Cole Spicer becomes seventh Greater Grand Forks player selected in NHL Draft in the last 11 years

Warroad's Daimon Gardner goes to the Vancouver Canucks in the fourth round, becoming the first Warrior to be selected since Brock Nelson in 2010.

Grand Forks native Cole Spicer skates in a game for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.
Rena Laverty / USA Hockey's NTDP
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MONTREAL — For the seventh time in the last 11 years, a hockey player from Greater Grand Forks was picked in the NHL Draft.

Cole Spicer, who played a year at Grand Forks Central, went in the fourth round, No. 117 overall, to the Boston Bruins on Friday morning during Day 2 of the NHL Draft.

His selection comes in the wake of Red River's Jackson Kunz (fourth round, No. 113 overall, 2020), Central's Judd Caulfield (fifth round, No. 145, 2019), East Grand Forks' Gage Ausmus (fifth round, No. 171, 2013), Red River-Central's Luke Johnson (fifth round, No. 134, 2013), East Grand Forks' Tucker Poolman (fifth round, No. 127, 2013) and Central's Paul LaDue (sixth round, No. 181, 2012).

Johnson, Poolman and LaDue have all played in the NHL. Caulfield and Kunz are still in college.

Spicer's college path will be different from the others. The other six played at UND; Spicer will attend Minnesota Duluth this fall.


Spicer, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward, spent the last two seasons playing for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Mich. He was among 14 players from the NTDP picked in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Last season, Spicer tallied 20 goals and 39 points in 58 games, while playing a schedule that included United States Hockey League and NCAA Division-I and Division-III foes.

Spicer also won a silver medal with Team USA in the IIHF World Under-18 tournament in Germany this spring.

Canucks draft Warroad's Gardner

Daimon Gardner grew up playing youth hockey in Warroad while his older sisters dominated on the Warrior girls team.

His hockey journey then had stops in Winnipeg and Omaha before Gardner returned to Warroad for his senior year of high school.

Gardner's big season — 83 points in 30 games and a trip to the Minnesota state Class A tournament — led him to the NHL Draft on Friday.

Gardner was selected in the fourth round, No. 112 overall, by the Vancouver Canucks. He's the first Warroad Warrior taken in the NHL Draft since Brock Nelson went in the first round to the New York Islanders in 2010.

Gardner, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound power forward, is committed to Clarkson. He's expected to play a year of junior hockey before going to college.


121721 S GFH EGFBHKY DaimonGardne JaysonShaugabay01.jpg
Warroad's Daimon Gardner celebrates his first period goal with teammate Jayson Shaugabay (17) during a boy's hockey matchup against the Green Wave at the East Grand Forks Civic Center on Thursday, December 16, 2021.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GGF in NHL Draft

2022 — Cole Spicer (GFC), Boston Bruins, fourth round, No. 117
2020 — Jackson Kunz (GFRR), Vancouver Canucks, fourth round, No. 113
2019 — Judd Caulfield (GFC), Pittsburgh Penguins, fifth round, No. 145
2013 — Gage Ausmus (EGF), San Jose Sharks, fifth round, No. 171
2013 — Luke Johnson (GFRR-GFC), Chicago Blackhawks, fifth round, No. 134
2013 — Tucker Poolman (EGF), Winnipeg Jets, fifth round, No. 127
2012 — Paul LaDue (GFC), Los Angeles Kings, sixth round, No. 181
2003 — Ryan Potulny (GFRR), Philadelphia Flyers, third round, No. 87
2003 — Danny Irmen (GFRR-FN), Minnesota Wild, third round, No. 78
2001 — Andy Schneider (GFRR), Pittsburgh Penguins, fifth round, No. 156
2000 — Grant Potulny (GFRR), Ottawa Senators, fifth round, No. 157
1989 — Mike Markovich (GFC), Pittsburgh Penguins, sixth round, No. 121
1988 — Chad Johnson (GFC), New Jersey Devils, sixth round, No. 117
1984 — Dave Hanson (GFC), Philadelphia Flyers, fourth round, No. 79
1983 — Craig Mack (EGF), Quebec Nordiques, seventh round, No. 132
1982 — Tim Loven (GFRR), Toronto Maple Leafs, 11th round, No. 213
1982 — Tim Mishler (EGF), Winnipeg Jets, fifth round, No. 96
1978 — Mark Berge (GFRR), Philadelphia Flyers, 11th round, No. 182
1972 — Dennis Johnson (GFC), Detroit Red Wings, fifth round, No. 74

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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