CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP: Since making his season debut on February 19, Chaz Lucius has been on an absolute tear, finding the back of the net 13 times in just 12 games played. Lucius has added five helpers to give him 18 total points and his 1.78 PPG is second among all skaters in the USHL. The University of Minnesota commit has tallied 44 goals in 64 games played across two seasons in his NTDP career.
POWER HOWARD: 2004-born Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) has provided a huge offensive spark to the Under-18 squad since being inserted into the lineup. In 10 games, Howard has accumulated 12 points (3g-9a) including a four-point outburst against the Youngstown Phantoms on March 21. Overall on the season, Howard has an NTDP-high 66 points (30g-36a) in 44 games played, including nine games with three or more points.
GONE STREAKING: Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich.) has racked up eight points in eight of his last nine NTDP appearances, both with the U17 and U18 squads. Across the nine-game stretch dating back to Feb. 21, Nazar has notched 10 goals and five assists. The 5-9 forward, who just reached the 50th career point mark with the NTDP, has 25 goals and 51 points in 40 contests so far this season, averaging over a point per game.
HIGH-FLYING FLEM: Maddox Fleming (Rochester, Minn.) fared well against the Dubuque Fighting Saints two weekends ago, tallying three goals and an assist across the two games. His three point performance in Thursday's 5-4 shootout win over Dubuque marked his fifth multi-point game of his NTDP career. Fleming also added an assist in the U17s’ latest contest against the Gamblers to stretch his point streak to three games.The 5-11 winger has eight goals and 27 points in 32 games.
TURNING PRO: Following the conclusion of the Wisconsin men's hockey season, NTDP alum Cole Caufield (2017-19) signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The standout forward and 2021 Hobey Baker Award finalist was selected 15th overall by the Canadiens in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
Additionally, former NTDP defenseman David Farrance (NTDP 2015-17) signed a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators, who drafted the Boston University product 92nd overall in the third round of the 2017 NHL Draft. NTDP alums Cam York (NTDP 2017-19) and Spencer Knight (NTDP 2017-19) also signed with their respective clubs, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Florida Panthers.
HOBEY BAKER WATCH: Former NTDP forward Cole Caufield (University of Wisconsin /NTDP 2017-19) was named one of three finalists for the 2021 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Caufield boasts 30 goals and 52 points in 31 games played. He leads the nation's second-highest scoring skater by 11 goals and holds a five-point lead on the next closest scorer. His 1.68 points per game are tops in the country. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 9, 2021.
NCAA PLAYER AWARDS: More than 20 different NTDP skaters earned conference awards for the 2020-21 season. Notably, forward Cole Caufield and goalatender Spencer Knight picked up Player of the Year nods from the Big Ten Conference and Hockey East Association, respectively, and forwards Thomas Bordeleau (University of Michigan/ NTDP 2018-20) and Ty Smilanic (Quinnipiac University/ NTDP 2018-20) both won Rookie of the Year awards. In addition, twenty-one players landed on All-Conference teams.
HEAD COACH GRANATO: Former NTDP coach Don Granato was named interim head coach of the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. Before being named head coach, Granato, who coached at the NTDP from 2011 to 2016, served as an assistant coach with the Sabres for both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
Granato is the fourth former NTDP coach to serve as head coach for an NHL club, joining current New York Rangers head coach David Quinn (NTDP 2002-04), Nashville Predators head coach John Hynes (NTDP 2003-09), and former Sabres head coach Ron Rolston (NTDP 2004-11) in earning the distinction.
U18 MEN'S WORLDS: The 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship is scheduled to take place in Frisco and Plano, Texas from April 26-May 26, 2021.
The primary venue for the tournament will be Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas. It will host Group B for preliminary round play, which includes the U.S., Russia, Czech Republic, Finland and Germany. Comerica Center will also host two quarterfinal games, both semifinal contests, along with the bronze and gold-medal games.