LAST TIME OUT: The U17s dropped a series against the Green Bay Gamblers, falling, 7-2, in the series opener before dropping a 4-3 nail-biter in the finale. Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) notched two goals in the series. 

The U18s won a best-of-three series in Youngstown, Ohio against the Phantoms. The U.S. handedly won the first round, 6-3, before dropping a 5-2 loss last Saturday. The U18s won the rubber match, 4-3, in overtime on Sunday. Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) notched three goals and three assists to lead the U18s in scoring with six points over the weekend. 

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: A trio of U17s skaters rank among top five USHL rookies in scoring this season. Frank Nazar III's (Mount Clemens, Mich.)  nine goals  and 18 points in league play pace the U17s, while Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) sits fourth in the USHL with 11 goals and 17 points, and Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.) Rounds  out the top five with nine goals and 16 points. 

GET TO THE POINT(S): Isaac Howard is racking up goals and assists in his first season with the NTDP, and is nearing his 40th point. The 5-9 forward has 19 goals and 38 points through 26 contests. Rutger McGroarty, who notched his 32nd point in the U17s' 4-3 loss to Green Bay last Saturday, joins Howard in the 30-point club. 

In addition, Seamus Casey (Estero, Fla.) has tallied points in five of his last six games. The blueliner has a goal and five assists for six points since Jan. 16. Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.) has also been stellar offensively. The defenseman has tallied  a point in six of his last eight games, collecting three goals and seven points in the stretch dating back to Jan. 2. 

STELLAR AGAINST THE JACKS: Isaac Howard, Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Frank Nazar III have put up impressive numbers through four games against the Lumberjacks. Howard and Nazar tie for the team lead with four goals and eight points each, while Kaplan has a goal and five assists. The trio have combined for over 40 percent of the team's scoring against the Lumberjacks. 

GILLY, GILLY: U18 forward Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) is the hottest U18 scorer in terms of points scored. The Providence College commit has racked up five goals and nine assists for 14 total points over his last six games played. Gilmartin has two-, three-, four- and five-point games over that stretch, his first four multi-point efforts of the season. The forward's run has pushed him into the top-10 points scorers on the team this season and he has already notched 10 more points in 20 fewer games than his U17 year. 

MULTI-POINT LOU: Forward Ryan St. Louis (Riverside, Conn.) has deposited points in bunches, with five multi-point productions over his last eight games. The son of NHL Hall of Famer, Martin St. Louis, has served in a playmaker role, specifically on the man advantage, as he has picked up three goals and nine assists over that span. On the season, the Northeastern commit has a goal and eight assists on the power play, the most power-play helpers on the team. 

WELCOME TO THE SQUAD: The  U18 squad added forwards Matthew Romer (Chicago, Ill.) and Thomas Weis (Madison, Wis.). Both skaters currently play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), Romer for the Janesville Jets and Weis for the Wichita Falls Warriors.  Romer gets the opportunity to play against his future teammates as he is a Sun Devils commit for next season.

TREMENDOUS 25: Twenty members of the 2020-21 U.S. National Under-18 Team and five former NTDP players were named to the National Hockey League Central Scouting's midseason rankings ahead of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. All 20 age-eligible U18 skaters for the draft were rated on the opening list. 

In addition, Owen McLaughlin (Spring City, Pa.) and Nick Roukounakis (Pembroke, Mass.), who have each appeared in five games for the U18s this season, were both listed as C-rated skaters.

HOBEY BAKER WATCH: Six former NTDP players were nominated for the 2021 Hobey Baker Award, presented to college hockey's top player. Matthew Boldy (Boston College / NTDP 2017-19), Cole Caufield (University of Wisconsin /NTDP 2017-19), David Farrance (Boston University / NTDP 2015-17), Logan Hutsko (Boston College / NTDP 2015-16), Spencer Knight (Boston College / NTDP 2017-19 and Cam York (University of Michigan / NTDP 2017-19) were all named to the list of nominees. 

The list will be pared down to 10 finalists before going to a selection committee to be decided. The NTDP has had 26 Hobey Baker Finalists and six winners. 

NTDP IN THE NHL: NTDP alums have been making waves early in the new NHL season.  Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks / NTDP 2011-13) was named the NHL's First Star of the Week this week after stopping 100 of the 103 shots he faced, going 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage to help Vancouver to a 4-0-0 week. 

James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers / NTDP 2005-07) was named the NHL's East Division Star of the Month for January. The New Jersey native shared the league lead with four power-play goals and placed sixth overall with 13 points (5g-8a) in 10 games played.

Elsewhere, K'Andre Miller (New York Rangers / NTDP 2016-18) continues his impressive rookie campaign from the Rangers blue line, racking up a goal and four  points  with a +7 rating through  nine games. The 21-year-old recorded his first multi-point game Jan. 30 with two assists against the Pittsburgh Penguins.