134 games, 38 goals and 62 assists later, Ludvig Hoff can remember his favorite point: February 14, 2014, Magnus Hoff from Ludvig and David Parrottino at 17:24 of the third.
The Lincoln Stars lost 7-5 to the Omaha Lancers in the Ice Box.
“It was the first game I had ever played against Omaha,” Hoff said. “I had a two-on-one with my brother, made a good pass and he scored on a back-door play. That’s something I’ll remember.”
The goal didn’t have much impact on the game, but made an enormous impact on Hoff’s career. It was a benchmark in his acclimation to the USHL.
Today he has lots of those. He represented the Stars at the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, recently became the 16th all-time scorer in Stars history and logged 100 career points with the team on April 1st, no joke.
“He’s gotten better every year he’s been in the league,” Stars head coach Chris Hartsburg said. “He’s a skilled player that should expect to point up points.”
Hoff has played in Lincoln his entire career, beginning in the 2013-2014 season when he joined Magnus for 26 games. Ludvig wasn’t expected to join the Stars that season but made the trip to Lincoln when he decided it was best for his development and his brother ensured him he could manage the adjustment.
Since then, he’s established himself as the go-to guy. He has 56 points through 54 games this season.
“The second half of last year he came back from his world junior tournament and had a lot of confidence,” Hartsburg said. “We saw it toward the end of the year and expected it to carry over and certainly it did.”
The University of North Dakota commit has recognized his development path from his first season, as a byproduct of work and his understanding of the North American game.
“I’m doing everything a lot quicker from skating, to handling the puck, to reading the game,” Hoff said. “I’ve just learned a lot over the years I’ve been here.”
As Hoff’s development continues, the Stars are battling for playoff position in the Western Conference. The postseason berth comes after an 18-37-5 season where the Stars finished last in the league.
The turnaround is a point of pride for the Stars alternate captain who is playing his final season with the team.
“I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else right now,” Hoff said. “We had a tough year last year and coming back this year and we’re going into playoffs now…I feel like we deserve it.”
Call it another benchmark.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.