GETTING OFFENSIVE: The offense has flowed for the NTDP this season. The combined Team USA teams currently lead the USHL in goals with 202 through 43 games. That’s an average of 4.70 goals per game. By comparison, the Chicago Steel have the second ranked offense with 165 goals through 46 games which averages out to 3.56 goals per game. Team USA is on pace to score more than 280 goals this season; in the USHL last season, only two teams eclipsed 200 goals.
The Under-17 Team’s goals per game is 5.44 through 43 games this season. They have already scored 234 goals this season and are on pace to score 288 goals by season’s end.
1+ POINTS PER GAME PLAYERS: A pair of Team USA players are at the top of the USHL rankings in points per game. In his rookie season in the USHL, Jack Hughes is averaging well over a point per game (1.85). Oliver Wahlstrom is second with 1.74 points per game. The current league-leader in points is Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Anthony Del Gaizo, but he is only averaging a pace of 1.17 PPG.
Other Team USA players averaging at least a point per game include Joel Farabee (1.37), Jake Wise (1.18), Jonathan Gruden (1.17), Cole Caufield (1.08), Matthew Boldy (1.04), Alex Turcotte (1.00), and Trevor Zegras (1.00).
MILITARY APPRECIATION WEEKEND: Team USA, USA Hockey Arena and sponsors are teaming up with the Michigan Veterans Region 9 VCAT for a weekend (Mar. 23-24) dedicated to supporting and celebrating our veterans, active military and first-responders.
On Friday (Mar. 23), USA Hockey Arena will host USA Military Appreciation and Family Night. We continue a very special tradition as we host a completely cost-free military appreciation night for local military and their families including a reception, fun activities for the kids and hockey game tickets. Over 500 veterans and military family members attended last year.
Saturday, March 24 is USA Salute To Heroes Night. We’ll celebrate veterans from all eras and honor hard-working local first responders to help provide the recognition they deserve.
NTDP ALUMNI LEAD MICHIGAN TO BIG TEN SEMIS: The University of Michigan hockey team swept Wisconsin this past weekend in the Big Ten Tournament en route to their semi-final match-up against Ohio State University.
Quinn Hughes (2015-17), Luke Martin (2014-16), Nick Pastujov (2014-16), Nicholas Boka (2013-15), Griffin Luce (2014-16), Josh Norris (2015-17), Brendan Warren (2013-15), and James Sanchez (2014-16) all recorded points for Michigan over the two game quarterfinal games.
Hughes was tied for second on the team for scoring over the two games with 5 points in two games.
COLLEGE CHAMPIONS: With the college hockey regular season ended, several alumni are on their respective conference championship teams.
Big Ten: Notre Dame: Dylan St. Cyr (2015-17), Joe Wegwerth (2012-14), Dawson Cook (2011-13)
Hockey East: Boston College: Casey Fitzgerald (2013-15), Logan Hutsko (2015-17), Zach Walker (2014-16), Jacob Tortora (2015-17), Graham McPhee (2014-16), Joseph Woll (2014-16)
ECAC: Cornell: Jared Fiegl (2012-14) & Ryan Bliss (2012-14)
WCHA: Minnesota State: Clint Lewis (2011-13)
NTDP IN THE NHL POSTER SERIES: Team USA will feature several of its high-profile alumni in its new NTDP in the NHL poster series giveaway. There will be seven nights throughout the rest of the NTDP home schedule where fans can win Pepsi and Team USA prizes, collect an NTDP alumni poster, and have the chance to win a signed jersey. The first 500 fans at each of the games will receive a NTDP in the NHL alumni poster.
The next game of the series will be Friday, March 16 as the Under-18 Team takes on the Madison Capitols at 7:00 p.m. EST. The night will feature 2017 Calder Trophy nominee, Zach Werenski (2013-14/Columbus Blue Jackets).
The final night of the series will be Friday, March 30. 2010 World Junior gold medalist and 2009 World Under-18 Championship gold medalist, Cam Fowler (2007-09/Anaheim Ducks) will be the highlighted alumni.
FIVE NATIONS RECAP: The U.S. National Under-18 Team won the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament two weeks ago. They began the tournament with a win (5-1) against Sweden. The following night, they fell against the Czech Republic (L, 6-2)and on Friday (Feb. 16), they rebounded with a comeback victory against Russia (W, 5-4). On Saturday (Feb.18) the U18s defeated Finland (W, 4-0) to win the championship.
Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) finished the tournament with eight points, tying him in first with Russia’s Andrei Svechnikov (4-4-8), and led the tournament in assists with six. Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) was tied for second in points with seven. Bode Wilde (Birmingham, Mich.) led all defensemen in points with six. Drew DeRidder (Fenton, Mich.) was one of only two goaltenders to record a shutout during the tournament; he saved all 33 shots in the championship game against Finland.
The U17s traveled to Finland to compete in the 2018 Under-17 Five Nations tournament where they swept their competition. They won their first game against Russia (5-4). After a day off, the U17s beat Sweden (10-2) and followed it up the next day with a victory against Finland (3-1). On the final day of the tournament, the U17s defeated the Czech Republic (8-3). In total, they outscored their opponents 26-10.
Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.) lead the tournament with 10 (4-6-10) points. Trevor Zegras (Bedford, N.Y.) was tied for second in points in the tournament with nine (2-7-9). Matthew Boldy (Millis, Mass.) was tied for the lead in goals with 5 for the tournament.
CAUFIELD MOVING UP NTDP ALL-TIME RECORD BOOK: U.S National Under-17 Team forward Cole Caufield scored one goal this past weekend. With the goal, Caufield is in sole possession of seventh place on the all-time single season goals list with 46. He’s already passed notable NTDP alumni: Matthew Tkachuk (2013-15/Calgary Flames), Jack Eichel (2012-14/Buffalo Sabres), and James van Riemsdyk (2005-07/Toronto Maple Leafs). At the top of the list is Auston Matthews (2013-15/Toronto Maples Leafs) with 55 goals.
JACK HUGHES REACHING NTDP SINGLE SEASON RECORD BOOK: With U.S National Under-18 Team forward Jack Hughes’s two-point weekend (1 goal, 1 assist), he has reached fourth place on the NTDP all-time single-season assist list with 59 assists passing Jeremy Bracco (2013-14/ Toronto Marlies). He has already surpassed Matthew Tkachuk (2013-15/Calgary Flames), Jack Roslovic (2014-15/Winnipeg Jets), former NHL player Andy Hilbert (1998-99/New York Islanders) and Patrick Kane (2005-06/Chicago Blackhawks). At the top of the list is Clayton Keller (2015-16/Arizona Coyotes) with 70 assists.
With the two points, Hughes is tied Keller and Phil Kessel (2003-05/Pittsburgh Penguins) for first in Under-17 season points. He is also tied with Kessel and Keller for tenth on the all-time single-season points list.
TEAM USA OFF TO BEST START SINCE JOINING THE USHL: With a record of 30-12-0-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL) in 43 games played, Team USA is enjoying its best start since joining the USHL. Team USA is in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with 61 points.
WERENSKI SETS COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS RECORD: NTDP alum Zach Werenski (2013-14) set a new Columbus Blue Jackets record on Tuesday (March 5) with a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights. The goal was Werenski’s 13 of the season and the most ever in one season by a Blue Jackets defenseman. The previous record was set in 2005-06 but Bryan Berard and tied by fellow alum Seth Jones (2010-12/ Columbus Blue Jackets) last season.
TEAM USA ALUMNI NOMINATED FOR 2018 HOBEY BAKER AWARD: Seven NTDP alumni are among the first 74 college hockey players to be nominated for 2018 Hobey Baker Award, given annually to nation’s top collegiate ice hockey player. NTDP alumni include: Joey Anderson (2014-16/University of Minnesota Duluth), Louie Belpedio (2012-14/Miami University), Casey Fitzgerald (2013-15/Boston College), Trent Frederic (2014-16/University of Wisconsin), Troy Terry (2014-15/University of Denver), Ryan Wagner (2013-14/University of Wisconsin) and Joseph Woll (2014-16/Boston College).
The top-10 players from the fan vote will be announced at a later date. When voting for the Hobey Baker Award, fans are asked to keep in mind the qualities that a nominee must display: exhibit strength and character, both on and off the ice; contribute to the integrity of the team; display outstanding skills in all phases of the game; show scholastic achievement and sportsmanship. 17 different USHL teams have alumni represented, including 13 teams with multiple players. The winner will be announced during the Frozen Four on Friday, April 6. Fans can see the full list of nominees and vote for their top-10 finalists here.
NTDP ALUMNI SHINE IN NHL ROOKIE SEASONS: Clayton Keller (2014-16/Arizona Coyotes) is in fourth place among rookies in points with 46. He is also fourth in assists with 29. Keller was named NHL Rookie of the Month for October after posting 9 goals and 15 points in 13 games.
Will Butcher (2011-13/New Jersey Devils) is second among rookies, and first among rookie defensemen, in assists with 30. He is second in points among rookie defensemen with 32.
Charlie McAvoy (2013-15/Boston Bruins) leads rookie defenseman in points with 32. He is second in plus/minus among rookies with plus-26 and first overall among rookie defensemen. He is averaging over 22 minutes per game as part of Boston’s top defensive pairing. On February 27, he became the youngest Bruins player to score an overtime game-winning goal.