The United States Hockey League announced today that Central Illinois Flying Aces head coach Mike Watt has been added to the Team East coaching staff in the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game that will take place on Jan. 9 in Kearney, NE at the Viaero Center, home of the Tri-City Storm.
Watt is in his first USHL season as head coach of the Flying Aces, after spending the previous three years in the organization as an assistant coach. Central Illinois is currently 10-13-1-2 and sits three points shy of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Watt replaces Mark Abalan after the Chicago Steel announced that they and Abalan have parted ways.
2018 marks the sixth time, and fourth consecutive year, that the USHL will be hosting the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game features the top NHL Draft-eligible players throughout the league in preparations for the 2018 NHL Draft. The 2018 NHL Draft will be help June 22-23 in Dallas, TX at the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Stars.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five 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.