Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 2007-08 Preview

Cedar Rapids had a great year, only to be knocked out of the playoffs by Waterloo.

Key Departures:
Jacob Cepis-Leading point getter with 72.
Robin Bergman-One of the better rookies this year.
Rob Bordson-Excellent talent.
Scott Wietecha-Team leader.
Richard Bachman-Came up big in the playoffs.

Goalies (1):
Kent Patterson (1989) - Patterson is an excellent goalie, posted a 20-5 record.

Goalie Evaluation:
Patterson is a great goalie and having him in net solidifies that position. Coach Mark Carlson can now focus on offense. Patterson should have no trouble being a top goalie in the league next year.

Defense (2):
Matt Tomassoni (1989) - On the small side, didn't appear to be too offensive.
Scott Mathis (1988) - Good size, should be a defensive leader next season.

Defense Evaluation:
Tomassoni and Mathis combined for 11 points total. Everyone else on the blue line had at least 11 or more themselves. They will need to bring in a few guys who can step in and contribute right away. It's really tough for a team when returning only two guys on defense.

Forward (6):
Casey Wellman (1987) - Slow start, but finished very strong.
Ian Slater (1988) - Third year guy, should be a leader.
Mike Seidel (1988) - Excellent rookie campaign, has a shot to lead the team in points.
David Boehm (1989) - Has the potential to be a superstar at this level.
Tyler Thompson (1989) - Put up decent stats in limited playing time.
Tomi Stahlhammer (1988) - Has potential, but hasn't come close to living up to that yet.

Forward Evaluation:
Having a couple snipers up front in Seidel and Boehm will definitely be something to build on. Seidel and Boehm will lead this team offensively, while Wellman will have his fair share of offensive output as well. Slater will be steady and contribute as well, but Cedar Rapids needs some production out of Thompson and Stahlhammer come next season.

Futures Evaluation:
Cedar Rapids has a few gems in their futures pool. Leading the way is forward Greg Burke, who is currently playing for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs of the EJHL. Other names that will likely see USHL ice next season include defenseman Chris Wideman, goaltender Brady Hjelle, and forward Dean Chelios.

Overall Evaluation: C-

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