19 players recognized for their season performances
The United States Hockey League today announced the players named to the 2014-15 All-USHL Teams as determined by a vote of League coaches and general managers.
Those selected to the All-USHL First Team include forwards Brock Boeser (Waterloo Black Hawks), Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms), Adam Johnson (Sioux City Musketeers); defensemen Neal Pionk (Sioux City Musketeers), Hayden Shaw (Dubuque Fighting Saints); goaltender Eric Schierhorn (Muskegon Lumberjacks).
All-USHL Second Team honorees are forwards Maxim Letunov (Youngstown Phantoms), Seamus Malone (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Chris Wilkie (Tri-City Storm); defensemen Bobby Nardella (Tri-City Storm), Christian Wolanin (Muskegon Lumberjacks); goaltender Alec Dillon (Tri-City Storm).
Players named to the All-USHL Third Team are forwards Kieffer Bellows (Sioux Falls Stampede), Mason Bergh (Chicago Steel), Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Omaha Lancers), Auston Matthews (Team USA); defensemen Corey Schueneman (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Jimmy Schuldt (Omaha Lancers); goaltender Cale Morris (Waterloo Black Hawks).
Ten different USHL clubs have at least one player named to the All-USHL Teams, led by the Muskegon Lumberjacks and Tri-City Storm which each have three players selected.
All-USHL First Team
Brock Boeser (F), Waterloo Black Hawks
Also a member of the USHL All-Rookie First Team, the 18-year-old tied for the USHL lead with 35 goals and finished third overall in League scoring with 68 points (35g, 33a) over 57 games. Fifteen of his goals came on the power play, second-most in the USHL, and he tied for first in the League with 32 power play points (15g, 17a). The product of Burnsville High School (Minnesota) is a top prospect for the upcoming 2015 NHL Draft and is committed to the University of North Dakota. It is the third consecutive season that a Black Hawks player earns a spot on the All-USHL First Team.
Kyle Connor (F), Youngstown Phantoms
The USHL Player of the Year and Forward of the Year earns a spot on the All-USHL First Team for the second consecutive season. He led the League in scoring with 80 points (34g, 46a) in 56 games. His 34 goals were one shy of tying for the USHL lead and his 46 assists ranked tied for second. He was tops in the League with nine game-winning goals, six of which he scored during the record 17-game win streak for the Phantoms. The top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft is a product of the Belle Tire youth program and is committed to play college hockey at the University of Michigan.
Adam Johnson (F), Sioux City Musketeers
The 20-year-old was second in the USHL in scoring with 71 points (31g, 40a) while appearing in all but one of the 60 regular season games for the Musketeers. He was two points shy of tying a team record for points in a season during the Tier 1 era (2002-present). Johnson was third in the USHL with seven game-winning goals and tied for third in the League with a plus-25 rating. He is a product of Hibbing/Chisholm High School in Minnesota and will begin his collegiate hockey career next season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Neal Pionk (D), Sioux City Musketeers
Recently named USHL Defenseman of the Year, he led all blueliners in scoring with 48 points (7g, 41a) in 53 games. His assist and point total were both the most by a Musketeers defenseman in the Tier 1 era (2002-present). The 19-year-old tallied 20 points (4g, 16a) on the power play, ranking tied for seventh in the USHL in power play assists, and he ranked tied for fifth in the USHL with a plus-23 rating. The Musketeers captain is a product of Hermantown High School (Minnesota) and will begin his college hockey career next season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Hayden Shaw (D), Dubuque Fighting Saints
Despite only playing 46 regular season games, the 18-year-old tied for third among USHL defensemen in scoring with 42 points (6g, 36a) and ranked tied for 10th overall in the League with 36 assists. He also posted a plus-20 rating, the third-best mark among defensemen and tied for eighth overall in the League. Shaw began the season with the Waterloo Black Hawks before being acquired by Dubuque prior to the USHL trade deadline. The product of Woodbury High School (Minnesota) is committed to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota.
Eric Schierhorn (G), Muskegon Lumberjacks
He posted a 26-13-4 record this season, finishing fourth overall in victories among USHL goaltenders which also set a new Lumberjacks season record. He made more saves (1,352) than any other goaltender and ranked first in the League with a .927 save percentage, the sixth-highest mark in the USHL Tier 1 era and the highest since the 2010-11 season. He also posted a pair of shutouts and finished the regular season with a 2.51 goals-against-average. The 19-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska is a product of the Russell Stover program and is committed to the University of Minnesota.
All-USHL Second Team
Maxim Letunov (F), Youngstown Phantoms
The 19-year-old tied for fourth in USHL scoring with 64 points (25g, 39a) over 58 regular season games. During one stretch, he put together an 11-game point streak (8g, 9a) which tied for the fourth-longest streak in the USHL this season. He netted six game-winning goals to tie for fourth in the League. The native of Moscow, Russia was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the 2014 NHL Draft before having his rights traded to the Arizona Coyotes this season. He played for the Dallas Stars AAA youth program prior to the USHL and will play college hockey at Boston University.
Seamus Malone (F), Dubuque Fighting Saints
The third-year Saint recently celebrated his 19th birthday after tying for 11th in USHL scoring this season with 58 points (26g, 32a) in 58 regular season games. He netted five game-winning goals and recorded 16 points (5g, 11a) on the power play. Malone recorded hat tricks in consecutive games – March 21st vs. Cedar Rapids and March 27th vs. Madison. He also led the entire League with a plus-29 rating. The native of Naperville, Illinois is a product of the Chicago Mission youth program and will play college hockey at the University of Wisconsin.
Chris Wilkie (F), Tri-City Storm
The 18-year-old tied for the USHL lead with 35 goals, tying a Storm record for most goals in a season. He led the League with 17 power play goals, the most in the USHL since the 2008-09 season, and he ranked second with eight game-winning goals. His point total (35g, 20a) ranked 14th in the USHL, and he tied for the League lead in shootout goals, converting 7-of-10 attempts in the extra session this season. Wilkie is a product of the Omaha AAA youth program in his hometown and is committed to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota beginning next season.
Bobby Nardella (D), Tri-City Storm
He tied for third among USHL defensemen in scoring with 42 points (10g, 32a) in 56 games and tied for 17th overall in the League in assists. He dished out 22 of his assists on the power play to rank third overall in the USHL. Nardella closed out the season with 16 points (4g, 12a) over the final 14 games of the regular season to help the Storm earn a playoff berth. The native of Rosemont, Illinois celebrated his 19th birthday last month. He is a product of the Chicago Mission youth hockey program and is committed to play college hockey the University of Notre Dame.
Christian Wolanin (D), Muskegon Lumberjacks
The third-year USHL’er was fifth among League defensemen in scoring with 41 points (14g, 27a) while also racking up 107 penalty minutes over 56 games. His 14 goals were the second-most by a defenseman, his 184 shots on goal were the most, and he also finished first in shootout goals by a blueliner, converting 4-of-6 attempts in the extra session. The 20-year-old is a native of Rochester, Michigan and is a product of the Little Caesars youth program. He will begin his college hockey career next season at the University of North Dakota.
Alec Dillon (G), Tri-City Storm
Playing the season as an 18-year-old, he posted a 23-11-4 record for the Storm and tied for sixth among USHL goaltenders in victories. He led the League with a 2.27 goals-against-average and tied for fourth with a .914 save percentage. He also posted three shutouts and tied for second in the USHL with four shootout wins. The native of Victoria, British Columbia spent last season with the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) and was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 NHL Draft. He celebrated his 19th birthday earlier this month and is committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
All-USHL Third Team
Kieffer Bellows (F), Sioux Falls Stampede
The 2014-15 USHL Rookie of the Year netted 33 goals over 58 games, setting a USHL Tier 1 era record for goals by a 16-year-old. He was 19th overall in League scoring with 52 points (33g, 19a). After scoring just four goals over his first 19 games in the League, he caught fire and went on to net 29 goals over the next 39 games. He recorded six multi-goal games, including three hat tricks. The product of Edina High School in Minnesota is committed to play college hockey at Boston University.
Mason Bergh (F), Chicago Steel
The 20-year-old finished ninth in USHL scoring with 61 points (21g, 40a) over 54 games while his 40 assists tied for fifth-most in the League. Both his point and assist totals were the second-most by a Steel player in the Tier 1 era (2002-present). He established a USHL season high with six points (1g, 5a) on opening night, setting a team record for both points and assists in one game. The product of Eden Prairie High School (Minnesota) will play NCAA hockey at Colorado College next season.
Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (F), Omaha Lancers
The 18-year-old tied for 16th in USHL scoring with 53 points (15g, 38a) over 50 games prior to his season ending due to injury. His 38 assists ranked eighth in the League, 15 of which came on the power play to rank tied for ninth overall. The product of the Linkoping hockey program in his native Sweden is high on the radar for the 2015 NHL Draft and was named one of the MVP’s of the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He will play college hockey at Boston University.
Auston Matthews (F), Team USA
Despite playing just 24 USHL games, the 17-year-old finished tied for 26th in League scoring with 48 points (20g, 28a). It was the most points in a USHL season by a Team USA player. He recorded 16 multi-point games and closed out the USHL schedule riding a 13-game point streak (12g, 17a). Matthews also tied for eighth in the League with a plus-20 rating. The Scottsdale, Arizona native is product of the Arizona Bobcats youth program and is already a top prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft.
Corey Schueneman (D), Muskegon Lumberjacks
The 19-year-old was second in scoring among USHL defensemen with 46 points (16g, 30a). His 16 goals led all blueliners and tied for the third-most by a defenseman in the Tier 1 era. He began the season with the Des Moines Buccaneers before being acquired by Muskegon prior to the trade deadline in March. The native of Milford, Michigan is a product of the Little Caesars youth hockey program and will play college hockey at Western Michigan University.
Jimmy Schuldt (D), Omaha Lancers
He appeared in all one of the 60 regular season games for the Lancers and produced 39 points (13g, 26a), ranking sixth in scoring among USHL defensemen and tied for third in goals. During one stretch, he put together a 10-game point streak (4g, 8a), and he then tallied nine points (3g, 6a) over the last five games of the season. The product of Minnetonka High School (Minnesota) recently celebrated his 20th birthday and will play college hockey at St. Cloud State University.
Cale Morris (G), Waterloo Black Hawks
He compiled a 27-15-4 record to finish tied for second among USHL goaltenders in victories. He also ranked second with a .920 SV%, third with a 2.41 SV%, and tied for first with four shutouts. After being acquired in January from the Chicago Steel, he posted a 19-6-3 record with a 1.85 GAA and .937 SV% in 28 appearances for Waterloo. The product of the Colorado Thunderbirds youth program celebrated his 19th birthday last week and is committed to the University of Notre Dame.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrated its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 350 players on team rosters this past season are committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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