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Parsons taken No. 1

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BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington PrairieThunder added the rights to a wealth of talent, experience and goals scored during the International Hockey League player dispersal draft Wednesday.

Coach Derek Booth said the Thunder's first four picks were players whom he and general manager Jerry McBurney had targeted while preparing for the draft.

The question now becomes: Their rights have been acquired, but can their services be, too?

"We thought if we could get two or three guys in here, it would be a successful draft," Booth said.

The Thunder acquired the rights to 15 players during the selection process, including Don Parsons, the all-time leading goal scorer among American-born minor-league hockey players.

In total, the six teams that will make up the International Hockey League next season gained the rights to 86 players who are looking for new hockey homes after the teams they played for either folded or changed leagues since the United Hockey League season ended. The UHL changed its name last week to the International Hockey League.

The Thunder drafted five from Elmira, four each from Quad City and Rockford and two from Chicago.

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Parsons is a 38-year-old forward with 623 career goals. He played 70 games and scored 38 goals last season with the Quad City Mallards.

He was a teammate of goaltender Jason Tapp, whom the Thunder drafted with its second selection.

Both Parsons and Tapp own homes in the Quad Cities and were selected because of that community's proximity to Bloomington, Booth said.

"With them both living to close to Bloomington, we wanted guys who we had a good opportunity to sign," he said.

McBurney said team officials were not permitted to talk to players before the draft. But McBurney and Booth had discussions with Tim Taylor, who was the Mallards' team president during that franchise's final few years in the UHL and now oversees that organization's American Hockey League affiliate to the Calgary Flames.

"After talking to Tim, we felt real comfortable that we'd have a good chance to sign them," McBurney said.

Tim Wedderburn, a 26-year-old defenseman with 293 games of experience at the American Hockey League level, was a surprise to still be available to start the third round. Again, the ability to be signed to a contract becomes the issue.

"Even though we have the rights to these players," Booth said, "the E(CHL), Central and American leagues are all negotiating with them at the same time. With our first two picks, we thought we have a great advantage to sign them."

Booth and McBurney were in the process Wednesday of contacting each of the 15 draftees by phone and making qualifying offers. If those offers are accepted, the two parties then begin negotiating a contract.

Jason Ralph, a 28-year-old forward who played with Rockford the past two seasons, was the Thunder's fourth-round pick. The forward had 10 goals and 21 assists last season.

The other 10 picks, in order, are B.J. Radovich (center, Chicago), Jake Moreland (goalie, Rockford), Matt Radoslovich (forward, Quad City), Mike Oliveira (center, Elmira), Andrei Lupandin (defenseman, Elmira), Chad Loikets (defenseman, Rockford), Josh Elzinga (defenseman, Chicago), Patrick Nadeau (right wing, Quad City), Mike Doyle (left wing, Rockford), Noah Katz (center, Elmira) and Eric Lind (defenseman, Elmira).


2007 IHL dispersal draft

Round 1

Bloomington - Don Parsons (F), Quad City

Port Huron - Marty Magers (G), Chicago

Flint - Steve MacIntyre (D), Quad City

Kalamazoo - Chris Busby (D), Chicago

Muskegon - Todd Grant (LW), Chicago

Fort Wayne - Sergei Durdin (D), Quad City

Round 2

Bloomington - Jason Tapp (G), Quad City

Port Huron - Chris Gehrke (D), Chicago

Flint - Frederic Cloutier (G), Rockford

Kalamazoo - Chris Mann (D), Quad City

Muskegon - Mark Nebus (F), Chicago

Fort Wayne - Justin Chwedoruk (F), Quad City

Round 3

Bloomington - Tim Wedderburn (D), Elmira

Port Huron - Mike Letizia (D), Rockford

Flint - Brent Currie (D), Quad City

Kalamazoo - Joel Rechlicz (RW), Chicago

Muskegon - Matt Johnson (F), Chicago

Fort Wayne - Brett Pilkington (F), Quad City

Round 4

Bloomington - Jason Ralph (F), Rockford

Port Huron - Robert Chappell (D), Elmira

Flint - Nathan Lutz (D), Rockford

Kalamazoo - Jordan Hart (D), Chicago

Muskegon - Matt Amado (C), Chicago

Fort Wayne - Jesse Bennefield (RW), Rockford

Round 5

Bloomington - B.J. Radovich (C), Chicago

Port Huron - David Morelli (F), Elmira

Flint - Paul Brown (RW), Rockford

Kalamazoo - Tim Plett (F), Chicago

Muskegon - Sean Starke (F), Quad City

Fort Wayne - Anthony Pototschnik (F), Quad City

Round 6

Bloomington - Jake Moreland (G), Rockford

Port Huron - Bryce Cockburn (RW), Rockford

Flint - Luke Stauffacher (F), Quad City

Kalamazoo - Maris Ziedins (C), Chicago

Muskegon - Bruce Watson (LW), Rockford

Fort Wayne - Mike Sgroi (LW), Elmira

Round 7

Bloomington - Matt Radoslovich (F), Quad City

Port Huron - Drew Otten (F), Chicago

Flint - Dan Veenema (D), Elmira

Kalamazoo - Matt Gens (D), Rockford

Muskegon - Corey Hessler (D), Rockford

Fort Wayne - Travis Granbois (F), Quad City

Round 8

Bloomington - Mike Oliveira (C), Elmira

Port Huron - Dan Boeser (D), Rockford

Flint - Luke Fritshaw (D), Rockford

Kalamazoo - Preston Mizzi (C), Rockford

Muskegon - Benoit Doucet (LW), Rockford

Fort Wayne - Erik Anderson (C), Elmira

Round 9

Bloomington - Andrei Lupandin (D), Elmira

Port Huron - Darryl McArthur (D), Chicago

Flint - Jason Notermann (LW), Rockford

Kalamazoo - Brad Smith (G), Quad City

Muskegon - Jami Yoder (D), Quad City

Fort Wayne - Mike Kautz (D), Chicago

Round 10

Bloomington - Chad Loikets (D), Rockford

Port Huron - Mike Brolsma (C), Quad City

Flint - Curtis Tidball (RW), Elmira

Kalamazoo - Rod Aldoff (D), Chicago

Muskegon - Kelly Miller (C), Chicago

Fort Wayne - Will McMahon (F), Quad City

Round 11

Bloomington - Josh Elzinga (D), Chicago

Port Huron - Scott Seney (C), Chicago

Flint - Zach Sikich (G), Elmira

Kalamazoo - Nicolas Corbeil (C), Rockford

Muskegon - Thomas Zabkowicz (D), Chicago

Fort Wayne - Shawn Degagne (G), Elmira

Round 12

Bloomington - Patrick Nadeau (RW), Quad City

Port Huron - Dave Lemanowicz (G), Chicago

Flint - T.J. Reynolds (D), Elmira

Kalamazoo - Andrew Leach (F), Elmira

Muskegon - Kaleb Betts (F), Rockford

Fort Wayne - Bobby Kukulka (RW), Elmira

Round 13

Bloomington - Mike Doyle (LW), Rockford

Port Huron - Kevin Ulanski (F), Rockford

Flint - Pass

Kalamazoo - Dale Lupul (D), Quad City

Muskegon - Derek Miller (D), Quad City

Fort Wayne - Frank Littlejohn (RW), Elmira

Round 14

Bloomington - Noah Katz (C), Elmira

Port Huron - Chad Woollard (F), Quad City

Flint - Pass

Kalamazoo - Blake Stewart (LW), Quad City

Muskegon - Scott Drevitch (D), Elmira

Fort Wayne - Chaz Johnson (RW), Rockford

Round 15

Bloomington - Eric Lind (D), Elmira

Port Huron - Marc Lefebvre (LW), Elmira

End of draft

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