With only 17 games left before the end of the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) regular season, the Bismarck Bobcats continue to make a splash in the trade market, acquiring forward Tyler Klein and defenseman Ben Danford from the North Iowa Outlaws for future considerations.
The move to acquire Klein and Danford, both of whom represented the Outlaws earlier this month at the Sherwood/NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich., comes just a week after the Bobcats traded for Air Force Academy recruit Aaron Quick from the Wichita Falls Wildcats.
“I’ve had a chance to talk to both of these young men since the trade was finalized, and they’re both extremely excited to be Bismarck Bobcats,” said Bobcats head coach Byron Pool. “And we’re just excited to have them; both guys are very strong hockey players and will make our roster that much stronger from top to bottom.”
Klein came to the Outlaws in a trade with the St. Louis Bandits early this season and has put up 11 goals and 16 assists on the year, including 10-14=24 statline with North Iowa. He was a part of the Bandits’ run to their third straight Robertson Cup championship in 2009, registering a goal and two assists during the postseason for the eventual champs.
Hailing from Fargo, Klein becomes the third North Dakota native on the Bobcat roster, joining Minot’s Bryce Schmitt and Bismarck’s Tyler Richter.
Danford, from Stillwater, Minn., is a third-year NAHL veteran who began his career with the Southern Minnesota Express and moved with the team when it relocated to Detroit to become Motor City Machine last season. Traded from the Machine to the Outlaws in late 2008, Danford has been a mainstay for the last season-plus on North Iowa’s blue line.
This year, Danford has piled up nine goals and nine assists and departs North Iowa as the Outlaws’ top-scoring defenseman and sixth-leading scorer overall.