Grizzlies select former John Marshall standout in NA3HL Draft

Apr. 25—ROCHESTER — The Rochester Grizzlies only had two selections in Wednesday's North American 3 Hockey League Draft, but they made them count. And they stayed local.

The Grizzlies selected two players who come from Big Nine Conference high schools, including one from Rochester.

They traded up — sending a third-round pick this year and their first-round pick in 2025 — to the New Mexico Ice Wolves in exchange for the No. 16 overall pick in this year's Draft. With that pick, they chose former John Marshall standout Mason Decker, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward who played the 2023-24 season with the Carshield U18 AAA program in St. Louis.

Decker, a 2023 JM grad, had an excellent season for Carshield, recording 21 goals and 21 assists, as well as 134 penalty minutes.

He played both forward and defense at JM, where he totaled 82 career points, including 48 goals. Decker led the Rockets in scoring in his junior (24-12—36) and senior (22-18—40) seasons. He has signed a tender with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League, but he is very likely to return home to play for the Grizzlies if he doesn't land a roster spot with the Brahmas — or another NAHL team — out of training camp this fall.

The Grizzlies rounded out their small but talented 2024 Draft class by selecting former Mankato East defenseman Shae Gavin.

The 6-1, 195-pound blue liner played with Decker this season at Carshield, where Gavin had 14 goals and 25 assists. He played four seasons at East — where he was a rival with Decker — from 2019-23. He finished his high school career with 38 goals and 88 points in four seasons on the Cougars' varsity.

The Grizzlies selected Gavin, who played three games with Janesville (Wis.) in the NAHL this season, with the 27th pick in Round 4, No. 131 overall.

Two more players with local ties were selected in Wednesday's NA3HL Draft.

Owatonna defenseman Mark Spurgeon Jr. was picked by the Gillette (Wyo.) Wild with the 12th pick in the third round, No. 81 overall. Spurgeon, who turned 18 last month, was a captain for the Huskies this season, when he had five goals and 13 points. The 5-11, 165-pound right-shot blue-liner finished his three-year varsity career with 27 points.

Ten picks later, former Dodge County standout forward Cooper Jacobson was picked by the Texas Brahmas, with selection No. 22 in the third round (No. 91 overall). Jacobson recently wrapped up his second season with the Sioux Falls Power AAA program. He had 11 goals and 36 assists, for 47 points, for the Power's 18U AAA team this winter. He played two seasons for the Dodge County varsity, including as a freshman in 2020-21, when the Wildcats won the Section 1, Class 1A championship and reached the state championship game. Jacobson had 16 goals and 34 points in his two seasons at Dodge County.