BANANA SPLIT: Through April 19, 2023, the ‘06 birth class ranks fourth in a U17 season in win percentage dating back the last 19 seasons. With a 35-19-2-0 record and a win percentage of .643, the 2022-23 U17s are having the best season since the ‘01’s who finished with a 42-18-1-0 record, good for a .697 clip. This year’s team sits fifth overall amongst U17 teams in wins, just three wins behind the ‘88’s 38.
What makes this year’s U17s success noteworthy is the team’s ability to bounce back after a loss during a weekend series and eventually take at least one game of the two. To date, Team USA has played 15 weekend series against USHL opponents and has come away with a win 13 of those times. Team USA generally fares well after a series opening loss as 10 of the teams 13 split series have occurred in the weekend series closer. Currently, the U17s have split their last seven USHL series, dating back to January in the last time Team USA was swept in a weekend.
NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING: Nineteen members of the 2022-23 U.S. National Under-18 Team and three NTDP alums were named to the National Hockey League Central Scouting's Final Rankings ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft, set to take place June 28-29 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn..
Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) was the highest-rated NTDP player and maintained his third overall ranking from the mid-season report from January. Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) sits in the fifth overall spot, while Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.) is eighth overall and Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) rounds out the top-10 in the 10 slot. Forward Danny Nelson (Maple Grove, Minn.) ranks in the top-32, indicating a possible first-round selection in the draft, at 22nd overall.
Five defenseman made the list, along with seven more forwards. In between the pipes, Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) finished at third on the rankings while Carsen Musser (Sherburn, Minn.) sits eighth.
CLOSING TIME: As Team USA will play their 62nd USHL game this Saturday and conclude the regular season, along with handfuls of college games, NAHL matchups and international play, both the U18s and U17s have left their mark in the record book. Since moving to USA Hockey Arena in 2015, collectively, Team USA is slated to end the season with their best home record since then. The U18s suffered zero losses in regulation and only two shootout losses to go with their 19 wins. Overall, the U.S. ended with a 30-8-1-2 record and 63 points with a .768 win percentage. The team’s 30 wins matches Team USA’s win total from the 2017-18 season and leads in points.
For the U18s, they ended the 2022-23 Kroger College Series at 16-5-1, collecting the most NCAA wins in a single season from an NTDP squad. The U18s finished the regular season with a .800 win percentage which tops the ranks as the best win percentage by a U18 team in NTDP history. The team currently has two skaters, Gabe Perreault (114) and Will Smith (107), that have eclipsed the 100-point mark. The U18s also took home the U18 Five Nations Trophy in November at USA Hockey Arena.
As for the U17s, defenseman Cole Hutson (Barrington, Ill.) set the record for most points in a U17 season by a defenseman (9g-47a), Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) passed Cole Caufield as the U17 all-time leading goal scorer (60g-33a), and James Hagens (Hauppauge, N.Y.) became the World U17 Hockey Challenge all-time points leader (8g-13a). Team USA walked away with a first-place finish in the World U17 Hockey Challenge, the U17 Five Nations Tournament and the U17 Four Nations Tournament.
IIHF UNDER-18 MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The Under-18 Team finished up its domestic schedule and now sights will be set on preparing for the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men's World Championship this month in Basel and Porrentruy, Switzerland.
The tournament will be the 24th such event hosted by the IIHF and includes Canada, Czechia, Germany, Slovakia and Sweden in Group A, and Finland, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland and the United States competing in Group B.
The U.S. opens tournament play tomorrow (4/20) as they take on Latvia in the preliminary round at 4:00 p.m. local (10:00 a.m. ET) at St. Jakob Arena in Basel. All Team USA tournament games will broadcast live on NHL Network.