USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
Last night, the USHL overtook Sioux Falls for the 2017 edition of the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. With a game attendance of over 8,000 fans, it was a resounding success for the USHL, and an opportunity for NHL scouts to see some of the top players the league has to offer playing in a best-on-best style game.
Overall, 40 potential NHL draft picks from the league participated in the event, many whom are already committed to play college hockey in the fall.
The tweet below shows not only the roster, but also where many of these top prospects are committed.
Eeli Tolvanen (Boston College) and Eero Teravainen (Univ. of Denver) were two draft eligible prospects who missed out due injury. Casey Mittelstadt, who would have been invited had he stayed in the USHL for the full season was not on the roster due to his return to Minnesota to play for his High School team. Without Tolvanen participating, the highest rated prospect playing in the game was Shane Bowers, an A-Rated center prospect who is committed to Boston University.
The game was won by the West Team 4-0, thanks to a combined shutout for Dayton Rasmussen (Univ. of Denver) who made 14 saves and Cayden Primeau (Northeastern) who stopped 11 shots in split duty.
Next up on the prospect scouting circuit is the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, which will take place in Quebec City on Monday, January 30th.
Last Night's NHL Games
Brock McGinn and Derek Ryan continue to play well in Carolina, and were integral pieces in the Hurricanes win over Columbus last evening. Both players got the nod over newly acquired Ty Rattie, who was a healthy scratch for the first time since the Canes poached him off waivers last week. Ryan tends to score in bunches, and is in the midst of a hot streak with five points in his last four games playing on Carolina's top offensive line with Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask. McGinn, who also provides solid hits numbers for you multi-cat players, has three points in his last four games, and is playing big minutes alongside Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm. It looks as if Bill Peters will ride the hot hand while he can.
Frank Vatrano was tabbed for a breakout season in September and October but due to torn ligaments in his foot to start the season, it may now have to qualify as a breakout HALF season. Since Vatrano's return, he has posted six points in 10 games playing with the group of Ryan Spooner or David Backes and David Krejci. He has been crucial secondary scorer for the Bruins, as Boston's offense finally seems to be turning the corner. Vatrano scored a goal and added an assist in Boston's win over St. Louis.
Ryan Hartman continues to produce with seven points in his last six games. In the encore following his first career NHL hat trick against Nashville on Sunday, Hartman posted two assists in a 4-3 overtime win against Detroit. In addition to his points in the last six games, Hartman has continued to play his hard-nosed game with eight hits, six penalty minutes and 19 shots on goal. He seems to be nicely filling into the role left by Andrew Shaw in the offseason.
Tonight's NHL Action
Florida at New York Islanders – 7:00pm ET
Montreal at Winnipeg – 7:30pm ET
Pittsburgh at Washington – 8:00pm ET
San Jose at Calgary – 9:30pm ET