid all-around defenseman that brings Junior A experience. He moves well in his defensive zone and that allows him to effectively break out the puck. He is also not afraid to play the body and be a physical presence on the ice.

Collin Saint-Onge - Marquette Electricians Midget AAA, 6' 1" 170 lb. forward
A former Marquette Electrician that skates with good top end speed. His speed will play a major part to create scoring chances. He will be able to add depth at the forward position and his size and strength will be a positive factor in his play. He led the Electricians in scoring last year with 17 goals and 35 assists for 52 points.

Drafted Players:

Garrett Ladd, Detroit Victory Honda Midget AAA, 5' 10" 170 lb. forward
Ladd is a good skating, sure-handed forward with very good puck skills. Plays as an all around forward who's good in his own end as well as offensively. He scored two goals and 11 assists in 24 MWEHL games.

Anthony Leone, Detroit Honeybaked Midget AAA, 5' 9" 190 lb. defenseman
Leone was captain of a national quarterfinal team. A smart, mobile defenseman who plays well in his own end will add depth and compliment the returning defensive corps. Ended season with five goals and 19 assists for 24 points, finished +9 and registered 58 penalty minutes.

The Rangers have also obtained Aaron Pietila through a trade with North Division rival Traverse City. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward played in 54 games for the North Stars last season finishing in a fourth place tie in team scoring with 32 points on 11 goals and 21 assists. The Brighton native previously played one season for the Cleveland Barons of the NAHL and participated in the Robertson Cup championship round with the club in 2005 – 2006. Pietila is a tough, well rounded forward with good skating ability, and will be a solid contributor offensively. He's a proven point producer at the Junior A level and will immediately be an impact player.

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