The United States Hockey League today announced the players named to the 2017 All-USHL Teams as determined by a vote of League general managers. The Madison Capitols 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 Zach Solow (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Eeli Tolvanen (Sioux City Musketeers) and Andrei Svechnikov (Muskegon Lumberjacks), defensemen Connor Mackey (Green Bay Gamblers) and Mario Ferraro (Des Moines Buccaneers), and goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks (Sioux City Musketeers).
All-USHL Second Team honorees are forwards Blake Lizotte (Fargo Force), Jack Adams (Fargo Force) and Nick Swaney (Waterloo Black Hawks), defensemen Mikey Anderson (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Quinn Hughes (Team USA) and goaltender Ivan Kulbakov (Youngstown Phantoms).
Players named to the All-USHL Third Team are forwards Colin Theisen (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Linus Weissbach (Tri-City Storm) and Shane Bowers (Waterloo Black Hawks), defensemen Bo Hanson (Muskegon Lumberjacks) and Wyatt Kalynuk (Bloomington Thunder) and goaltender Robbie Beydoun (Waterloo Black Hawks).
All-USHL First Team
Zach Solow (F), Dubuque Fighting Saints
Solow, a native of Naples, FL, led the USHL in scoring this season with 69 points (18G, 51A) in 56 games. He also led the USHL in assists (51) and tallied at least one point in 46 of the 56 games he played. After starting the season with six points (4G, 2A) in nine games, Solow went on a 20-game point streak from Oct. 28 through Jan. 27. Solow tallied 32 points (6G, 26A) in those 20 games and had the longest point streak in the USHL this season. The 20-game point streak is the third longest point streak in Tier 1 history. The Northeastern University commit was also named USHL Forward of the Year.
Eeli Tolvanen (F), Sioux City Musketeers
Tolvanen finished in a tie for eighth in scoring with 54 points (30G, 24A). He finished in a tie for third in goals scored and was one of only four USHL players to reach the 30-goal mark this season. He recorded a pair of five-game point streaks, from Oct. 21 to Nov. 5 and from Dec. 3 to Jan. 14. He tallied six points (2G, 4A) over the course of four consecutive games from March 26 to April 4 and had six goals in the span of three straight games from Feb. 18 to Feb. 25. Tolvanen is committed to Boston College and was named USHL Forward of the Week on Oct. 31 and Feb. 27. The Vihti, Finland native was also ranked 8th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings. Tolvanen is considered a top prospect for the 2017 NHL Draft.
Andrei Svechnikov (F), Muskegon Lumberjacks
Svechnikov played in 48 games with Muskegon this season, scoring an impressive 29 goals and 58 points in that span, both of which led the team. The 2000-birth year rookie finished sixth in USHL scoring. The Barnal, Russia native led all rookies with 29 goals and 58 points, and ranked second with 29 assists. His 13-game point streak was the third longest recorded in the USHL this year. In addition to USHL play, Svechnikov also competed for Team Russia internationally including a World Junior A Challenge performance that earned him tournament MVP honors, in addition to a tournament all-star nomination. He is the first player to win USHL Rookie of the Year while starting the season as a 16-year-old since Kieffer Bellows (Sioux Falls Stampede) in 2015.
Connor Mackey (D), Green Bay Gamblers
Mackey played in all 60 games for the Gamblers during the 2016-17 season, amassing 47 points (6G, 41A). His 47 points led all defenseman and were 16th among all USHL players. Mackey led all blueliners and was third in the USHL with his 41 assists, and was the only defenseman to finish in the top-20 in USHL scoring. Mackey tallied multiple points 15 times this season, including three consecutive multi-point performances from Oct. 29 to Nov. 5. He dished out multiple assists 11 times, including a four-assist game in a 5-2 win over the Bloomington Thunder on Jan 27. Mackey led all USHL players with 30 power-play assists and 34 power-play points, and his four goals on the man advantage were the third-most in the league among defensemen. Mackey was named USHL Defenseman of the Week four times, including back-to-back weekly honors on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.
Mario Ferraro (D), Des Moines Buccaneers
Ferraro finished second behind only Connor Mackey in scoring among defensemen, with 41 points (8G, 33A). He also played in all 60 of the Buccaneers regular season games and was also second among USHL blueliners with 33 assists. Among rookies, the University of Massachusetts commit lead the way with 33 helpers and was third in total points. He was also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game where he was credited with an assist to help Team West to a 4-0 victory. Ferraro was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on Nov. 21 and March 13 and was ranked 78th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings ahead of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Matiss Kivlenieks (G), Sioux City Musketeers
Kivlenieks appeared in 49 games during the regular season and finished with a record of 36-7-4-2, a 1.85 GAA, a .932 SV% and five shutouts. He led all USHL goaltenders in wins, goals against average and save percentage, and was tied for the league lead in shutouts. Kivlenieks broke the all-time Sioux City records for all four of those categories. The 1.85 GAA is the second lowest mark in USHL Tier 1 history, while his .932 SV% is the second highest percentage in USHL Tier 1 history. Kivlenieks earned nine consecutive victories between Oct. 21 and Nov. 26. He led Sioux City to wins in 10 straight starts between Feb. 3 and March 10 and ended the regular season with six wins in his last seven appearances. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit went the entire 2016-17 season without losses in back-to-back starts. Kivlenieks is the first goaltender to be named both USHL Player of the Year and USHL Goaltender of the Year since Omaha's Jeff Lerg won the award following the 2004-05 season.
All-USHL Second Team
Blake Lizotte (F), Fargo Force
Lizotte finished second in the USHL in scoring with 65 points (19G, 46A) and in 56 games. His 46 assists also ranked second in the league, and he was fifth among all players with an average of 1.16 points/game. Lizotte dished out multiple in a game 12 times, including a season-high five assists in Fargo’s first game of the season, a 7-4 win in Omaha over the Lancers. He was named USHL Forward of the Week for that performance and also earned weekly honors on March 13 following five points (2G, 3A) in two games. The Lindstrom, MN native was named to the U.S. Junior Select Team for the World Junior A Challenge and helped Team USA to a gold medal in the tournament. Lizotte is committed to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University.
Jack Adams (F), Fargo Force
Adams led the USHL in goals during the regular season with 37, making him one of just four players to reach the 30-goal mark on the year. He opened the season with four goals in four games, scored a goal in six straight games from Oct. 28 to Nov. 12, and recorded a pair of five-game goal scoring streaks from Jan. 24 to Feb. 4 and from March 24 to April 4. The Union College’s commit’s six-game goal scoring streak was tied for the second longest such streak in the USHL this season, and he also led all players with 16 power play goals on the year. Adams, a native of Boxford, MA, was named USHL Forward of the Week on Dec. 19 and was named to Team West for the 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Nick Swaney (F), Waterloo Black Hawks
Swaney was instrumental in the Black Hawks capturing the Western’s Conference’s third seed in the Clark Cup Playoffs. He finished in a tie for 10th in the USHL and tied for second on the Black Hawks with 51 points (26G, 25A) in 47 games. He also led all USHL players with eight game-winning goals in the season. The University of Minnesota Duluth commit was named USHL Forward of the Week on Dec. 5 and Jan. 2 and was also named to the U.S. Junior Select Team for the World Junior A Challenge. He helped Team USA to a gold medal in that tournament, was named to the World Junior A Challenge All-Star Game and scored a goal in the 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Swaney is a native of Lakeville, MN and was ranked 138th on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings ahead of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Mikey Anderson (D), Waterloo Black Hawks
Anderson finished fifth among all USHL defenseman and seventh on Waterloo’s roster in scoring with 34 points (5G, 29A). He was also one of only seven defensemen to record at least 30 points on the season. He recorded six multi-points efforts on the season, a seven-game point streak from Feb. 11 to March 3 and a pair of three game point streaks from Jan. 21 to Jan. 28 and from April 1 to April 8 to finish the season. The Roseville, MN native represented Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and the World Junior A Challenge, where he helped Team USA to a gold medal. He was named to the USA Hockey/CCM All-American Prospects Game, the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and earned USHL Defenseman of the Week honors on Oct. 10 and February 27. Anderson is committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Quinn Hughes (D), Team USA
Hughes tallied 26 points (4G, 22A) in 26 games, making him the only USHL defenseman this season who played at least 25 games to average a point/game. He dished out a USHL season-high five assists on Nov. 23 in an 8-5 win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks, had four helpers in a 7-5 victory over Madison on Dec. 17 and recorded a three-game point streak from Dec. 10 through Dec. 17, with six assists in that span. Hughes is a native of Orlando, FL and won USHL Defenseman of the Week twice this season (Nov. 28 and Dec. 19). He is committed to the University of Michigan and is eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.
Ivan Kulbakov (G), Youngstown Phantoms
Kulbakov finished the regular season with a 30-16-4-1 record, a 1.93 GAA and a .919 SV%, including wins in the final three games of the regular season to help Youngstown clinch a Clark Cup Playoffs berth for the first time since 2015. He was one of the top goalies in the USHL all season long, finishing second in GAA, tied for second in wins, tied for fifth in SV%. He was also the busiest goalies in the USHL, as he led all USHL goalies with 3,050 minutes played and was tied for the league-lead with 52 games played. Kulbakov was also named USHL Goaltender of the Week on Nov. 28 and was named to the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List earlier this season.
All-USHL Third Team
Colin Theisen (F), Dubuque Fighting Saints
Theisen finished second on the Fighting Saints and tied for third among all USHL players with 62 points (35G, 27A) in 57 games. His 35 goals led Dubuque and were good for second among all USHL players, while his 27 assists ranked among the top-20 in the League. He recorded a seven-game point streak from Dec. 17 to Jan. 13, with 11 points (8G, 3A) in those contests as well as a five-game goal streak from Dec. 30 to Jan. 13, with eight goals (7G, 1A) in that span. Among players with 25 or more games played, he finished tied for fifth with 1.09 points/game. Theisen also recorded three hat tricks over the course of the season on Dec. 30, Feb. 2 and April 1. He was named USHL Co-Forward of the Week on April 3 and is committed to the University of Notre Dane, an announcement he made on Feb. 8.
Linus Weissbach (F), Tri-City Storm
Weissbach tallied 47 points (19G, 28A) in 49 games, good enough to finish among the top-20 in USHL scoring. His 28 assists also put him in the top-20 among all USHL players. He recorded 12 multi-point games over the course of the season, including a pair of three-point performances – Jan. 6 against Des Moines and March 4 against Fargo. Weissbach finished the season with points in five of his last six games, with nine points (3G, 6A) in that span. The Swedish forward also recorded a four-game point streak from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10. Weissbach is committed to the University of Wisconsin and announced that decision on Feb. 13.
Shane Bowers (F), Waterloo Black Hawks
Bowers finished tied for 10th in USHL scoring with 51 points (22G, 29A). He was also an iron man, playing in all 60 of Waterloo’s regular season games to help the Black Hawks to the second-best record in the USHL in 2016-17. Bowers also recorded a team-high 10-game point streak from Jan. 27 to Feb. 19 with 12 points (7G, 5A) in those contests. After failing to record a point on Feb. 24, the Halifax, NS native followed it up with a six-game point streak from Feb. 25 to March 17. The Boston University commit was named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and earned USHL Forward of the Week honors on Jan. 30. Bowers was also ranked 16th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.
Bo Hanson (D), Muskegon Lumberjacks
The Muskegon captain led by example, scoring 38 points (6G, 32A) while playing in all 60 of the Lumberjacks games this season. Those 32 assists put him alone in third among all blueliners, while 38 points were tied for third among all USHL defensemen. He also led all Muskegon defensemen in scoring. His six goals tied him for eighth among all USHL defensemen, and he was finished just outside the top-10 among defensemen with a solid +19 rating. Hanson finished the season with points in five of his last six games and recorded a four-game point streak from Nov. 5 and Nov. 18, with seven points (1G, 6A) in that span. The Boise, ID native was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on Nov. 14 and is committed to St. Lawrence University.
Wyatt Kalyuk (D), Bloomington Thunder
Kalynuk compiled 31 points (6G, 25A) this season and played in all 60 of Bloomington’s games. He finished fifth on the Thunder and in a tie for seventh among all USHL defensemen with his 31 points. His 25 assists put him in a tie for eighth in the league, while the six goals that Kalynuk scored also put him in a tie for eighth in the USHL. The Virden, MB native recorded a pair of three-point games this season, as he tallied three assists on Nov. 5 in Cedar Rapids and scored a goal and dished out two helpers on Dec. 31 against Chicago. Kalynuk was earned USHL Defenseman of the Week honors on Jan. 2 and is committed to the University of Wisconsin.
Robbie Beydoun (G), Waterloo Black Hawks
Beydoun finished the season with a 24-9-2-2 record, a 2.22 GAA and a .919 SV%. His GAA was good for third among all USHL goaltenders, his SV% was tied for fifth among all netminders and his 22 wins tied him for seventh in the USHL. The Plymouth, MI native started the season with four straight wins, picked up victories in six consecutive starts from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, and finished the regular season with 11 wins in his final 13 appearances to help the Black Hawks clinch the second-best record in the USHL. He also posted five shutouts on the season, tied for the most shutouts among all USHL goalies. Beydoun was named USHL Goaltender of the Week on Oct. 3 and Nov. 7, He is committed to Michigan Tech, a decision he announced on Nov. 13.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four 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.