The continuation of the National Roller Hockey League (NRHL) draft held Saturday night saw the St. Louis Vipers claim their fourth overall pick that helped solidify their roster that makes their long-awaited return on the sport court in May.
St. Louis selected defenseman Cody Kettler, a two-time National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association champion from Lindenwood University, which marked the third defenseman selected by the Vipers in the first four rounds.
The 27-year-old Wentzville, Missouri native was a four-time member of Team USA that competed at the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championships. In that span, Kettler snared a quartet of gold medals at the global event that held its last tournament in 2017.
He also played for Alkali RPD within the North American Roller Hockey Championships (NARCh) for four seasons (2015-18). During that stretch, he collected five goals and 14 assists in 29 games.
During his collegiate career at Lindenwood (2010-15), the 5-10, 150-pound dynamo scored 98 goals and 213 assists for 301 points in 143 games while collecting gold medals for Lindenwood in 2013 and 2014 at the NCRHA Division 1 finale. In his senior campaign, he claimed a career best 39 goals and 64 assists for 103 points.
The Vipers, who last appeared with Roller Hockey League International in 1999, is one of four teams that comprise the NRHL and will have 28 games on the docket in a campaign that runs through August with home games at Family Arena in St. Charles.
Alongside the Vipers, the NRHL also sports the Detroit Dragons, the Grand Rapids Warthogs and the Port Huron Yeti. By design, St. Louis will always possess the fourth pick in the weekly draft. St. Louis’ claim of Kettler was League’s sixteenth overall pick in the draft that continues for the next three Saturdays.
The Vipers chose veteran roller hockey defensemen Shane Fox and PJ Kavaya along with ECHL All-Star forward Jack Combs with their first three opening picks. The final NRHL draft weekend will be held February 29 and a two-round supplemental draft will commence March 28.
Former St. Louis Blue Perry Turnbull, who coached the Vipers when they won the RHLI Murphy Cup Championship in 1999, helms the bench for their 2020 re-launch.