Warhawks Draft Class Shows Great Potential for Success

When the smoke cleared on Wednesday evening, the Warhawks were very pleased with their 10 selections in the 2018 NA3HL Entry Draft. The draft works just like any draft in all levels from amateurs to Pros. Team’s draft the rights to a player, whereas if the player decide that this is the proper league for his development, then he signs with that team. The Willmar Warhawks would like to congratulate the 2018 draft class:

Round 8 (10th pick): Tanner Glassrud, ’00 Defenseman, Delano High School
Round 7 (9th pick): Jack Cusey, ’00 Goaltender, Manakato East High School
Round 6 (8th pick): Chase Sakic, ’00 Forward, Pursuit of Excellence
Round 6 (7th pick): Jackson Hjelle, ’99 Goaltender, Delano High School
Round 4 (6th pick): Nick Castro, ’99 Forward, Cretin High School
Round 3 (5th pick): Nicholas Mauthe, ’00 Forward, SMCHS
Round 3 (4th pick): Elliott Burgin, ’99 Forward, Ohio Blue Jackets
Round 3 (3rd pick): Tristan Larson, ’99 Defenseman, Bloomington Jefferson High School
Round 2 (2nd pick): Orrin Grangeroth, ’00 Defenseman, Litchfield High School
Round 1 (1st pick): Matt Orlando, ’99 Forward, Colorado Spring Tigers

Please join the Willmar Community in congratulating these young men for being selected by the Warhawks, in hopes that they will be Warhawks in the upcoming 2018-19 season.

The Warhawks also signed 8 players to tenders for the upcoming season. More information will be released on the tenders as the offseason continues. By signing a tender, a player commits to playing for that team in the upcoming season, if they choose that league as the right place for their continued development.

You may find all 291 draft selections by visiting the NA3HL 2018 Entry Draft Results

Hockey Community Mourns Humboldt Junior Hockey Team Tragedy

The Hockey Community and world are speechless today trying to cope with the tragic loss of 15 members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team from Saskatchewan.

We ask that you please join the North American Hockey League, NA3HL, Willmar Warhawks and the hockey community across the world in mourning the events that occurred as the Broncos traveled to their playoff game on April 6th. The team bus, carrying 28 players and staff, was hit by a tractor and trailer truck, killing 15 on board and injuring 13 others. Please keep the players, families, coaches, staff and team management in your thoughts and prayers.

Additionally, a gofundme page has been set up to help support those involved, as they deal with loss and some cope with surviving this horrific event. Go Fund Me – Humbolt Broncos

Below are some news links to the tragedy:





Coach DelCastillo Returns for 2018-19 Season

The Willmar Warhawks, proud members of the NA3HL, are pleased to announce that Doc Delcastillo will return next season, and take on the Head Coaching Responsibilities.  Coach DelCastillo has 25 years experience coaching hockey, beginning at the conclusion of his playing career at St. Cloud State, NCAA Division I.

Coach Delcastillo’s coaching experience at higher  levels, including NCAA Division I and III, USHL, NAHL and now tier-3 juniors, will add value and insight that players at this level seek for opportunities to advance. “I’m very excited to return to Willmar with a fresh start to the season.  It’s a great community with a lot of passionate fans, and the programs operated by Mr. Canavati are first class,” Doc remarked. “We will be recruiting a lot of new faces over the summer to join the Warhawks core that will be returning, in hopes of creating a championship team that sees a lot of players move on to higher levels.”

The relationship between the Brookings Blizzard NAHL team and the Willmar NA3HL program is one that Coach Doc hopes to utilize more consistently and often next season. “The advantage of a program like Willmar, in addition to the amazing venue for young men to grow and develop as hockey players and people, is the fact that our ownership group also owns a team at the NAHL level.  This is the exact relationship players should want to be in, where they can advance for opportunities at the next level, and borderline tier-2 players can spend time at the tier-3 program for development and additional ice time to fine-tune their game.”

With Coach Mike Bowman’s promotion to Director or Business Operations, he will now serve as Associate Head Coach in addition to his off-ice duties.  Together, Coach Doc and Mike have over 45 years of coaching experience, and that’s a major benefit to the players who embrace the challenge to become Willmar Warhawks.

Coach Doc can be reached at Doc@willmarwarhawks.com.


Warhawks looking to fill several off-ice positions

The Willmar Warhawks, proud members of the NA3HL, are looking for candidates interested in the following positions, to assist the organization with game-day operations and more.  If interested, please contact Mike Bowman at mbowman@willmarwarhawks.com

Billet Coordinator — Secure Billet families based upon organizations requirements and minimum standards.  Also help facilitate relations between Coaches / billets, players / billets and players families / billets.   Once season begins, coordinator simply maintains the relationship between the program and billets. Majority of this position’s responsibilities are completed in the in Spring / Summer

Social Media Coordinator — Establish a major presence weekly and daily on social media platforms to include, but not limited to, Facebook, instagram, snapchat and twitter.  This position will work closely with the organization to develop, promote and disseminate content via social media.  Coordinator will also work with the organization to develop contests and promotions to enhance the online presence and following, as well as gather customer information for email marketing and other outreach campaigns.  Social Media Coordinator will also be part of game-day staff, and will help work in securing video and sound bites for use in promo videos and online posts.

Game-day Staff — Duties and responsibilities to be outlined based upon position.  Each position will have primaries and backups, wherein the backups will be notified by primaries when not available.  Game-day staff is a major part of the face of the organization and operational success during events.

Interns —  Support social media coordinator, marketing / sales director, game-day operations, and broadcasting / video.  These positions can be developed for credit with cooperation from colleges / universities.  The interns will work as a team to ensure all duties on game-days are completed, and all will be trained on the different positions.  When a need arises, interns will fill in as game-day staff.  Interns will also be responsible for fan-experience during the games, helping to research, create and implement interactive activities and promotions.  Interns, once trained, will have major responsibilities regarding execution of events before, during and after home games.

A Successful Second Season Comes to an End

The Willmar Warhawks have completed their second season in Willmar. While several changes in the young organization made for an interesting season, the success would not have been possible without the help of the entire staff and organization. From game-day staff members, to full and part-time staff and coaches / management, the Warhawks would like to thank everyone for their contributions this season, continuing to build a junior hockey franchise in one of the Midwest’s best and most supportive towns.

Crystal Goosman (Game-Day Operations), Mike Bowman (Coach), Sue Martin (Billet Coordinator / Game-day Staff), Aaron Buttenhoff (Sales/Operations Mgr. and Broadcaster), Doc DelCastillo (Coach), Chris Canavati (President / Owner), John “Woody” Wodash (Equipment Manager / Bus Driver / Coach)