USHL Report: Four USNTDP Players to Watch – 2022 NHL Draft
With the 2021-2022 USHL season underway, the members of the United States National Team Development Program, or USNTDP are 6 games into the season looking pretty solid. Here’s a couple of players eligible for the upcoming NHL entry draft to look out for as they look very good so far.
There are pretty good reasons for center Logan Cooley to be a top-10 player to look out for this draft, as he’s a high IQ player with very good two-way instincts. His playmaking ability is top class as he’s able to distribute and find teammates very easily. With the first few games he played, the center displayed high scoring chance feeds and successful drop passes which allowed his teammates to have space & time to make plays.
His skating ability is also an asset to him as skating feels natural to him; Cooley blows past defenders with much success, allowing him to complete zone entries with ease. The strength that makes NHL GMs drool is his defensive game, as he’s always in good position in his own zone to pick off passes, lift sticks and overall cause opposing players to turn over the puck. Logan Cooley has Top 6 upside and could do some damage in the NHL after at least a year or two of college development.
Ryan Chesley might be the first of many USA-born defensemen in this draft that could get selected come July, as he’s a calm, poised defenseman with good puck-moving ability. The 6-foot defender has a knack for shooting in the offensive zone as he has the shooter’s mentality. In the offensive zone, Chelsey mostly positions himself at the top of the circle, ready for a feed from a teammate to rip a one-timer. Regarding passing, Chesley is good on the breakout and transition.
He usually hits his man with precision and is a good option on the point on the powerplay. Defensively, he’s consistently in good position as he has good gap control when against an opposing forward with the puck. He leads puck-carriers with his stick to the boards to force them to either dump the puck or rub them out. Ryan Chesley has Top 4 upside, who can run a power play pretty solid, and can probably look at him making an NHL appearance in 2-3 years.
Lane Hutson is a guy who doesn’t let his 5’8 frame affect him in the slightest. He’s a highly skilled left shot defenseman whose hockey IQ is off the charts. He plays the game with high intensity and isn’t scared to use his body when needed. Hutson hounds opposing defenders forcing them to lose possession, and uses his stick to pick off passes and start the transition effortlessly. He is so effective in transition because he’s able to use his shifty skating ability to create space for himself and either execute a solid first pass or simply go end to end.
In the offensive zone, Hutson is able to be a solid power-play quarterback because he’s such an excellent stickhandler. He uses a array of deceptive fake shots, and uses lateral movements to open the ice for efficient puck possession. His playmaking ability is superb because he’s able to find open teammates and dish them out for high-scoring chances. Lane Hutson has top-4 to top-pair upside and can probably make an NHL appearance in 2-3 years.
There’s no surprise that Frank Nazar should be on the list as he’s an electrifying forward with high upside. When he has the puck, he controls the game like no other with his quickness and agility. The 5-foot-11 forward uses his speed to create space for himself to do his magic. This is what makes him so good in transition when his team enters the offensive zone; along with his excellent stickhandling ability, Cooley’s skating is what makes him a lethal forward off the rush.
Get used to hearing Frank Nazar's name.
He starts this play off by identifying the small space, closing on the puck carrier with an active stick to force the turnover, and then flies the zone before finishing with a beautiful move on the breakaway.#2022NHLDraftpic.twitter.com/x8j2Tce8rA
He is no slouch when it comes to shooting the puck as he has a lightning-quick release on his shot. Due to his shot, he draws defenders in to give space to his linemates so they are in the right spot to tap in his feed. Nazar also isn’t afraid to get into the dirty areas even with his small frame. All in all, Frank Nazar is a player with high offensive upside, and if he puts on some muscle during his development, he could be a Top 15 player in the NHL.
The McKeens Yearbook is a fantasy hockey must own for years running. Brock Otten the Director of Scouting for McKeens joins the show to review with Peter some of the articles included in this years magazine. The annual publication has some reoccurring features such as the Calder ranking, the Late, Late show and Fantasy Prospect […]