Photo by Andrew Knapik
USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program enters play this weekend with a 36-19-0-2-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL-T) record after the U17s split its series against Des Moines (L, 5-3, Jan. 5) and (W/OT, 3-2) while the U18s fell to Utica College (5-4, Jan. 7) at USA Hockey Arena. U18’s game against Boston University was cancelled due to weather for the U18s as the game was set to take place at Agganis Arena in Boston, Mass. on Friday night (Jan. 5).
The NTDP enters a busy week with six games in a four day span. The weekend begins Friday night (Jan. 12) as the U18s host Sioux City Musketeers in a two-game series at USA Hockey Arena and wrap up the series Saturday. The U18s third game will take place Monday (Jan. 15) in Youngstown, Ohio as they face-off against the Phantoms at 1:35 p.m. ET at Covelli Center. The U17s travel to Central Illinois for its weekend series with the Flying Aces taking place Friday (Jan. 12) and Saturday (Jan. 13) at 8:05 p.m. ET at Grossinger Motors Arena. Monday afternoon, the U17s wrap up the long weekend with a matinee game against cross-state rivals, Muskegon Lumberjacks at 2 p.m. ET at USA Hockey Arena.
Overall Record: U18: 15-12-0-2 | U17: 21-7-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL)
Team USA USHL Record: 12-9-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL) with 24 PTS in 21 GP, 7th place in the Eastern Conference
Friday, Jan. 12 Under-18 Team vs. Sioux City Musketeers
Puck Drop: 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 13 Under-18 Team vs. Sioux City Musketeers
Puck Drop: 7 p.m. ET
Monday, Jan. 15 Under-18 Team @ Youngstown Phantoms
Puck Drop: 1:35 p.m. ET
Friday, Jan. 12 Under-17 Team @ Central Illinois Flying Aces
Puck Drop: 8:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 13 Under-17 Team @ Central Illinois Flying Aces
Puck Drop: 8:05 p.m. ET
Monday, Jan. 15 Under-17 Team vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks
Puck Drop: 2 p.m. ET
DOWNING THE MUSKETEERS: This two-game series will be the only time the NTDP and the Sioux City Musketeers drop the puck against each other this season. The Musketeers enter the series with a record of 10-11-3-2 (W-L-OTL-SOL) and sit in sixth in the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League. In Sioux City’s last 10 games, they have a record of 6-2-1-1.
In the last meeting against the Musketeers, the Musketeers took a 8-1 victory against the 2017 U.S. National Under-17 Team as Patrick Giles (Chevy Chase, Md.) scored the lone goal for the U18s.
Musketeers Top Scorers: Sampo Ranta (9-6-15 in 26 GP), Micah Miller (8-5-13 in 26 GP), Cole Koepke (11-1-12 in 26 GP)
Musketeers Plus-Minus Leaders: Ryan Leibold (+7), Jack Babbage (+5), Randy Hernandez (+5)
Musketeers Goaltenders: Matt Jurusik (9-9-3-1 in 23 GP, 2.54 GAA, .910 SV%), Ben Kraws (1-2-0-1 in 7 GP, 3.64 GAA, .887 SV%)
2016-17 Results/Schedule: March 17, 2017, U17s @ Sioux City (L, 2-1); March 18, 2017, U17s @ Sioux City (L, 8-1).
NTDP All-Time Record vs. Sioux City Musketeers: 10-8-2 (W-L-OTL) Home: 5-2-1 Road: 5-6-1
LANDING THE FLYING ACES: The U17s travel to Central Illinois to take on the Flying Aces on Friday and Saturday. This will be the fourth and fifth time the two teams face-off this season out of the nine scheduled games. The NTDP holds the season-series lead at 3-0-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL) against the Flying Aces. Central Illinois is 10-15-1-2 with 22 PTS in the USHL entering the weekend series.
In the last matchup, the U18s defeated the Flying Aces, 4-2 at USA Hockey Arena on December 9, 2017. Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.) had three points with a goal and two assists and K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minn.) recorded a goal and an assist. Jonathan Gruden (Rochester, Mich.) and Bode Wilde (Birmingham, Mich.) also found the back of the net in the victory.
Flying Aces Top Scorers: Jakub Lacka (11-9-20 in 28 GP), Calen Kiefiuk (7-11-18 in 28 GP), Max Andreev (4-14-18 in 26 GP)
Flying Aces Plus-Minus Leaders: Davis Bunz (+7), Simon Butala (+6), Cory Babichuk (+4), Charlie Raith (+4)
Flying Aces Goaltenders: Kris Carlson (5-7-1-1 in 17 GP, 3.26 GAA, .890 SV%), Zack Stejskal (5-8-0-1 in 16 GP, 3.93 GAA, .868 SV%)
2017-18 Schedule/Results vs.Flying Aces: Sept. 29, 2017, U18s @ Flying Aces (W, 5-2); Nov. 18, 2017, U18s vs. Flying Aces (W, 5-0); Dec. 9, 2017, U18s vs. Flying Aces (W, 4-2); Jan. 12, 2018, U17s @ Flying Aces, Jan. 13, U17s @ Flying Aces, Feb. 23, U18s vs. Flying Aces, Feb. 24, U17s vs. Flying Aces, Mar. 23, U17s @ Flying Aces, Mar. 24, U17s @ Flying Aces.
NTDP All-Time Record vs. Central Illinois Flying Aces: 3-0-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL) Home: 2-0-0 Road: 1-0-0
CHOPPING DOWN THE LUMBERJACKS: The U17s Host Muskegon on Monday in a matinee match-up. This meeting will be the fifth of eight against the Lumberjacks this season. The season series is tied 2-2-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL).
In the last meeting between the two, the NTDP traveled to Muskegon where they fell 3-0.
During the 2017-18 season, the U.S. National Under-18 Team will play the Lumberjacks three times while the U.S. National Under -17 Team will face-off against the Lumberjacks five times. The NTDP holds a 26-26-5 all-time record against the Lumberjacks.
Muskegon’s Top Scorers: Wyatt Bongiovanni (12-12-24 in 26 GP), Anthony Del Gaizo (16-9-25 in 27 GP), Matej Pekar (5-18-23 in 27 GP)
Muskegon’s Plus-Minus Leaders: Bray Crowder (8), Wyatt Bongiovanni (7), Benito Posa (6)
Muskegon’s Goaltenders: Adam Brizgala (4-5-1-1 in 13 GP, 3.02 GAA, .892 SV%, 1 SO), Keegan Karki (9-6-0-0 in 16 GP, 2.85 GAA, .894 SV%, 1 SO)
2017-18 Schedule/Results vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks: Sep. 23, 2017, U18s @ Muskegon (SO/W, 7-6); Oct. 14, 2017, U18s @ Muskegon (W, 7-0); Dec. 19, 2017 (L, 3-6), U18s vs. Muskegon; Dec. 29, 2017 (L, 3-0), U17s @ Muskegon; Jan. 15, 2018, U17s vs. Muskegon; Jan. 27, 2018, U17s @ Muskegon; Mar. 4, 2018, U17s vs. Muskegon
GHOSTING THE PHANTOMS: This contest will be the fifth of nine meetings this season the U18s travel to Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 13-10-3-1 in the USHL entering the game.
The NTDP won the last meeting, 4-1 at USA Hockey Arena. The NTDP holds the lead on the season series 3-1-0 (W-L-OTL). The NTDP leads the all-time series 39-33-5 (W-L-OTL).
Phantoms Top Scorers:Matthew Barry (7-18-25 in 27 GP), Curtis Hall (11-8-19 in 23 GP), Max Ellis (9-11-20 in 25 GP).
Plus-Minus Leaders: Curtis Hall (4), Julian Kislin (9), Chase Gresock (8),
Phantoms Goaltenders: Ivan Prosvetov (7-3-2-0 in 15 GP, 3.22 GAA, .899 SV%), Wouter Peeters (6-7-1-1 in 15 GP, 3.16 GAA, .883 SV%)
2017-18 Schedule: Nov. 3, U18s vs. Youngstown (W/OT, 5-4), Nov. 17, U18s at Youngstown (W, 8-5), Dec. 1, U17s at Youngstown (L, 0-2), Dec. 30, U17s vs. Youngstown (W, 4-1), Jan. 15, U18s at Youngstown, Feb. 25, U18s vs. Youngstown, Mar. 30, U18s vs. Youngstown, Mar. 31, U17s at Youngstown, and Apr. 12, U17s at Youngstown.
Team USA vs. Youngstown: 3-1-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL)
Home: 2-0-0-0 Away: 1-1-0-0
Team USA All-Time Record vs. Youngstown: 39-33-5 (W-L-OTL)
Home: 26-11-2 Road:13-22-3
LAST TIME OUT: The U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday night (Jan. 5), 5-3 in the first game of a two-game series at Buccaneer Arena. The U17s had goals from Judd Caulfield (Grand Forks, N.D.), Matthew Boldy (Millis, Mass.) and Owen Lindmark (Naperville, Ill.).
U.S. National Under-18 Team was set to face-off against Boston University Friday night (Jan. 5) but the game was cancelled due to weather in Boston.
The U17s came out on top in game two on Saturday night (Jan. 6), 3-2 in overtime against the Des Moines Buccaneers. Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.) led the charge with two goals, including the overtime-winner. Sean Farrell (Hopkinton, Mass.) netted the game tying goal for the U17s that would lead them into the overtime period.
Utica College came to USA Hockey Arena for the first time as the U18s fell to the Pioneers, 5-4 on Sunday (Jan. 7) afternoon. The U18s controlled the game until the third period as they took a 4-2 lead entering the period. Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Patrick Giles (Chevy Chase, Md.) Jonathan Gruden (Rochester, Mich.) and Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) potted goals for the U18s. The Pioneers found the back of the net three times in the third period to top the U18s.
2017-18 NTDP PERFORMANCE TRACKER: U18s: Jack Hughes (13-38-51 in 27 GP, +13), Oliver Wahlstrom (19-15-34 in 29 GP, +3), Joel Farabee (13-16-29 in 29 GP, +2), Bode Wilde (5-12-17 in 29 GP, +13), Drew DeRidder (11-7-0-1 in 22 GP, 2.71 GAA, .902 SV%, 3 SO)
U17s: Cole Caufield (32-9-41 in 28 GP, +11), Matthew Boldy (11-22-33 in 28 GP, +6), Spencer Knight (12-2-0-0 in 19 GP, 2.27 GAA, .922 SV%, 1 SO) and Cameron Rowe (9-5-0-0 in 18 GP, 3.32 GAA, .877 SV%)
NTDP/ SIOUX CITY CONNECTIONS: Both Randy Hernandez (2015-17) and Nate Knoepke (2015-17) are returning to USA Hockey Arena for the first time as NTDP alumni this weekend when the Sioux City Musketeers face-off against the Under-18 Team.
In 122 games with the NTDP, Knoepke tallied five goals and 29 assists. He was also a member of the gold-medal winning team that won the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship last year.
He has two assists in five games played with Sioux City this season.
Hernandez skated in 115 games for the NTDP tallying 14 goals and 13 assists. He has seven points in 26 games with the Musketeers this season (2-5-7).
WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE: Team USA took home the bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. After advancing to the semifinals, Team USA fell to Sweden, 4-2, despite outshooting Sweden 31-20.
The U.S. National Junior Team defeated the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game, 9-3. Trent Frederic (2014-16/University of Wisconsin) led the team to victory with 4 goals. Kieffer Bellows (2015-16/Portland Winterhawks) added 2 goals, and Ryan Poehling (St. Cloud State Univ.), Joey Anderson (2014-16, University of Minnesota Duluth), and Patrick Harper (Boston Univ.) all recorded a goal to help Team USA to its decisive victory.
Casey Mittelstadt (University of Minnesota) and NTDP alum Kieffer Bellows (2015-16/Portland Winterhawks) were named to the All-Star Team. Mittelstadt was selected as tournament MVP and given the Directorate Award for Top Forward. Mittelstadt led the tournament with 11 points (4-7-11). Bellows lead the tournament with 9 goals and was tied for second in points with 10 (9-1-10). His nine goals broke a Team USA record for most goals in a single World Juniors tournament. Brady Tkachuk (2015-17/Boston University) tied for third in points (3-6-9). Among defensemen, Adam Fox (2014-16/Harvard University) ranked fourth in points with 5.
The 23-player roster for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team that competed in the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York, from Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 5, 2018 featured 12 former NTDP players. All four Team USA captains were NTDP alumni. Anderson served as the team captain while Bellows, Fox and Ryan Lindgren (2014-16/University of Minnesota) were tabbed alternate captains of the squad. Bellows, Fox and Lindgren were all members of last year’s U.S. National Junior Team that captured the gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto, Canada.
The other alumni that competed for Team USA included: goaltenders Jake Oettinger (2014-16/Boston University), and Joseph Woll (2014-16/Boston College), defenseman Quinn Hughes (2015-17/University of Michigan) and forwards Max Jones (2014-15/London Knights), Will Lockwood (2014-16/University of Michigan), Josh Norris (2015-17/University of Michigan), Frederic, and Tkachuk.
POST GAME SKATE MATINEE: The U17s will host a post-game skate after its matchup with the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Monday, Jan. 15, where team members will stick around after the game to skate with fans. The game begins at 2:00 p.m. and the skate will follow immediately after. Special $5 tickets are available for this holiday matchup. Ticket are available here.
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 first game of the series will be Saturday, Jan. 13 when the Under-18 Team takes on Sioux City Musketeers at 7 p.m. ET. The night will feature current Detroit Red Wings forward, Dylan Larkin (2012-14/Detroit Red Wings). Tickets for Saturday’s game can be purchased here.
Other dates include:
Jan. 26, U17s vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints - Auston Matthews (2013-15/Toronto Maples Leafs)
Feb.3, U17s vs. Lincoln Stars - Ryan Kesler (2000-02/Anaheim Ducks)
Feb. 13, U18s vs. Central Illinois Flying Aces - Patrick Eaves (2000-02/Anaheim Ducks)
Mar. 3, U17s vs. Omaha Lancers - Phil Kessel (2002-04/Pittsburgh Penguins)
Mar. 16, U17s vs. Madison Capitols - Zach Werenski (2013-14/Columbus Blue Jackets)
Mar. 30, U18s vs Youngstown - Cam Fowler (2007-09/Anaheim Ducks)
NEW ISS HOCKEY NHL DRAFT RANKINGS: ISS Hockey released its new NHL Entry Draft rankings. The list is the first one out after the completion of the World Junior Championship, where the U.S. took home the bronze medal. NTDP alum and current Boston Terrier, Brady Tkachuk (2015-17) leads all alums at the No. 2 spot.
Current Under-18 Team forward Oliver Wahlstrom is next on the list at No. 5 followed by alum, Quinn Hughes at No. 7.
Bode Wilde and Joel Farabee, who are currently with the Under-18 Team, are also on the list at No. 13 and No. 14 respectively.
NTDP ALL-STAR ALUMNI: The NHL announced the rosters yesterday for its 2018 NHL All-Star Game that will be held in Tampa Bay on Jan. 27-28.
Jack Eichel (2012-14) of the Buffalo Sabres will skate in his first All-Star Game alongside Auston Matthews (2013-15/Toronto Maple Leafs) for the Atlantic Division Team.
Noah Hanifin (2013-14/ Carolina Hurricanes) will skate in his first All-Star game with fellow NTDP alum Seth Jones (2010-12/ Columbus Blue Jackets) for the Metropolitan Division squad.
Patrick Kane (2004-06/ Chicago Blackhawks) is also heading to Tampa for his seventh All-Star game appearance as the lone alum on the Central Division team.
KANE CONTINUES HOT STREAK: Chicago Blackhawks forward and NTDP alum Patrick Kane (2004-06) was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week this week after recording five points (1-4-5). He has scored 13 points in his past 10 games and currently sits 13th in points (45) and tied for 15th in goals (18) among NHL players.
He recently scored his 300th career NHL goal and became the 21st American-born skater to ever hit that number. Kane is one of three active Americans to reach the milestone, joining Joe Pavelski and NTDP alum, Phil Kessel (2003-05) who also both recorded their 300th goals this season. Kane is the points leader among active Americans in the NHL with 797 points in 782 games.
NTDP ALUMNI SHINE IN NHL ROOKIE SEASONS: Clayton Keller (2014-16/Arizona Coyotes) is tied for third among rookies in points with 32 and third in goals among rookies with 14. 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 in points (25) and first in assists (23) among rookie defenseman.
Charlie McAvoy (2013-15/Boston Bruins) is third in points among rookie defenseman with 21. He is averaging over 22 minutes per game as part of Boston’s top D pairing; his 22 minutes are more than 4 minutes higher than the next rookie.
STAR WARS COMING TO USA HOCKEY ARENA: The NTDP will host its annual Star Wars Night on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. The game, which is sponsored locally by Hines Park Lincoln, will pit the U.S. National Under-17 Team against the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League.
For the fifth time, Team USA will wear Star Wars inspired jerseys during this event. Previous designs include Han Solo (2015), the iconic Stormtrooper (2016) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens hero robot BB-8 (2017). This season’s look will feature a reboot on a previous fan-favorite jersey. A full jersey unveiling will be announced in the coming weeks.
The jerseys will be auctioned off online at the NHL Auctions page. Bidding will commence following the game. Proceeds will benefit C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since the auction’s inception, it has raised over $40,000 for the hospital.
Among the festivities planned for Star Wars Night are appearances by characters represented by the 501st Legion & Rebel Legion costuming groups, as well as a ceremonial puck drop. The Under-17 Team will wear the specially designed jerseys throughout the game. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. For more information and for tickets please visit USAHockeyNTDP.com/Tix.
2018 UNDER-18 FIVE NATIONS TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE: The 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament presented by Hines Park Lincoln will take place February 13-17 at USA Hockey Arena.
Top hockey players under the age of 18 from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States will compete in a total of 10 games at USA Hockey Arena. This is one of the most heavily NHL scouted events as a majority of the players competing are eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.
To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit USAHockeyNTDP.com/20185NationsTix or call the USA Hockey Arena box office at 734.453.8400.
U18S NCAA SCHEDULE: The U.S. National Under-18 Team will skate in 15 NCAA games this season, including 11 tilts with Division I squads. The U18s record sits at 4-7-0 (W-L-T) against collegiate opponents. Take a look at the latest USA Hockey/USA Today Men's College Hockey poll.
Five Questions with Ryan Kesler (NHL.com)
Badgers men's hockey: Trent Frederic sees heavy workload in return from World Juniors (Wisconsin State Journal)
Patrick Kane posts first five-point night of his career in rout of Senators (Chicago Sun-Times)
Noah Hanifin a curious All-Star, but Canes could benefit in long run (News & Observer)
Patrick Kane lone Blackhawk selected for All-Star Game (Chicago Tribune)
Gophers defenseman Ryan Lindgren speaks up, and his play does, too (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)