Photo by Hickling Images
The Tri-City Storm have signed defenseman Ruben Rafkin to a tender for the 2018-19 season. Rafkin, who will turn 16 on Monday, is committed to the University of Denver.
The Storm’s signing of Rakin marks the second tender signed in Tri-City since the process began in the USHL prior to the 2012-13 season. The modern USHL tender process allows teams to sign a player prior to the USHL Phase I Draft in exchange for a first or second round pick.
Defenseman Tory Dello signed with the Storm prior to the 2013-14 season. Dello, a former Tri-City captain, won a Clark Cup championship and was honored with the prestigious Curt Hammer Award for his community contributions during his time in Kearney, NE. He is currently playing college hockey at the University of Notre Dame.
“Ruben Rafkin is a puck moving defenseman who has a dynamic offensive ability. He is a world class player for his age and he will represent Finland in many future international tournaments,” said Steve Lowe, Tri-City Storm president of Hockey Operations.“Rafkin has the drive to compete and the will to work to get better and for those reasons we have chosen to sign him to a tender. We would like to welcome Ruben to the Tri-City Storm family.”
The Turku, FIN native is currently in his second season with Selects Academy (USPHL) with the South Kent School located in northwestern Connecticut. He currently has 34 points (9G, 25A) in 34 games with the Midget program, and has three points (1G, 2A) in four appearances with the 16U team. Rafkin also played with the 16U program last season, appearing in six regular season games in addition to four playoff matchups. The Selects Academy would go on to win the 16U USPHL Championship. Rafkin also previously played in the USHL Combine and Development Series.
Now in its seventh year, the USHL tender process allows teams to sign up to two 2002 birth year players prior to the 2018 USHL Phase I Draft, which will take place May 7, 2018. Rafkin’s signing will take the place of Tri-City first-round pick in the 2018 USHL Phase I Draft. If the Storm tender a second player, that signing would take the place of a second-round selection in the 2018 USHL Phase I Draft. The final day for USHL teams to sign a tender is Sunday, May 6, 2018. Each tendered player will be on their respective team’s roster the next season and play at least 55% of the team’s regular season games.
Rafkin is the first player to sign a tender with a USHL team prior to the 2018-19 season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
Tag(s): Player News