USHL Alumni by Team
TOTAL: 62/108 (57%)
Clark Cup Champions by Team:
Hobey Hat Trick Award Finalists (2)
Mike Richter Award Finalists (2)
USHL Defenseman of the Year (1)
USHL Rookie of the Year (1)
USHL Scholar-Athlete of the Year (3)
Curt Hammer Award (1)
Former USHL Coaches
1. Denver vs. 4. Notre Dame
This NCHC/Hockey East matchup features 30 combined USHL alumni between the two schools, 11 of which have been selected in the NHL Draft. Notre Dame, who leads all teams in the Frozen Four with 17 USHL alumni on their roster, took down Minnesota and UMass-Lowell to reach the Frozen Four for the first time since 2011. Denver enters the Frozen Four as possibly the most dominant team so far in the tournament, as they took down WCHA champion Michigan Tech 5-2 in the opening round before dispatching of Penn State 6-3 in the regional final, marking their second straight Frozen Four appearance. It will also be a battle between a pair of Hobey Baker finalists, as Anders Bjork (Team USA) and the Fighting Irish offense will look to take down Will Butcher (Team USA) and the top-ranked Pioneers. The Denver offense will have a tough task in front of them as well, as they try to get past Mike Richter Award finalist Cal Petersen (Waterloo Black Hawks). 2016 Clark Cup champion Tory Dello (Tri-City Storm) will look to end his season with a championship for the second straight year, while former Dubuque Fighting Saints teammates Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque Fighting Saints) and Evan Janssen (Dubuque Fighting Saints) will look to recreate the end of their 2013 season, where they helped Dubuque to the Clark Cup title. The head coach of that Fighting Saints team was none other than current Denver bench boss Jim Montgomery (Dubuque Fighting Saints), who won two Clark Cups in Dubuque (2011, 2013). On the other bench, Fighting Irish head coach Jeff Jackson (Team USA) also has USHL coaching experience, as he led Team USA from 1997-2000. For Chicago Blackhawks prospect and Notre Dame defenseman Dennis Gilbert (Chicago Steel), playing at the United Center not only brings him closer to his potential future, but also a reminder to his junior hockey past. Gilbert played for the Chicago Steel in the USHL while the team was located in Bensenville, IL located just 30 minutes away from the United Center. The Steel have since moved to Geneva, IL and are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference heading into Clark Cup Playoffs. Notre Dame is seeking their first national championship in program history, while Denver is looking to claim their first title since the Pioneers won back-to-back national championships in 2005 and 2006.
2. Minnesota Duluth vs. 3. Harvard
Harvard shut out Providence 3-0 in the regional semifinal before edging Air Force 3-2 in the regional final to advance to their first Frozen Four in 23 years. As for Minnesota Duluth, the Bulldogs won a pair of 3-2 overtime games to get back to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2011 thanks to wins over Ohio State and Boston University. Both teams have 16 USHL alumni on their roster and nine of those players have been selected in the NHL Draft. The Crimson offense, led by Adam Fox (Team USA) and Ryan Donato (Omaha Lancers) will look to get past UMD’s strong defense, led by Joey Anderson (Team USA) and Mike Richter Award finalist Hunter Miska (Dubuque Fighting Saints), who helped Dubuque to the 2016 Clark Cup Final before ultimately falling to the Tri-City Storm. One member of that Storm team is now Miska’s opponent at Harvard, as John Marino will look to win a championship for the second consecutive season. The Bulldogs also have a Clark Cup champion on their roster, as Karson Kuhlman helped the Dubuque Fighting Saints win the 2013 Clark Cup under now Denver head coach Jim Montgomery. Former USHL opponents Jake Horton (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Tyler Moy (Omaha Lancers) are now teammates at Harvard. Both Horton and Moy were named 2013 USHL Scholar-Athlete of the Year, sharing the award prior to attending classes in Cambridge, MA. Both teams are looking to claim their second national championship in respective program history, as Harvard’s title came in 1989, while Minnesota Duluth defeated Michigan in overtime to win the 2011 national championship.
NHL Draft Picks in Frozen Four
TOTAL: 20/27 (74%)
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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