It was an exciting Tuesday afternoon for the Topeka Pilots coaches, staff and for six incoming players.
With the opportunity to solidify the team makeup for the upcoming season, Topeka made six selections in the 2019 NAHL Draft. I
In total, the Pilots selected three forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender, as the team looks to gear up for training camp and the 2019-2020 season. The team’s first selection came in the third round.
The selections include forwards Drew Iannucci, Lucas Wahlin and Albin Kedbrant, defensemen Vincent (Vinny) Corcoran and Ryan Payne, and goaltender Ryan Raff.
“Our goal with the draft was to acquire some immediate needs, as well as acquire some skilled players for the future,” Pilots coach Simon Watson said. “It’s a great asset for this league to see such widespread talent available, and we’re happy with how it went for us.”
With the team also adding three veteran players in the recent weeks from trades, the Pilots knew they had already added leadership heading into Tuesday’s selections.
Forward Shawn Kennedy will join the Pilots this season, after spending last year with the Aberdeen Wings.
Defensemen Jordan Kovacs and Luc Salem also come to Topeka from the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and Maryland Brown Bears, respectively.
Jordan’s brother, Justin, also played in Topeka during the 2009-2010 season.
“We were extremely busy before the draft,” Watson said. “We worked closely with those teams to make sure it was equitable for both parties. We picked up three veteran players in this process and identified players with experience in meaningful games.”
With another tie to Topeka, Raff, who was drafted in the ninth round, joins the Pilots with close ties to the area, having family who now resides in the capital city.
“Ryan’s a player with a strong hockey IQ and someone we’ve had our eye on for close to a year and a half,” Watson said. “We are very excited about what he brings to the table.”
For more information on the upcoming season, including how to purchase season-tickets, visit www.topekapilots.com.
2019 Topeka Pilots Draft Selections:
ROUND 3 | OVERALL 57
Forward, 6’1”, 185, Right
Hometown: Lincoln University, PA
Former Team: Milwaukee Jr. Admirals U18
ROUND 6 | OVERALL 138
Forward, 5’11”, 161, Right
Hometown: Woodbury, MN
Former Team: Hill-Murray School
Birthday: May 3, 2001
ROUND 7 | OVERALL 164
Vincent (Vinny) Corcoran
Defense, 5’7”, 145, Left
Hometown: Plainfield, IL
Former Team: Chicago Fury U18
ROUND 8 | OVERALL 190
Forward, 6’1”, 187, Left
Former Team: Brynäs IF J20
ROUND 9 | OVERALL 216
Goalie, 5’11”, 175, Catches Left
Hometown: Wausau, WI
Former Team: Fox Motors U18
ROUND 10 | OVERALL 242
Defense, 5’10”, 181, Left
Hometown: Plainfield, IL
Former Team: Milwaukee Power (NA3HL)