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CLOQUET, MN. (September 14, 2016) – The Minnesota Wilderness start their 4th season in the NAHL this Friday, September 16th on the road against the Janesville Jets.  The organization is incredibly proud to announce their 2016-2017 Team Captains. First year Wilderness forward Timmy Nicksic & veteran defenseman Tyler Vold will serve as captains. Veteran Defenseman Tristan Rostagno and veteran forward Michael Mahan will serve as the assistant captains for the upcoming 2016-2017 season.


Head Coach Tim Madsen had this to say about the team’s leadership group:

Timmy Nicksic: “Timmy is a leader on how he shows up prepared to work each and every day. He has a lot of Junior Hockey experience, and he will be a major contributor for our hockey club.”

Tyler Vold: “Tyler is a consummate professional. The way he carries himself on and off the ice is heavily noticed by our coaching staff, his teammates, our passionate fans, and all supporters of the organization.”

Tristan Rostagno: “Tristan brings the type of character to our organization that we preach every day. He is a good person, good teammate, and a major contributor to our team.”

Michael Mahan: “Michael earns the respect from his coaches and teammates each and every day with his work ethic, drive, and passion. He is the definition of a team player with the unselfish way he conducts himself on and off the ice.”


“To be successful at any level, you have to have good leadership. The way these four players have bought into what we are doing speaks volumes of who they are as people and as hockey players. As an organization, we couldn’t be more excited to start this brand new season on Friday”


#4 Tyler Vold

#3 Tim Nicksic

#21 Michael Mahan

#25 Tristin Rostagno

Koepke Commits to UMD

The Minnesota Wilderness, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Cole Koepke has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

Wilderness Draft Results 2016

Cloquet, MN, and (June 7th, 2016) – "We were happy with how the draft went. We do not have many eligible returners, so this was an important draft for our organization moving into the 2016-2017 season. We picked a lot of the players we had targeted, and can’t wait to see them at our main camp in July."



The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has concluded and announced the results of the 2016 NAHL Draft, which was held on Tuesday, June 7th. 



In total, 250 players were selected in the draft, which took just under three and a half hours to complete.

NAHL Wilderness Draft Picks:


Round 1, Pick 18 – Zach Mills

Trade – Pavel Mikhasenok

Round 2, Pick 42 – Coby Downs

Round 5, Pick 114 – Luke Dow

Round 5, Pick 118 – Alexander Esbjörs

Round 6, Pick 130 – Ryan Foley

Round 6, Pick 138 – Eric Gotz

Round 7, Pick 162 – Dylan Mills

Round 8, Pick 186 – Timmy Nicksic

Round 9, Pick 210 – Trevor Selk




Zach Mills:

’96 LW from Cottage Grove, Minnesota. "Zach brings speed, skill, and hockey sense to our organization. We expect him to be an immediate contributor.” Zach played in the AJHL for the Bonnyville Pontiacs and recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 47 games. Before juniors, Zach was the C of his high school team, Hill Murray.


Pavel Mikhasenok:

’96 F from Yekaterinburg, Russia. "Pavel is high-character player that possesses tremendous power play instincts. We were very excited to have him in the organization." Pavel played for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers in the EHL. Pavel amassed 20 goals and 40 assists in 41 games.


Coby Downs:

’96 C from Montclair, California. "Coby is a true-centerman that will not only contribute offensively, but will do all of the little things necessary to become a Division One Player. We were extremely happy when he was available in the 2nd round of the draft." Coby played in the SJHL for the Battlefords North Stars and in 57 games put up 27 goals and 46 assists.


Timmy Nicksic:

’96 F from Tomah, Wisconsin. "Timmy is a skilled, two-way forward with multiple years of junior hockey experience on his resume." Timmy played in 60 games for the Buffalo Jr. Sabers in the OJHL and totaled 21 goal and 39 assists.


Ryan Foley:

’96 F from Rosemount, Minnesota. "Ryan is a responsible, two-way forward that has the ability to play in every situation." Ryan played high school at Rosemount High School where he played 25 games and notched 17 goals and 12 assists.


Alexander Esbjörs:

’97 F from Göteborg, Sweden. "Alexander possesses a high hockey IQ, and a very good skill set. He has the ability to be a top-6 forward in the North American Hockey League." Alexander played for Frölunda HC J20 in Sweden and amassed 14 goals and 13 assists in 45 games.


Dylan Mills:

’99 C from Cottage Grove, Minnesota. "Dylan is an extremely intelligent forward. He brings size, skill and determination to our lineup." Dylan is the younger brother of our first round draft pick, Zach Mills. Dylan was a junior at Hill Murray last year and played in 25 games putting up 14 goals and 13 assists.



Luke Dow:

’98 C from Duluth, Minnesota. "Luke is a local product, as our organization is very familiar with him. Luke has a high hockey IQ & has the ability to make plays in all 3 zones." Luke played for Duluth East High School. He recorded 6 goals and 21 assists in 24 games. He also recorded 5 points during the playoffs.


Eric Gotz:

’98 D from Hermantown, Minnesota. “Eric is an extremely smart defensemen who seems to always make the right play. He comes to the Wilderness highly recommended from his Hermantown HS Head Coach, Bruce Plante. At Hermantown High School, Eric was the Assistant Captain. He played in 27 game and recorded 7 goals and 16 assists. Hermantown won the MSHL A Championship last year.


Trevor Selk:

‘97 D from East Grand Forks, Minnesota. “Trevor has been part of an impressive and successful run in East Grand Forks. He is a talented multi-sport athlete and we are excited to see him strive, focusing only on hockey.” Trevor payed in 27 games for EGF. He recorded 8 goals and 20 assists.




Each team’s protected list now stands at 30 players. All rosters must be reduced to 25 players by September 1st and 23 players by October 1st.

Wilderness Hire Benedict as Assistant Coach

Wilderness Hire Benedict as Assistant Coach


Cloquet, MN., (May 31st, 2016) – The Minnesota Wilderness are proud to welcome Michael Benedict as the new assistant coach.  He will join newly hired head coach, Tim Madsen, behind the bench for this upcoming season. 


Benedict, 25 years old, is from Eden, NY and will be joining the Wilderness after a one year stint as the assistant coach in Corpus Christi.  Benedict played his college hockey career at Niagara where Madsen was behind the bench for all three of his seasons.  Similar to Madsen, Benedict suffered an injury that brought his playing career to an end.  Although he was unable to compete his senior season, Benedict finished his degree and was still an integral part of the team as a graduate assistant.


Benedict also has familiarity with the league as a player spending two seasons playing in the NAHL prior to going to Niagara.  He spent 2009-2010 with the Alexandria Blizzard and 2010-2011 with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. 


Benedict will join Madsen and the team this weekend for its second pre-draft camp, scheduled for June 3-5 in Littleton, CO.

Wilderness Hire Madsen as Head Coach

CLOQUET, MN., (May 18th, 2016) – The Minnesota Wilderness is proud to welcome Tim Madsen as the team’s second head coach in its North American Hockey League history. 

Madsen, 31, is an Elk River, MN, native who returns to his home state after spending seven seasons as an assistant coach and associate head coach at Niagara University.  Prior to his coaching career at Niagara, Madsen spent the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL, where he helped lead the team to a Robertson Cup championship.   With Niagara, Madsen was an assistant when the Purple Eagles last participated in the NCAA tournament during the 2012-13 season.

Madsen also earned some championship hardware during his playing career.  He was part of the Elk River High School team that captured Minnesota’s Class AA state high school hockey tournament title during the 2000-01 season.  During his Junior A career, he helped lead the Waterloo Black Hawks to the USHL’s Clark Cup championship in 2003-04. 

Madsen then went on to play collegiate hockey with Niagara.  Despite a playing career that was cut short after three seasons with the Purple Eagles due to a career-ending injury, Madsen went on to complete his education, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, and a minor emphasis in Team Building.

Wilderness General Manager Dave Boitz said he is excited about landing Madsen to lead his team.

 “We would like to welcome Tim and his fiancé Ellen to the to the Wilderness family.”  “Tim is a tireless worker; passionate about hockey”, stated Boitz.  “He’s been a part of multiple championships and he coaches the game the way he played the game. He gives it everything he’s has to be successful. ”

Madsen will join the team in time for its second pre-draft camp, scheduled for June 3-5 in Littleton, CO. He and Wilderness management have begun searching for an assistant coach.  Tim and Ellen plan to live in the Cloquet area.

There will be a press conference June 6th at 5PM at the Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet MN to meet Coach Madsen.