Team USA has several NHL prospects
Sports Information Department – 112 Dods Hall
Phone (716) 673-3100 / Fax (716) 673-3136
CONTACT: Jerry Reilly,
Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FREDONIA, N.Y. -- The mid-term grades are in. USA Hockey National Team Development Program's Under-18 men's hockey team has 14 players among the top 100 players in the NHL Central Scouting draft rankings.
Of those 14, 11 are expected to be in uniform Tuesday night when the Under-18s meet the Fredonia State Blue Devils at the Steele Hall Ice Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.
Seven of the 11 are forwards. They are Jeremy Morin (No. 21), Chris Brown (No. 29), Drew Shore (No. 32), Kenny Ryan (No. 65), Jerry D'Amigo (No. 72), David Valek (No. 76), and Kevin Lynch (No. 83).
There are two defensemen: William Wrenn (No. 47) and Brendan Rempel (No. 85), while goaltenders Brandon Maxwell and Adam Murray are the No. 11 and No. 20 ranked goaltenders in NHL Central's mid-term rankings.
In addition, forwards Chris McCarthy (No. 121), John Henrion (No. 151), and A.J. Treais (No. 205), and defenseman Tyler Amburgey (No. 155) are scheduled to play tonight.
Three other top-ranked Under-18 players have been scratched from the lineup Tuesday night. Kyle Palmieri (No. 19), Ryan Bourque (No. 61), and John Ramage (No. 87) have been replaced by three players from the Under-17 national team - Jason Zucker, Matt Nieto, and Justin Faulk.
In the 10 years NTDP players have been eligible for the draft, 152 players have been selected in the NHL Draft, including the number one overall selection in 2000 (Rick DiPietro), 2006 (Erik Johnson) and 2007 (Patrick Kane). Last season alone, 44 alumni appeared in at least one NHL game.
Head coach of the Under-18 team is Ron Ralston, who also coached Team USA in the World Junior championships in late December and early January at Ottawa. The world junior tournament will be played in Buffalo and Niagara Falls in two years and in all likelihood many of the Under-18 players in uniform Tuesday night will be back in the area then.
Never opponents before this season, Team USA and the Blue Devils are meeting for the second time in a month. Team USA won the first meeting, 7-3, Dec. 11 at Ann Arbor, Mich.
"A great many positives came out of that game," Blue Devil head coach Jeff Meredith said. "Some of our players played their best hockey of their careers that night. And they did so against a team (of players) that have all been offered Division I scholarships. ... We are fortunate to be able to test ourselves against this level of competition. It can only make us stronger for the stretch run."
The Steele Hall box office opens at 6 p.m. There will be no local radio or TV cablecast of the game.