As the NCAA is currently in its Holiday Break, the USHL decided to round up its top-performing alumni and name the midseason NCAA First and Second Teams, NCAA All-Rookie Team, and name a Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award Winner, all consisting of all former USHL skaters.
NCAA First Team
Forwards: Hank Crone (Senior, Northern Michigan), Ethen Frank (Senior, Western Michigan), Nathan Smith (Junior, Minnesota State)
Defensemen: Owen Power (Sophomore, Michigan), Jake Sanderson (Sophomore, North Dakota)
Goaltender: Dryden McKay (Senior, Minnesota State)
Hank Crone currently leads the NCAA in scoring with 29 points (7-22-29) in 19 games played. His 1.53 points per game also ranks second in the NCAA.
Owen Power currently leads NCAA defensemen with 23 points (3-20-23) in 18 games this season, and his 20 assists is third in the league, just two behind Crone who is tied for the league lead.
Ethen Frank currently leads the NCAA in goal scoring with 17 tallies in 18 games this season as his 24 points (17-7-24) is tied for sixth in league scoring.
Nathan Smith is currently tied for second in league scoring with 27 points (11-16-27) in 20 games.
Jake Sanderson’s 1.27 points per game is second only to Power for NCAA defensemen as the sophomore currently has 19 points (6-13-19) in 15 games and his six goals is currently tied for fifth among defensemen this season.
NCAA Second Team
Forwards: Brett Berard (Sophomore, Providence), Matthew Kopperud (Sophomore, Arizona State), Colin Theisen (Senior, Arizona State)
Defensemen: Jacob Bengtsson (Sophomore, Lake Superior State), Luke Hughes (Freshman, Michigan)
Goaltender: Jaxson Stauber (Junior, Providence)
Luke Hughes is currently tied for second among NCAA defensemen with seven goals this season (7-11-18) and his 18 points is tied for fourth.
Brett Berard (21 games, 12-12-24), Matthew Kopperud (19 games, 11-13-24) and Colin Theisen (20 games, 12-12-24) are all tied for sixth in the NCAA with 24 points each this season.
Jacob Bengtsson currently ranks second among defensive point leaders with 20 points (2-18-20) in 22 games this season.
Forwards: Nick Abruzzese (Junior, Harvard), Max Andreev (Senior, Cornell), Mitchell Lewandowski (Senior, Michigan State), Matt Stienburg (Junior, Cornell)
Defensemen: Ronnie Attard (Junior, Western Michigan), Michael Joyaux (Senior, Western Michigan), Zach Metsa (Senior, Quinnipiac)
Goaltenders: Drew DeRidder (Senior, Michigan State), Erik Portillo (Sophomore, Michigan), Dylan St. Cyr (Senior, Quinnipiac)
Matt Steinburg currently leads the NCAA in points per game (1.64) as the junior has 18 points (8-10-18) in 11 games for Cornell.
Erik Portillo is currently second in the NCAA in wins with 14 in 20 games this season.
Max Andreev (1.45), Mitchell Lewandowski (1.38) and Nick Abruzzese (1.36) also rank fourth, sixth and eighth, respectively, in NCAA points per game.
Ronnie Attard (18 games, 5-13-18), Michael Joyaux (18 games, 4-14-18) and Zach Metsa (18 games, 2-16-18) are all currently tied for fourth among defensemen in scoring, all with 18 points in 18 games).
Both Drew DeRidder (0.945 save percentage) and Dylan St. Cyr (1.49 goals against average) are in the top-five for SV% and GAA, respectively, this season. DeRidder’s SV% mark is fourth-best, while St. Cyr rounds out the top-five in GAA.
Hobey Baker Award (NCAA Top Collegiate Player): Hank Crone (Senior, Northern Michigan)
Mike Richter Award (NCAA Top Collegiate Goalie): Dryden McKay (Senior, Minnesota State)
Hank Crone currently leads the NCAA in scoring with 29 points and the senior forward is having a career year for Northern Michigan University. The former Fargo Force and Omaha Lancers forward has seven goals this season, a career-best, and his 22 assists is just two shy of matching his NCAA career total (24) from the past three seasons combined. Crone is on pace to surpass his previous career total (35) for points as well in this season alone. The Dallas, Tex. native has found a home in Northern Michigan after spending his freshman season at Boston University and sophomore and junior seasons at Denver.
Dryden McKay’s name has floated around the Hobey Baker award for multiple seasons now and at the halfway point of the 2021-22 season, he’s right back in the running. The Minnesota State netminder has been nearly unbeatable this season, posting a 16-3-0 record (most wins this season), 1.33 goals against average (tied for third) and 0.924 save percentage (tied for 12th). The former Madison Capitols and Green Bay Gamblers goalie has played the fourth-most minutes in the NCAA this season.
NCAA All-Rookie Team Members
Josh Doan (Forward, Arizona State), Jakub Dobes (Goaltender, Ohio State), Luke Hughes (Defenseman, Michigan), Austen Swankler (Forward, Bowling Green State)
Jakub Dobes has three more wins (12) than the next closest freshman netminder in the NCAA this season, and those 12 wins are currently tied for sixth among all netminders. The former Omaha Lancers netminder is currently second with a 0.923 save percentage third with a 2.23 goals against average for freshman goaltenders.
Luke Hughes is having an astounding rookie season on the Michigan blueline as he currently leads freshmen defensemen with 18 points (7-11-18) in 20 games this season. His 18 points is tied for fourth among all league defensemen and tied for fourth among all freshman skaters.
Josh Doan (5-15-20) and Austen Swankler (7-12-19) are second and third among rookie scorers this season, just behind the league leader who has 21 points.
5 - Chicago Steel, USA Hockey NTDP
3 - Dubuque Fighting Saints, Omaha Lancers, Sioux Falls Stampede, Waterloo Black Hawks
2 - Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Tri-City Storm, Youngstown Phantoms, Central Illinois Flying Aces
1 - Des Moines Buccaneers, Fargo Force, Green Bay Gamblers, Lincoln Stars, Madison Capitols, Sioux City Musketeers
3 - Arizona State University, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University
2 - Cornell University, Michigan State University, Minnesota State University, Providence College, Quinnipiac University
1 - Bowling Green State University, Harvard University, Lake Superior State University, Northern Michigan University, Ohio State University, University of North Dakota
2 - Buffalo Sabres
1 - Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets
|Name||Position||Year||College||USHL Team (Season)||NHL Draft|
|Nick Abruzzese||Forward||Junior||Harvard University||Chicago Steel (2017-19)||Toronto Maple Leafs (2019, Round 4, #124)|
|Max Andreev||Forward||Senior||Cornell University||Central Illinois Flying Aces (2017-18)|
|Ronnie Attard||Defenseman||Junior||Western Michigan University||Tri-City Storm (2016-19)||Philadelphia Flyers (2019, Round 3, #72)|
|Jacob Bengtsson||Defenseman||Sophomore||Lake Superior State University||Waterloo Black Hawks (2018-20)|
|Brett Berard||Forward||Sophomore||Providence College||USA Hockey NTDP (2018-20)||New York Rangers (2020, Round 5, #134)|
|Hank Crone||Forward||Senior||Northern Michigan University||Omaha Lancers (2014-16), Fargo Force (2015-17, 2018-19)|
|Drew DeRidder||Goaltender||Senior||Michigan State University||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2016-17), USA Hockey NTDP (2017-18)|
|Josh Doan||Forward||Freshman||Arizona State University||Chicago Steel (2019-21)||Arizona Coyotes (2021, Round 2, #37)|
|Jakub Dobes||Goaltender||Freshman||Ohio State University||Omaha Lancers||Montreal Canadiens (2020, Round 5, #136)|
|Ethen Frank||Forward||Senior||Western Michigan University||Lincoln Stars (2014-17)|
|Luke Hughes||Defenseman||Freshman||University of Michigan||USA Hockey NTDP (2019-21)||New Jersey Devils (2021, Round 1, #4)|
|Michael Joyaux||Defenseman||Senior||Western Michigan University||Tri-City Storm (2013-14), Chicago Steel (2014-16), Omaha Lancers (2015-17), Youngstown Phantoms (2017-18)|
|Matthew Kopperud||Forward||Sophomore||Arizona State University||Dubuque Fighting Saints (2019-20)|
|Mitchell Lewandowski||Forward||Senior||Michigan State University||Des Moines Buccaneers (2014-15), Chicago Steel (2015-17)|
|Dryden McKay||Goaltender||Senior||Minnesota State University||Green Bay Gamblers (2015-16), Madison Capitols (2016-18)|
|Zach Metsa||Defenseman||Senior||Quinnipiac University||Waterloo Black Hawks (2014-15), Sioux Falls Stampede (2015-16), Youngstown Phantoms (2017-18), Central Illinois Flying Aces (2017-18)|
|Erik Portillo||Goaltender||Sophomore||University of Michigan||Dubuque Fighting Saints (2019-20)||Buffalo Sabres (2019, Round 3, #67)|
|Owen Power||Defenseman||Sophomore||University of Michigan||Chicago Steel (2018-20)||Buffalo Sabres (2021, Round 1, #1)|
|Jake Sanderson||Defenseman||Sophomore||University of North Dakota||USA Hockey NTDP (2018-20)||Ottawa Senators (2020, Round 1, #5)|
|Nathan Smith||Forward||Junior||Minnesota State University||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2017-19)||Winnipeg Jets (2018, Round 3, #91)|
|Dylan St. Cyr||Goaltender||Senior||Quinnipiac University||USA Hockey NTDP (2015-17)|
|Jaxson Stauber||Goaltender||Junior||Providence College||Sioux Falls Stampede (2017-20)|
|Matt Stienburg||Forward||Junior||Cornell University||Sioux City (2018-19)||Colorado Avalanche (2019, Round 3, #63)|
|Austen Swankler||Forward||Junior||Bowling Green State University||Waterloo Black Hawks (2018-19), Sioux Falls Stampede (2018-19)|
|Colin Theisen||Foward||Senior||Arizona State University||Dubuque Fighting Saints (2014-17)|