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USA Hockey's National Team Development Program

This is USA Hockey's NTDP

In 1996, USA Hockey launched a new initiative called the National Team Development Program, originally based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In March of 2015 the USA Hockey Foundation purchased Compuware Arena (now USA Hockey Arena) in Plymouth, Michigan, which is the new home of the NTDP.

The program is composed of two squads - the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams. The Under-17 Team competes in the United States Hockey League and also participates in three international events annually. The U.S. National Under-18 Team’s schedule includes games against NCAA Division I & III opponents, contests versus USHL teams, as well as competition in three international tournaments.

Unlike other competitive athletic teams, the success of the NTDP is not gauged on wins and losses. Instead, the focus is on the development of skills and acquiring experience against older competitors.


“My time spent at the NTDP was a big turning point in my career as it helped to achieve my goals,” said Columbus Blue Jackets superstar Jack Johnson. “I not only developed on the ice but off the ice as well. The training is second to none, and the chance to represent your country is the greatest feeling in all of sports.”

“Playing for your country is one of the greatest things any athlete can do,” said Vancouver Canucks superstar Ryan Kesler. “The NTDP’s on- and off-ice programs built the foundation I needed to become the player I am today.”

“I think if you have a chance as a junior player in the U.S. to go and improve and develop your game that’s the place (the NTDP) to play," said Nashville Predators head coach Phil Housley. "Granted it’s not for everybody, some kids like to stay home and develop which is okay also. But if you really want to push yourself to the limits you have access to outstanding coaches and great facilities and tough competition, especially at the U18 level where you’re playing college teams and playing two or three times a year in Europe.”

“I really enjoyed my time there," said Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane. "I thought it was a huge part of my development and Coach (John) Hynes was awesome to me. He was very hard on me, but at the same time, he tried to get the best out of me. I’m really happy I went there.”

“(The NTDP) helped me a ton," said recent Nashville Predators draft pick Seth Jones. "I went there to develop on and off the ice, and we’d work out really hard there, and I came out of there weighing 20, 25 pounds heavier after two years. That was my main goal when I went there, and it happened, and that definitely played a huge part in my career. I’m very thankful I went there.”

What the NTDP has Meant

  • The U.S. has won the gold medal at the IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2023 with each team comprised primarily of NTDP players.
  • The U.S., with a team comprised largely of NTDP players, captured its first-ever gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2004. Team USA followed that success with gold medal finishes in 2010, 2013, 2017 and most recently in the 2021 tournament. The team also earned bronze in 2011, the first time in tournament history that the U.S. has won consecutive medals.

NTDP Fast Facts

Year founded: 1996
Location: Plymouth, Mich.
Arena: USA Hockey Arena
League: United States Hockey League
Nicknames: Team USA, NTDP, U18s, U17s

By The Numbers

Total Number of Players 690
NHL Draft Picks 396
First Round NHL Draft Picks 96
First Overall Picks: 5 - Jack Hughes (NJD, 2019) Auston Matthews (TOR, 2016), Patrick Kane (CHI, 2007), Erik Johnson (STL, 2006), Rick DiPietro (NYI, 2000)
Alumni in the NHL (2022-23) 102
Stanley Cup Champions 23
All-Time Olympians 27
Olympic Medalists 7
IIHF World Championship Medalists 19
IIHF World Junior Championship Medalists 140
World Cup of Hockey Participants 18
NCAA Champions 48
Hobey Baker Winners 7
Hobey Baker Hat-Trick Finalists 13
NCAA First Team All-Americans 45