The Billings Bulls reacquired defenseman Nick Rizzo during the NA3HL draft on Tuesday.
The Bulls traded their first- and eighth-round picks to the Topeka Capitals to get Rizzo, who played in Billings during the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Rizzo scored nine goals and had 48 points last season in Topeka, which led all NA3HL defensemen. He had a plus/minus rating of plus-44.
“Honestly, to get a guy that had 50 some odd points last year as a defenseman in this league, that’s a big thing for any team,” said first-year Bulls coach Joe Deptula. “But it’s not just that. It’s his leadership capabilities. He’d been here for three years of his life. He knows what it means to be a Bull.”
The Bulls selected nine players in the draft, including second-round pick Ian Wiljanen, a forward from the Little Caesars U18 midget major AAA team of the High Performance Hockey League.
The Bulls, along with the rest of the American West Hockey League, joined the 28-team NA3HL in March.