Photo by Hickling Images
The United States Hockey League announced the CCM Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 15 of the 2016-17 season. Waterloo Black Hawks forward Nick Swaney and Des Moines Buccaneers goaltender Jan Ruzicka picked up their second weekly awards of the season, while Bloomington Thunder blueliner Wyatt Kalynuk was named Defenseman of the Week for the first this season following a three-point game on Saturday. CCM Hockey is the official equipment provider of the USHL.
Forward: Nick Swaney – Waterloo Black Hawks
3 GP: 2 goals, 4 assists, even rating
Swaney scored a goal on Thursday at Muskegon, dished out a pair of assists in Bloomington on Friday, and tallied three points (1G, 2A) on New Year’s Eve against the Madison Capitols. Dating back to Dec. 2, 2016 the University of Minnesota Duluth commit sports a five-game point streak, with five goals and five assists in that span. Swaney leads all Black Hawks players and is tied for fourth in USHL scoring with 27 points (13G, 14A) in 24 games. It is the second time this season Swaney has been named USHL Forward of the Week, and the award comes one week after Swaney won a gold medal with Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge where he was named to the tournament’s All-Star Team. The Lakeville, MN native was also named to the 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game earlier this month. Swaney is in his second full season in Waterloo. Prior to his USHL career, Swaney played for his hometown Lakeville South (USHS).
Defenseman: Wyatt Kalynuk – Bloomington Thunder
2 GP: 1 goal, 2 assists, +3 rating
Kalynuk helped lead the Thunder to a pair of wins over the weekend against Waterloo on Friday and Eastern Conference-leading and in-state rival Chicago on Saturday. He picked up a goal and added two assists in the shootout victory over the Steel on New Year’s Eve and now has 15 points on the season (3G, 12A), tied for fifth among all USHL defensemen in scoring. The uncommitted defenseman is tied for second in team scoring for the Thunder. It is the first time that the Virden, MB native has won USHL Defenseman of the Week honors this season. Kalynuk is in his second season with Bloomington after spending time with the Lincoln Stars (USHL), Virden Oil Capitals (MJHL) and Southwest Cougars (MMHL).
Goaltender: Jan Ruzicka – Des Moines Buccaneers
2-0-0-0, 1.83 GAA, .929 SV%
Ruzicka stopped all 32 shots he faced against the Green Bay Gamblers on Wednesday before making 20 saves in an overtime victory over the Omaha Lancers on Saturday. He has now won four of his last five starts and sports a 10-4-0-3 record this season. The Mlada Boleslav, CZE native is tied for fifth among all USHL netminders in GAA (2.07) and SV% (.924) and was named to the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List earlier this season. This is Ruzicka’s second Goaltender of the Week award this season. Ruzicka is in his second season with the Buccaneers and has 22 career USHL wins. Prior to his time in Des Moines, Ruzicka played for BK Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic.
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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