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Fighting Saints Complete 2018 Phase I Draft

By Jordan Kuhns, 05/07/18, 9:30PM CDT

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Saints brass makes seven picks to add to stockpile of prospects

DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Dubuque Fighting Saints completed Phase I of the 2018 USHL Draft on Monday, selecting seven players in the 2002 birth year. The 2018 draft class included three forwards and four defensemen, who will all be eligible to take part in the Saints’ Main Camp in June. The draft “war room” was led by general manager Kalle Larsson and assistant director of player personnel Colby Drost.

The Fighting Saints’ selections are as follows:

  • Round 2: D Michael Benning (24th overall) — Northern Alberta X-Treme
  • Round 3: F Owen Baumgartner (40th overall) — Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep
  • Round 4: F Carter Savoie (56th overall) — Northern Alberta X-Treme
  • Round 5: D Mitchell Smith (72nd overall) —Oakland Jr. Grizzlies
  • Round 7: D Wyatt Kaiser (104th overall) — Andover High School
  • Round 8: D Luke Gramer (120th overall) — Moorhead High School
  • Round 10: F Hunter Longhi (152nd overall) — St. Louis AAA Blues

“We wanted Benning, and we were willing to take a risk and trade away our first round pick and it worked,” Larsson said. “We’re really excited to get him, especially with a Dubuque tie. We thought he was the best available defenseman in the draft.”

“We’re excited about the newest crop of Fighting Saints,” Larsson added. “We’re always looking for puck-moving and smooth skating defensemen, and we picked up four of them today.”

The Saints pulled off two trades during the course of Phase I, including sending the Phase I first round pick to Sioux City for a 2018 Phase II second round selection, and the ninth round pick to Youngstown for a 2019 Phase I seventh round selection.

“We look forward to bringing all of these players into the fold,” said head coach Oliver David. “We want to bring them up to speed on what it means to be a Fighting Saint, and we look forward to the competition of these young men to hopefully eventually earn a roster spot.”

“We look forward to June, where we can see everyone in action here at Our House.”

Phase II of the USHL Draft continues on Tuesday, May 8 starting at 10:00 a.m. central. Keep up with all of the action by following the Saints on Twitter (@fightingsaints).