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Black Hawks notebook: Rinzel ranked 19th on final Central Scouting list

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Members of the Waterloo Black Hawks swarm goalie Emmett Croteau following a 4-3 shootout victory against Omaha during the 2020-21 season.

WATERLOO — Seven current or former members of the Waterloo Black Hawks found their names listed in the final NHL Central Scouting Rankings of the 2021-22 season.

The four lists, divided by North American skaters and goalies and European skaters and goalies, consist of 408 skaters and 52 goaltenders who are eligible to be taken in the 2022 NHL Draft in July.

Defenseman Sam Rinzel came in near the top of the North American Skaters list at 19th. The Black Hawks drafted the Minnesota-native with third pick of the second round (18th overall) in the 2021 USHL Draft.

Rinzel spent the majority of the 2021-22 season with Chaska High School where he recorded 38 points (9 goals, 29 assists) in 27 games played. For the Black Hawks, Rinzel appeared in 21 games with 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists).

Netminder Emmett Croteau marked the second current Hawk to earn a spot on the list. The Bonnyville, Alberta product parlayed a strong finish to the season to wind up 10th on the goalie list.

Croteau joined Waterloo as a 10th-round selection in Phase II of the 2020 USHL draft. In 2020-21, Croteau appeared in 16 games with a 3.67 goals against average and a .877 save percentage. This season, he improved with a 3.00 GAA and a .899 SV%, including a run in the playoffs with a 2.71 GAA and a .913 SV%.

Defenseman Adam Cardona came in as the 174th ranked skater after recording 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 42 games during his rookie season in Waterloo.

The final current Hawk to appear on the list was forward Gavin O’Connell. O’Connell capped off his rookie season in Party Town tied as the fifth-ranked point producer on Waterloo with 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists) in 62 games.

Two former members of the Black Hawks, one affiliate and one 2022 draft choice, appeared on the list as well.

Defenseman David Gucciardi, who spent 2020-21 in Waterloo before heading to Michigan State, came in as the 57th ranked skater. Michael LaStarza, who was traded in January for Ray Fust, a Phase I second round pick and a Phase II 4th fourth round pick in 2022, came in as the 91st ranked skater.

Aaron Pionk, the first Waterloo selection in Phase II of the 2022 UHSL Draft, finished as the 132nd ranked skater and affiliate forward Grayson Badger finished as the 165th ranked skater.

Lindberg to CC: Waterloo rookie forward Gavin Lindberg announced he would be continuing his hockey career at Colorado College.

In his first season, the Fergus Falls, Minnesota product played in 13 games for the Hawks, recording 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist).

Currently, 21 USHL players from the 2021-22 season have chosen Colorado College.

With his commitment, Lindberg joins Aidan Shirey, who appeared in seven games for Waterloo as future Tigers.

Saying goodbye to four vets: A 2-1 semifinal series loss to the Sioux City Musketeers not only marked the end of the 2021-22 season for the Hawks, but it also marked the final USHL game of six Hawks’ careers.

Born in 2001, Tyler Kostelecky, Mason McCormick, Cooper Wylie and Mason Reiners will not be eligible to play in the 2022-23 season.

Reiners captained the Black Hawks in 2021-22, recording 14 points (4 goals, 10 points) across 38 contests. The defenseman is committed to St. Cloud State University.

Wylie spent two seasons in Waterloo, appearing in 99 games, as a fixture on the Black Hawks blue line. He is also committed to play at St. Cloud State University.

McCormick appeared in 46 games for the Black Hawks in 2021-22, notching 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists). McCormick will continue his hockey career at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Kostelecky spent one season in Waterloo, playing in 51 games with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists). He will attend Arizona State University as a member of the Sun Devils hockey program. Current Hawk Tucker Ness is also committed to Arizona State.


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