Team: Des Moines Buccaneers
2015-16 Record: 25-30-5
Top Forward: Kenneth Hausinger (16 goals, 48 points)
Top Defenseman: Alec Rauhauser, (5 goals, 37 points)
Top Goaltender: Nick MacNab (13-12-3-0, 3.13 GAA, .900 SV%)
Power Play: 13.8% (15th in USHL)
Penalty Kill: 80.7% (13th in USHL)
The Buccaneers will look to rely on their returning players heading into the 2016-17 season, especially in net. Nick MacNab and Jan Ruzicka are expected to return between the pipes once again for Des Moines. The Bucs are also hoping to add the services of Keenan Suthers next season after a two-year career with Team USA.
Notable returners include Wyatt Bongiovanni, Justin Howell and Kobe Roth. Bongiovanni led all Des Moines rookies in scoring last season. The Buccaneers also selected Braden Costello with the second overall pick in the 2016 USHL Phase I Draft. Costello will start the season on the affiliate list, but could see time on the ice should the front office believe he's ready for an audition. Dave Allison returns for his third season behind the Des Moines bench as he looks to guide his club to a successful season. He shared his thoughts on his team heading into the 2016-17 season:
“The last two years we have been in the hunt for a majority of the season. But we believe that with the returners and the manpower provided by our scouting staff led by Rick Beckfeld that we are now capable of taking the next step and sustaining improvement. We believe in those capabilities.”
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.