Veteran Cedar Rapids RoughRider forward Max Sasson leads a group of four players who are now members of the Waterloo Black Hawks as a result of the United States Hockey League Dispersal Draft, which was held on Monday.
Waterloo also added RoughRiders goalie Aidan Harper, as well as former Madison Capitols prospects Nick Wallace and Casey Severo.
The scattering of these players and their teammates became a necessity last week when the RoughRiders and Capitols revealed they would not play during the 2020/21 season. Building damage to Cedar Rapids Ice Arena caused by the August 10th derecho cannot be repaired in time for the winter schedule. Meanwhile, COVID-19 restrictions in Madison have sidelined the Capitols. The USHL announced on September 18th that neither team would be included in the 2020/21 league schedule.
“We are excited to welcome these players to our organization,” said Black Hawks President and Head Coach P.K. O’Handley after the Dispersal Draft. “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.”
Sasson has the most junior hockey experience among the players Waterloo selected on Monday. Over the past two seasons, he appeared in 107 games for the RoughRiders, 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.
Harper 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, while posting a 3.44 goals-against average. Harper also made two appearances for Sioux City as an affiliate in 2018/19. He is a Massachusetts-Lowell recruit.
Wallace is a defenseman who spent two USHL games with the Tri-City Storm last season while playing most of the winter in New Jersey at the AAA and prep school level. Severo was a forward for Noble and Greenough School in 2019/20. Both Wallace and Severo have commitments to NCAA programs in the east: Quinnipiac and Harvard respectively. Each had been acquired by Madison from Tri-City in an offseason trade.