USHL Update: January

Clare McManus


The Chicago Steel once again have made headlines as one of the more powerful teams in the USHL. The Steel currently have six players in the top eleven in points scored out of the entire league.


Jack Harvey is currently representing the Steel and leading the league with 23 goals, 18 assists for 41 points in 30 games played. The Boston University commit has played the past three seasons in Chicago and is looking to make a mark on the upcoming 2023 NHL draft as a first-year overager. He is a solid skater with quick, agile feet. He does a good job at applying pressure to the opposition, with the ability to get a fast shot on net. NHL clubs should definitely have an eye on Harvey as a mid-to-late round pick in the draft.


The next current league leader in points, and is also with the Chicago Steel is New York native Michael Emerson. Emerson is in the midst of a massive breakout season. In 30 games last season he only recorded seven total points. This year, Emerson is 29 games in and has a point total of 36 points, 18 goals and 18 assists. The University of North Dakota commit is another overage player who has yet to be drafted by an NHL club. He has potential to be a late round pick in the 2023 draft, but most likely will play a few college seasons before heading to the pros.


Macklin Celebrini is one of the biggest names in the USHL. A top prospect for the 2024 NHL draft, Celebrini has already made a name for himself. In 23 games played for the Steel, he has 17 goals and 19 assists for 36 points. The former Shattuck St. Mary’s star is committed to Boston University for the 2025-26 season. Celebrini is a high-end, elite potential forward with silky hands, a fantastic shot, and a great skating ability. He will catch lots of eyes up until his draft year, with the potential to be a top-three pick.


One of the most consistent players in the Steel organization over the past few years is Nicholas Moldenhauer. Drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2022 NHL draft, Moldenhauer has been heavily relied on with the teams. In 25 games this season, he has 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 total points. Moldenhauer is committed to an elite University of Michigan program. Michigan will be a fantastic place for a player like Moldenhauer to develop. Looking like a great prospect for the Maple Leafs organization.


Jayden Perron is currently ranked number 10 in points throughout the entire league. In 30 games played this season, he has 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points. The University of North Dakota commit is one of the top prospects at the upcoming 2023 NHL draft. While Perron is an undersized forward, his offensive ability is something to really enjoy surrounding his game. He is a very dynamic player with strong vision and playmaking skills. Perron has top-six forward potential.


Mick Thomson is another forward for the Steel who is having a breakout year. The Harvard University commit is an undersized forward who brings solid offensive skills. In 30 games this year, he has notched 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points, averaging a point-per-game. While he might not be a potential NHL draftee, a few years of college hockey will do him good.


The Chicago Steel will continue to be a team to watch for the rest of the season with a few players to look for when it comes draft time in the summer.


Other notable players include world juniors bronze medalist and NTDP Goalie Trey Augustine and Madison Capitols/Arizona Coyotes prospect winger Miko Matikka.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Fabian Lysell 8.5 9.0
Jakub Lauko 6.0 6.0
Matthew Poitras 7.5 7.5
Alexander Nikishin 9.0 9.3
Alexander Rykov 7.0 7.5
Justin Robidas 5.5 4.5
Zion Nybeck 8.0 3.0
David Kase 4.0 6.0
Jacob Julien 6.5 6.0
Anton Johannesson 3.0 3.0