IceDogs happy with draft
Niagara IceDogs first-round selection Ryan Roobroeck is flanked by mom Karen, left, and dad Richard, right. Photo by: BILL POTRECZ.
Ryan Roobroeck was thrilled when he was chosen by the Niagara IceDogs with the second overall pick of the 2023 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection Friday.
The IceDogs selected the high-scoring winger from the London Jr. Knights where he had 51 goals and 79 points in 30 regular season games before adding 17 more in 12 playoff games.
Roobroeck made an appearance at the Meridian Centre Saturday to meet members of the organization as rounds 4-15 of the draft were taking place.
“I’m glad to be an IceDog,” he said. “To finally get selected it’s truly an honour, to be selected by such a great organization.”
Roobroeck is well acquainted with the IceDogs after watching older brother Dylan suit up for the team in 2021/22 after being selected in the third round (45th overall) of the 2020 draft.
“Watching him play was good,” Ryan Roobroeck. “I’m very proud of him and what he’s done over the years and hopefully he keeps progressing.
“You just kind of sit up in the stands and see how they’re playing and how much fun it is and (think) I want to play here one day, no matter what team it is, I’ll hopefully be there.”
Dylan Roobroeck netted eight goals and 21 points in his lone season with the IceDogs before being traded to Oshawa where he collected 15 goals and 53 points for the Generals this year.
The brothers have never played on the same team.
“To me, it doesn’t really matter. I think playing against him would have been pretty cool but playing against him will be even better,” Ryan Roobroeck said.
Ryan Roobroeck said he has picked his older brother’s brain to help him with the transition to the OHL.
“I’ve asked him a whole bunch of questions — how it is, how certain teams are, how certain guys are. I think I have a couple of tactics in my back pocket that can help me,” he said.
Ryan Roobroeck is willing to play whatever role is asked of him in his rookie season.
“At the end of the day, all you do is put as much work in and if you get 20 goals or 10 goals, that’s all that matters,” he said. “Just do whatever you can for the team where you go out there and block shots penalty kill, do whatever you can.”
Defenceman Artem Frolov was the first rearguard selected by the IceDogs. Niagara picked the Russian native in the second round (28th overall).
“I was so excited. I worked for two seasons before I came to Canada for this,” Frolov said Saturday. “It was my goal.
“I’m so excited to be part of a new family.”
Frolov collected nine goals and 31 points for the Vaughan Kings U16 AAA.
“I think I am a smart player, I’m a pretty good skater. I have a pretty strong body which helps me be pretty good on the ice,” he said. “I will work all summer to play here. I want to show as soon as possible my game.”
The IceDogs drafted eight forwards, seven defenceman and one goaltender.
The club selected a pair of local players, goalie Finn Moffett in the 10th round and defenceman Ben Arnold in the 11th round. The team also picked forward Eric He, younger brother of winger Kevin He, from the Toronto Red Wings in the eighth round.
“I think we had a really good draft,” IceDogs owner/general manager Darren DeDobbelaer. “Our top four picks for sure will contend, even our fifth pick will contend for a spot this year. After that we have guys who could develop into something with a good, solid year of junior or midget.
“We’re pretty happy with our picks.”
DeDobbelaer said the team generally took the best player available.
“We put a list of 300 players together and we just start striking them off the list as they were going,” he said. “At some point we knew we had to take a goalie. We did kind of midway through the draft say we didn’t have any other D other than Frolov.”
DeDobbelaer said the club is looking at the Import Draft in July to solidify the blueline after losing overage defencemen David Jesus, Gerard Keene and Nathan Ribau.
“We have one commitment in the European draft from a defenceman and we’re trying to get another commitment from another high-end defenceman,” he said.
As the roster is currently constructed, the team has four over-age players eligible to return: Forwards Daniel Michaud and Antony Agostinelli, defenceman Landon Cato and goaltender Josh Rosenzweig.
Following is a list of the IceDogs 2023 draft selections.
|RD||OV||Team||Player Name||Pos||Height||Weight||DOB||Last Team||Source|
|1||2||Niagara||Roobroeck, Ryan||C||6.02||193||09/25/2007||London Jr. Knights U16 AAA||MHAO|
|1||5||Niagara||Czata, Ethan||C||6.00||156||05/29/2007||Mississauga Rebels U16 AAA||GTHL|
|Frolov, Artem||LD||6.00||184||05/05/2007||Vaughan Kings U16 AAA||GTHL|
|Reid, Hayden||C||5.09.75||163||06/21/2006||Leamington Flyers||Junior (Ont)|
|Galiyanov, Ivan||LW||5.09.5||141||10/16/2007||Vaughan Kings U16 AAA||GTHL|
|7||123||Niagara||Mitchell, Douglas||C||5.09||147||04/26/2007||Toronto Titans U16 AAA||GTHL|
|8||143||Niagara||Etchart, Maasilan||LD||5.11.5||167||03/30/2007||Rockland Nationals U18 AAA||HEO Midget|
|He, Yuxiang||LW||5.11.75||158||10/15/2007||Toronto Red Wings U16 AAA||GTHL|
|9||163||Niagara||Dewachter, Darcy||RD||5.09.75||162||03/01/2007||Brantford 99ers U16 AAA||MHAO|
|10||183||Niagara||Moffett, Finn||G||6.00.25||147||02/06/2007||Oakville Rangers U16 AAA||OMHA – SCTA|
|11||203||Niagara||Arnold, Benjamin||RD||6.01.25||165||02/18/2007||Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs U16 AAA||OMHA – SCTA|
|Okovita, Caden||RW||5.05.5||136||06/30/2007||North York Rangers U16 AAA||GTHL|
|13||243||Niagara||Dianov, Rafek||C||5.09||170||02/26/2007||Mississauga Senators U16 AAA||GTHL|
|14||263||Niagara||Ferras, Jack||LD||5.11||159||05/11/2007||Brantford 99ers U16 AAA||MHAO|
|15||283||Niagara||Ramkissoon, Gavin||LD||5.08||151||03/25/2007||Markham Waxers U16 AAA||OMHA – ETA|
From Owen Sound
|Li, Johnny||LD||6.02.75||190||10/25/2007||Markham Majors U16 AAA||GTHL|
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