DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Dubuque Fighting Saints added three players through the 2019 Dispersal Draft, acquiring Stephen Halliday, Mitchell Gibson and Caden Villegas. The draft was held after the Central Illinois Flying Aces announced earlier this season that they would not be returning for the 2019-2020 campaign. Saints General Manager Kalle Larsson said the team is very pleased with the way the draft turned out overall.
“Overall we are happy with the outcome of the draft and feel we have strengthened our club today,” said Larsson.
The Saints acquired Halliday, who is just 16 years old and already has a year in the league under his belt. Halliday scored 10 goals and added 24 assists for 34 points in his rookie season. The Toronto, Ontario native is a 2002 birth year and is committed to the University of North Dakota. “He’s a big, skilled, winger who we are very excited to add to our organization,” said Larsson.
Caden Villegas was the next pick for the Saints, another young addition. Villegas skated in just six games with the Flying Aces, tallying a single assist. In 50 games with the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL, he added 20 points. Villegas is from Plano, Texas and is a Union College commit. “Villegas is a hardworking, fast forward who we have always liked,” said Larsson.
The final addition for the Fighting Saints was netminder Mitchell Gibson. Gibson will be going to Harvard in the fall and is also a draft pick of the Washington Capitals. Gibson had a 3.50 GAA and an .890 save percentage this season for Central Illinois. “Gibson is going to Harvard this fall and will have a great college career. If anything changes for him, we own his rights should he return to the league.”
With the acquisitions, the Saints have started the construction of their 2019-20 squad already. Dubuque will return their focus to the ice tomorrow as they take on the Muskegon Lumberjacks in game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.