Photo by Hickling Images
The United States Hockey League announced the CCM Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 11 of the 2016-17 season. Waterloo forward Nick Swaney earned his first weekly honor of the season and third of his career after a four-point weekend, Omaha blueliner Derek Hamelin was named Defenseman of the Week following a two-assist game and some shutdown defense, and Chicago netminder Ales Stezka was named Goaltender of the Week for the third time this season. CCM Hockey is the official equipment provider of the USHL.
Forward: Nick Swaney – Waterloo Black Hawks
2 GP: 3 goals, 1 assists, +1 rating
Swaney tallied two goals and added an assist in a win over Tri-City on Friday, then followed it up his third goal of the weekend on Saturday. His second goal on Friday marked the 50th of his USHL career, and the University of Minnesota Duluth commit now has 85 points (51G, 34A) in 94 career USHL games. This season, Swaney leads the Black Hawks in scoring with 21 points (11G, 10A). Those 21 points are also tied for ninth in the USHL in scoring. A native of Lakeville, MN, Swaney won Forward of the Week twice last season (12/14/15 and 2/1/16). He was listed on the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List on Nov. 16, and was also named to the U.S. Junior Select Team for the 2016 World Junior A Challenge. He previously played for Lakeville South (USHS), and has been a member of the Black Hawks in each of the last four seasons.
Defenseman: Derek Hamelin – Omaha Lancers
2 GP: 0 goals, 2 assists, +4 rating
Hamelin picked up a pair of assists on Friday over the Des Moines Buccaneers, including a helper on the game-tying goal to help send the contest into overtime. He also helped shut down the powerful Muskegon offense in Omaha’s win on Saturday over the Lumberjacks. This is the Mercir, QC native’s first season in the USHL, and he has eight points (1G, 7A) in 21 games so far this year. The two assists tallied on Friday was Hamelin’s first career USHL multi-point game. A Canisius College commit, Hamelin is in his first season in the USHL. Prior to joining the Lancers, he suited up for both Selects Hockey Academy (USPHL) and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (AYHL). He was a 5th round pick, 65th overall by Omaha in the 2016 USHL Phase II Draft.
Goalie: Ales Stezka – Chicago Steel
2-0-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .965 SV%
Stezka backstopped the Steel to a pair of road wins over the weekend, stopping 25 of 26 shots against Youngstown on Friday before turning aside 30 Team USA attempts in Chicago’s 4-1 victory in Plymouth, MI on Saturday. Those two wins moved the Liberec, CZE native’s record on the season to 8-3-0-1, including three shutouts. He currently sits with a 2.00 GAA and a .927 SV%, both of which rank in the top-10 among all USHL goaltenders. This is Stezka’s third Goaltender of the Week award this season. He previously earned the honor on Sept. 29 and Oct. 17. A fourth-round selection of the Minnesota Wild at the 2015 NHL Draft, Stezka is in his first season with Chicago. He previously played for the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL), Bili Tygri Liberec (Czech) and HC Liberec (Czech).
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 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.
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