Former RoughRider Winkler Dead At 23

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

Scott Winkler (right) is pushed into the boards by Zach Vierling during the final game of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders try-out camp at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Sunday, June 1, 2008, in southwest Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)


By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders are reeling from news that former player Scott Winkler has died unexpectedly.

Winkler, 23, was found unresponsive at his family's home in Asker, Norway, by his mother Wednesday evening after she returned home from work. A cause of death has not been determined.

"It's a shame," said RoughRiders head coach/general manager Mark Carlson. "You never know what happens in life. Scott was a very good hockey player and a very good person. This is just sad news."

Winkler played the 2008-09 season with the RoughRiders, picking up 10 goals and 36 assists in 55 games. He played four seasons at Colorado College and recently received his degree in economics.

A third-round draft pick of the NHL's Dallas Stars in 2008, Winkler was gearing up for a professional career. His father, Rod, was born in Canada but enjoyed a pro career in Norway.

"We enjoyed him when he was here," Carlson said. "He was very business like in his approach as a player. Certainly a good young man."

"RIP Winks," wrote former Riders teammate Troy Grosenick on Facebook. "You were a great teammate and even better person. Thoughts and prayers with the Winkler family."

"The first thing you feel is shock and secondly you hope it isn't true," Colorado College Athletics Director Ken Ralph told the Colorado Springs Gazette. "Scott had been working very hard and done a great job preparing himself for professional camps this summer. It's unfathomable that something like this can happen to someone his age."

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