Last week we reported that the USHL announced the RoughRiders and Capitols will not play this season. Cedar Rapids' season was canceled because of damage to the "ImOn Ice Arena" caused by the August 10th derecho that cannot be repaired in time this year. In the meantime, in Wisconsin, COVID-19 restrictions has ended Madison's season before it even started.

So what do you do with around 60 total players that want to play and need a new home? As a result of the two teams temporary shut down, the United States Hockey League held a "dispersal draft" on Monday, September 21. And the Black Hawks profited from it...big time. Once an arch-rival, not a teammate, Waterloo landed veteran RoughRider forward Max Sasson. Sasson is a stud. He has the most junior hockey experience among the players Waterloo selected on Monday. Over the past two seasons, he appeared in 107 games for Cedar Rapids, recording 19 goals and 23 assists. Sasson was also utilized as a Cedar Rapids penalty killer. The Michigan native previously spent a season at the junior level in the North American Hockey League for the Brookings Blizzard. He is committed to Western Michigan.

“We are excited to welcome these players to our organization,” said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley in a press release. “This has been a year of unpredictability; these guys couldn’t have expected to be in this situation, but we look forward to giving them a new opportunity and for their help as we reach for our goals this season.”

Waterloo also added RoughRiders goalie Aidan Harper, who split the 2019/20 campaign between the RoughRiders and Sioux City Musketeers following a December trade. Overall, he was 4-5-1 in 13 games, including one shutout. He is a Massachusetts-Lowell recruit. Also joining the team are two former Madison prospects. Nick Wallace is a defenseman who spent two games with the Tri-City Storm last season, while playing most of the winter in New Jersey at the AAA and prep school level. He is has committed to Quinnipiac. Casey Severo was a forward for Noble and Greenough School in 2019/20. Severo is a Harvard recruit. Each had been acquired by Madison from Tri-City in an offseason trade. So, basically, the Black Hawks benefit from the trade, without giving up anything.

Both Cedar Rapids and Madison will return to the USHL for the 2021/22 season. Now, hockey fans anxiously await the start of the 2020/21 season, with pre-season games set for mid-October and the regular season will start on November 6th. The USHL should be releasing the schedule soon.

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