Photo by Hickling Images
Team: Lincoln Stars
Head Coach: Cody Chupp, 1st season
“The biggest thing about our roster is that it is an extremely skilled group with a lot of experience. Anyone who comes into the USHL with the number and quality of returners that we have coming back this year should be excited. I like the roster and have very high hopes for it. I’m excited about who’s going to be here and those areas where we will have competition and guys will have an opportunity to prove themselves. At the end of the day, the final roster we come up with is going to be a successful one and we have very high hopes for it.”
2016-17 Record: 32-22-5-1 (70 PTS, 5th in Western Conference)
Top Returners: Cole Krygier, Christian Krygier, Cole Krygier, Dominick Mersch, Coliin Peters, Eero Teravainen, Gustaf Westlund
Notable Additions: Wyatt Aamodt, Paul Cotter, Phillipe Lapointe, Tomas Vomacka
Lincoln returns several players from last year’s team and will look to bring in several new players that will look to get the Stars over the hump and into the Clark Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016. Up front, first year head coach Cody Chupp welcomes back forwards Dominick Mersch, Gustaf Westlund, Cole Krygier and Collin Peters along with defensemen Eero Teravainen and Christian Krygier.
The Krygier twins will be in midseason form at the beginning of the USHL regular season, as they were both selected to participate in both the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and the 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. Westlund finished the 2016-17 season as the team’s third-leading scorer with 35 PTS (8G, 27A) in 59 games and will look to bring even more offensive production this season. Mersch also had a solid season offensively with 25 PTS (11G, 14A) in 55 games.
What Stars fans might be most excited about are the new additions coming to the Ice Box this season. Following the departure of Josef Korenar, who signed a professional contract with the San Jose Sharks over the summer, Lincoln will look to reload between the pipes with the addition of Tomas Vomacka. The Czech netminder was selected by the Nashville Predators at the 2017 NHL Draft and spent last season with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays (NAHL). The UConn commit posted a 2.43 GAA and .923 SV% in 41 appearances last season and was named to the NAHL All-Rookie Team. He also led the Czech Republic to a gold medal at last season’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Another new player that Stars fans will enjoy watching is forward Philippe Lapointe. The Michigan commit spent last season with Shattuck-St. Mary’s and posted 59 PTS (15G, 44A) in 56 games and will look to continue that offensive success with Lincoln during 2017-18.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five 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.