MUSKEGON, MI- Four Lumberjacks have been selected to play in the 2017 USHL/NHL top prospects game in Sioux Falls, SD. The event is scheduled for January 9-10 and will be held at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Forwards Keeghan Howdeshell and Jordan Timmons; defenseman Scooter Brickey, and goaltender Keith Petruzzelli have been named to the event’s 40-man roster that will eventually be split up into “East” and “West” teams.
The roster is composed of the top NHL draft prospects currently playing in the USHL.
The two-day event will begin on Monday, January 9th with a luncheon featuring a keynote speaker followed by meet and greet opportunities later that evening. Tuesday will feature a skills competition leading up to the main event later that evening. In addition, the Stampede plan to host a Fan Fest leading up to the game as well as a banquet with the players.
In the four-year history of the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, 58 players named to the roster have gone on to be selected in the NHL Draft, including first round selections Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks) and Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues).
“The development path from junior hockey to college hockey to the NHL continues to be validated each and every year,” said Bob Fallen, USHL President and Commissioner. “The USHL has produced 30 or more NHL Draft picks in four consecutive years, something only two other junior leagues in the world can say. The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is a celebration for all of the youth organizations and the players they helped develop. Most of these players will go on to have very successful college hockey careers, and a select few will continue that success in the NHL.”
“More eyes than ever will be on the USHL and Sioux Falls, SD as a record crowd eclipsing 8,000 fans is expected to attend, in addition to scouts from every NHL member club. The elite players selected to play in this game have an extraordinary opportunity to put an exclamation point on what the League and hockey in the United States have become in recent years.”
35 of the 40 players were named to NHL Central Scouting Preliminary List on Nov. 16, 2016 including three A-rated players: Shane Bowers (Waterloo Black Hawks), Eeli Tolvanen (Sioux City Musketeers) and Maksim Zhukov (Green Bay Gamblers). 38 of the 40 players have been listed by NHL Central Scouting at some point in their USHL career dating back to last season.
32 of the 40 players are currently committed to Division I college hockey programs. 13 different states will be represented in the game, including six states with multiple players: Massachusetts (five), Minnesota (five), Michigan (four), Wisconsin (three), California (two) and Virginia (two). Seven different countries will be represented in the game: United States, Finland, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Russia and Sweden.
16 of the 17 USHL teams are represented, including 13 teams with multiple players: Tri-City Storm (five), Green Bay Gamblers (four), Muskegon Lumberjacks (four), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (three), Fargo Force (three), Sioux Falls Stampede (three), Waterloo Black Hawks (three), Chicago Steel (two), Des Moines Buccaneers (two), Dubuque Fighting Saints (two), Lincoln Stars (two), Sioux City Musketeers (two) and Youngstown Phantoms (two).