The United States Hockey League today announced the players named to the 2016 All-USHL Teams as determined by a vote of League general managers. Team USA abstained from nominations and final voting this season. All 18 players are committed to NCAA Division I schools.
Those selected to the All-USHL First Team include forwards Rem Pitlick (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Ross Colton (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), and Cameron Morrison (Youngstown Phantoms), defensemen Jack Ahcan (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) and Jeremy Davies (Bloomington Thunder), and goaltender Adam Huska (Green Bay Gamblers).
All-USHL Second Team honorees are forwards Tanner Laczynski (Lincoln Stars), Denis Smirnov (Fargo Force), and Nathan Sucese (Dubuque Fighting Saints), defensemen Mattias Gorannson (Tri-City Storm) and Trevor Hamilton (Lincoln Stars), and goaltender Ben Blacker (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders).
Players named to the All-USHL Third Team are forwards Parker Tuomie (Sioux Falls Stampede), Ludvig Hoff (Lincoln Stars), and Sam McCormick (Waterloo Black Hawks), defensemen Cam Lee (Green Bay Gamblers) and Keegan Ford (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and goaltender Stefanos Lekkas (Sioux Falls Stampede).
All-USHL First Team
Rem Pitlick (F), Muskegon Lumberjacks
Pitlick, who is also both 2016 USHL Player and Forward of the Year, led the league in scoring with 89 points (46 G, 43 A) in 56 games, which broke the record for the most points in a season in Muskegon Lumberjacks team history. Both his goal and assist totals were best in the USHL, and his 46 goals were third most all-time in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present). He is only the fourth player in USHL history to record at least 40 goals in a season, and he captured USHL Forward of the Week five different times. The Plymouth, MN native is the 93rd ranked North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting and is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft. The Shattuck St. Mary’s product is committed to the University of Minnesota.
Ross Colton (F), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Colton finished tied for second in the league in scoring behind only Pitlick with 66 points (35 G, 31 A). His 35 goals were also second in the league behind Pitlick, and he finished as the leading scorer on the Anderson Cup champion RoughRiders by 15 points. Colton was named to both the World Junior A Challenge Select Team and the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He scored a record hat trick and two assists at the Top Prospects Game, and was named the MVP of Team East for his effort. He was also named USHL Forward of the Week on March 7th, and is ranked 89th on NHL Central Scouting’s North American Skater List. The Robbinsville, NJ native is a product of the New Jersey Rockets program and is committed to the University of Vermont.
Cameron Morrison (F), Youngstown Phantoms
The 2016 USHL Rookie of the Year also finished with 66 points on the season (34 G, 32 A), tied with Colton for second in the league. Morrison finished first on the Phantoms in scoring, while his 34 goals and 66 points led all USHL rookies, and his 32 assists ranked third among first-year players. The 34 goals Morrison tallied are also the most by a rookie since Brock Boeser scored 35 last season for the Waterloo Black Hawks. Morrison, a native of Aurora, ON, was named USHL Forward of the Week on both November 2nd and April 11th, and he was also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Morrison scored a goal in the game to help Team East to a 6-2 victory. The Phantoms forward was also ranked 46th on NHL Central Scouting’s North American Skater List, and he is committed to the University of Notre Dame.
Jack Ahcan (D), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Ahcan, the 2016 USHL Defenseman of the Year, finished with 44 points (14 G, 30 A), third on the RoughRiders in scoring behind Hugh McGing and fellow All-USHL First Team member Ross Colton. He led all USHL defenseman with the 14 goals, and his 30 assists were good for fifth in the league among defensemen. His point total was second among USHL defensemen, and Ahcan also added a goal and two assists in five Clark Cup Playoffs game. He was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on March 7th and was also selected as a member of Team USA for the World Junior A Challenge, where he helped the Americans to a bronze medal. He is committed to St. Cloud State University.
Jeremy Davies (D), Bloomington Thunder
Davies led all USHL defensemen in scoring with 49 points (13 G, 36 A). The 36 assists led the league, and the 13 goals were second only behind USHL Defenseman of the Year Jack Ahcan. He was also tied atop the Thunder in scoring along with Tarek Baker. The Pointe-Claire, Quebec native was named USHL Defenseman of the Week three times – January 25th, March 21st and March 28th. The product of the Lac St.-Louis Lions is committed to play his college hockey at Northeastern University.
Adam Huska (G), Green Bay Gamblers
Huska was named USHL Goaltender of the Year after a season where he set the Tier 1 era record for lowest goals against average in a season at 1.82. He also led the league with a .931 SV%, which was the lowest since former Lincoln Stars goaltender David Reekie posted a .935 SV% during the 2007-08 season. Huska played in 37 games and finished with a 26-9-2 record, helping lead Green Bay to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. He finished third among all goaltenders with those 26 wins, and he also picked up four shutouts over the course of the year. He was named USHL Goaltender of the Week on both November 24th and December 14th, and he also was a member of Team Slovakia for the World Junior Championships, appearing in five contests. Huska was selected by the New York Rangers in the seventh round (184th overall) at the 2015 NHL Draft, and he will be attending to the University of Connecticut following his USHL career.
All-USHL Second Team
Tanner Laczynski (F), Lincoln Stars
Laczynski started the season with the Chicago Steel, and played well, scoring 40 points (13 G, 27 A) in 33 games before being traded to the Lincoln Stars, where his success continued. He tallied 23 points in 19 games with the Stars to help vault them to second place in the Western Conference. Laczynski finished the season with 63 points (24 G, 39 A) in 52 games, good enough for fourth in USHL scoring and tops among the Stars. He also scored a goal and added two assists in the postseason. Laczynski was named Best Forward at the 2015 Junior Club World Cup, where he helped the Chicago Steel and USA Hockey to a bronze medal. Additionally, he was named to the American World Junior A Challenge team, the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and was named USHL Forward of the Week on January 4th. The Shorewood, IL native is ranked 99th on the NHL Central Scouting North American Skater List, and is committed to Ohio State University.
Denis Smirnov (F), Fargo Force
Smirnov finished fifth in USHL scoring by tallying 61 points (29 G, 31 A) in 60 games for Fargo. He also led the Force in scoring by 15 points. Smirnov was named USHL Forward of the Week on three separate occasions – October 19th, November 23rd and February 29th. The November 23rd award was given to Smirnov thanks to a hat trick on November 20, and the February 29 honor was due to him tying the USHL individual goal-scoring record with four goals in a single game. Smirnov is a native of Moscow, Russia, and is a product of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights program. He is committed to Penn State University.
Nathan Sucese (F), Dubuque Fighting Saints
Sucese was a big contributor all season long for the Saints, who finished as the third seed in the highly competitive Eastern Conference. He was an ironman, playing in all 60 of Dubuque’s regular season games and scoring 59 points (26 G, 33 A). His 59 points allowed him to finish seventh in the league in scoring, and his 26 goals were 13th among all USHL players. The product of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres program is committed to Penn State University.
Mattias Gorannson (D), Tri-City Storm
Gorannson was a steady force on the blue line that helped Tri-City to the top seed in the Western Conference as well as the Clark Cup Final. He finished sixth on the team in points with 41 (7 G, 34 A). Goransson also had seven more assists than the second leading total on the Storm. He was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on October 26th, November 9th and Feburary 1st. The native of Sweden is committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
Trevor Hamilton (D), Lincoln Stars
Just like Tanner Laczynski, his teammate in Lincoln, Hamilton was acquired from Chicago to help the Stars reach the number two seed in the Western Conference. Hamilton was involved in another transaction earlier in the season as well, coming to Chicago from Muskegon. Hamilton was productive in all three of his stops this year. He put up 25 points (6 G, 19 A) in 32 games with the Lumberjacks, scored a goal in his first game with Chicago, and finished the season with 9 points (4 G, 5 A) in the remaining 19 games he played. Hamilton also had a very impressive seven points (3 G, 4 A) in four Lincoln playoff games. The Honeybaked product was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on December 8th and February 22nd and is committed to Penn State University.
Ben Blacker (G), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Blacker stepped in as the full-time goaltender in Ridertown halfway through the season, and he was spectacular. He finished only behind Adam Huska in both GAA (2.24) and SV% (.926), both of which were career highs, even after putting up very solid numbers a year ago leading the RoughRiders to the top seed in the Eastern Conference and the Anderson Cup title. Blacker played in 50 games, accumulating 2967 minutes of ice time, both second most for USHL goaltenders this seaosn. He was named USHL Goaltender of the Week a league-high five times – November 30th, January 18th, March 7th, March 21st and March 28th. The Oakville, ON native is a product of the Milton Icehawks program and is committed to Western Michigan University.
All-USHL Third Team
Parker Tuomie (F), Sioux Falls Stampede
The Stampede captain finished 11th in league scoring with 54 points (30 G, 24 A). His goal total was seventh most in the USHL, and he also had six game-winning goals, which was tied for second most in the league. Tuomie had a six-game goal scoring streak from October 13th to October 30th, and a seven-game point streak from October 13th to October 31st. He was also named USHL Forward of the Week on November 24th. The native of Germany is committed to Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Ludvig Hoff (F), Lincoln Stars
Hoff was the 10th leading scorer in the USHL this season, finishing with an impressive 57 points (20 G, 37 A). He was second on the Stars in scoring, and his 37 assists were good for fifth in the league. Hoff was named USHL Forward of the Week on October 5th, and he was named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Omaha on December 15th. Hoff, playing in his second full USHL season, has scored an impressive 101 career points in 136 games. The Oslo, Norway native announced on November 2nd that he will play his college hockey at the University of North Dakota.
Sam McCormick (F), Waterloo Black Hawks
McCormick was another player who switched conferences in the middle of the season via trade, and it certainly paid off for Waterloo, who acquired the skilled forward from the Madison Capitols. After 47 games in Madison, where he scored 24 goals and added 12 assists, McCormick went to Waterloo for the playoff push, and tallied 15 points (8 G, 7 A) in the 14 games he played for the Black Hawks to help P.K. O’Handley’s club reach the Western Conference Final. He started the season with a four-game point streak, and added a pair of hat tricks on February 6th and February 19th. The product of Notre Dame High School in Wisconsin is committed to Ohio State University.
Cam Lee (D), Green Bay Gamblers
Cam Lee finished fourth among all USHL defensemen in scoring with 39 points (6 G, 33 A). He was fourth on the Gamblers in scoring as well, and his 33 assists where second on the team. He was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on both December 21st and March 14th. He had a season-high three-assist game on January 2nd vs. Cedar Rapids and a four-game point streak from March 4th to March 12th. On January 4th, the Ferguson, Nova Scotia native announced he will play his college hockey at Western Michigan University.
Keegan Ford (D), Dubuque Fighting Saints
Keegan Ford was sixth among defenseman in total scoring with 36 points (7 G, 29 A). He was also the sixth leading scorer on the third-seeded Fighting Saints, and outscored the next defenseman by eight points. He finished the season with five power play goals and a +14 rating. His impressive regular season play earned him a spot on Team USA during the World Junior A Challenge. Ford was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on February 8th. The product of Waunakee High School in Wisconsin is committed to Michigan Tech.
Stefanos Lekkas (G), Sioux Falls Stampede
Lekkas had another solid season between the pipes in Sioux Falls, finishing the season with a 2.53 GAA and a .924 SV%. His save percentage was the third highest in the league, and he finished the year with a record of 25-15-2-1. Lekkas had the fifth most wins among all goaltenders, and he led the Stampede down the stretch to capture the final Clark Cup Playoff spot in the Western Conference. He was named USHL Goaltender of the Week on December 21st and April 4th. Lekkas also had two shutouts during the year – December 11th vs. Muskegon and April 2nd at Lincoln. The Chicago Mission product is committed to the University of Vermont for next season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 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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