Fargo Force’s Dominic Toninato, Brian Cooper and Colton Hargrove were all selected in the 2012 NHL Draft on Saturday morning.
Dominic Toninato, a forward out of Duluth, MN, played in just 4 games with the Force this season registering 1 point and a plus/minus rating of -1. The Toronto Maple Leafs selected the forward 126th overall in the fifth round. He just finished a stellar season at Duluth East High School where he played in 27 games scoring an impressive 61 points (27g, 34a). Toninato is expected to play in Fargo next season and will go on to the University of Minnesota-Duluth following his junior career.
Brian Cooper, the now former defenseman and Captain from Anchorage, AK, was selected directly after Toninato as the 127th overall pick in the fifth round by the Anaheim Ducks. He just completed his third and final season with the Force playing in 55 games registering 24 points with 6 goals and 18 assists. He was named to the All-USHL Second Team and was also named the recipient of the USHL Scholar-Athlete Award. He will begin his college career in the fall at the University of Nebraska-Omaha playing for former Fargo Force head coach, Dean Blais.
“I am happy to a part of the Anaheim Ducks organization,” said Brian Cooper on Saturday. “I am excited for what lies ahead and I will work hard in order to fulfill my dream of playing in the NHL”.
The third player to be selected from the Fargo Force was now former forward Colton Hargrove who was selected late in the seventh round, 205th overall by the Boston Bruins. Hargrove, a Rockwall, TX native, finished his second season with Fargo third in scoring overall with 38 points (16g, 22a) in 54 games played. He will begin his college career in the fall at Western Michigan University.
“The coaching staff is very happy for the guys and excited for them,” said head coach John Marks. “The three organizations that took them are going to be very pleased with each one of them because they are each outstanding players as well as individuals”.
Also taken in the draft by the New Jersey Devils in the third round, 90th overall was forward Ben Johnson, currently with the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League. Johnson played in 5 games with the Fargo Force during the 2010-11 season.
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By, Whitney Baumgartner