Cedar Rapids RoughRiders forward Nik Sellers (
"We're very excited for both Nik and Steven," said RoughRiders coach and general manager Mark Carlson "They've come in and done a very good job of working hard every day and filling important roles for us."
Both Sellers and Kaunisto are in their first year with the defending USHL Clark Cup champion RoughRiders after playing for the now-defunct Soo Indians of the North American Hockey League last season.
Last season Sellers led the Indians in assists (37) and points (48) and finished seventh in the NAHL in assists. This season marks Sellers' return to the United States Hockey League- two years ago he skated in the USHL for the Danville Wings. Sellers was part of Indians squad that finished third at 2005 Junior A National Championship, in which he led the Soo with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 14 postseason games. Sellers was selected by the Plymouth Whalers in the twelfth round of the May 2002 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, 240th overall.
Sellers had committed to Wayne State for the current season, but backed out to play another year of juniors in the USHL.
Kaunisto, also 19, has picked up eight assists in 26 games with the Riders this season. He arrived in Cedar Rapids after scoring one goal and totaling six points in 41 NAHL games last season. Kaunisto was also part of the Soo squad that finished third at 2005 Junior A National Championship as he notched three points in fourteen NAHL playoff games. Prior to playing in the NAHL, Kaunisto was a 2002-03 All Big North Conference selection and Honorable Mention All-State while playing for Sault Ste.
Last year, both Sellers and Kaunisto were coached by Joe Shawhan, now an assistant with Lake Superior State.
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