The United States Hockey League and NHL Central Scouting announced today the players selected to compete in the 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game that will take place on Jan. 8, 2019 in Lincoln, NE at the Ice Box, home of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars. The selection process for players competing in the game was completed in cooperation with NHL general managers and scouts, NHL Central Scouting and USHL general managers. All 40 players set to compete in the game are eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
In the history of the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, 90 players who participated in the game have later been selected in the NHL Draft, including four first round selections: Shane Bowers (Ottawa Senators, 2017), Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets, 2015), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks, 2015) and Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues, 2012). Other first round selections who were named to the game but were unable to participate due to injury include Eeli Tolvanen (Nashville Predators, 2017), Michael Matheson (Florida Panthers, 2012) and Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo Sabres, 2012).
35 of the 40 players are currently committed to Division I college hockey programs. 22 different schools are represented in the game, including 11 programs with multiple commits: Michigan State University (3), Western Michigan University (3), Boston University (2), Harvard University (2), Miami University (2), Northeastern University (2), University of Massachusetts Lowell (2), University of Minnesota Duluth (2), University of Nebraska Omaha (2), University of North Dakota (2), University of Notre Dame (2).
12 different states will be represented in the game, including five states with multiple players: Minnesota (9), Michigan (3), New Jersey (3), New York (2) and Pennsylvania (2). Six different countries will be represented in the game: the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden.
11 USHL teams have multiple players participating in the game: Sioux Falls Stampede (6), Des Moines Buccaneers (5), Dubuque Fighting Saints (4), Sioux City Musketeers (4), Waterloo Black Hawks (4), Central Illinois Flying Aces (3), Muskegon Lumberjacks (3), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2), Fargo Force (2), Green Bay Gamblers (2), Tri-City Storm (2).
The 40 players have been split into two teams – Team East and Team West – for the 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, representing a split of players competing in the USHL’s Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Fargo Force forward Josh Nodler along with Waterloo Black Hawks Matej Blumel, Ryan Drkulec, Vladislav Firstov and Logan Stein have been assigned to Team East, despite playing in the Western Conference. The coaches, support staff and officials will be announced at a later date.
The roster announcement comes after 67 players with USHL ties were named to the Updated NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List on Nov. 12, the most of any junior league in the world.
2019 marks the fifth consecutive year, and seventh time overall, that the USHL will be hosting the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. The 2019 NHL Draft will be held June 21-22 in Vancouver, BC at Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks. The USHL had 57 players with league ties selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, including 45 players who played during the 2017-18 season, both of which set new USHL records. The USHL also led all junior leagues in the world with the 45 players who played in the league during the 2017-18 season, at least 10 more than any other league in the world. 40 or more players from the USHL have been selected in seven consecutive NHL Drafts.
Below are the rosters for Team East and Team West at the 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game:
|Position||Name||USHL Team||College Commitment||Hometown|
|G||Keegan Karki||Muskegon Lumberjacks||Uncommitted||Sartell, MN|
|G||Logan Stein||Waterloo Black Hawks||Ferris State University||Suwanee, GA|
|D||Michael Feenstra||Dubuque Fighting Saints||Michigan State University||Grand Haven, MI|
|D||Will Francis||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||University of Minnesota Duluth||Shoreview, MN|
|D||Ethan Frisch||Green Bay Gamblers||University of North Dakota||Moorhead, MN|
|D||Christopher Giroday||Green Bay Gamblers||Western Michigan University||Toronto, ONT|
|D||Ryan Siedem||Central Illinois Flying Aces||Harvard University||Madison, NJ|
|D||Hunter Skinner||Muskegon Lumberjacks||Western Michigan University||Brighton, MI|
|F||Egor Afanasyev||Muskegon Lumberjacks||Michigan State University||Moscow, RUS|
|F||Matej Blumel||Waterloo Black Hawks||University of Connecticut||Tabor, CZE|
|F||Lynden Breen||Central Illinois Flying Aces||University of Maine||Grand Bay-Westfield, NB|
|F||Ryan Drkulec||Waterloo Black Hawks||Harvard University||Manfield, TX|
|F||Vladislav Firstov||Waterloo Black Hawks||Uncommitted||Yaroslavl, RUS|
|F||Dylan Jackson||Dubuque Fighting Saints||Northeastern University||Oakville, ONT|
|F||Ty Jackson||Dubuque Fighting Saints||Northeastern University||Oakville, ONT|
|F||Trevor Janicke||Central Illinois Flying Aces||University of Notre Dame||Maple Grove, MN|
|F||Matias Maccelli||Dubuque Fighting Saints||Uncommitted||Turku, FIN|
|F||Robert Mastrosimone||Chicago Steel||Boston University||East Islip, NY|
|F||Josh Nodler||Fargo Force||Michigan State University||Oak Park, MI|
|F||Grant Silianoff||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||University of Notre Dame||Edina, MN|
|Position||Name||USHL Team||College Commitment||Hometown|
|G||Ben Kraws||Sioux City Musketeers||Miami University||Cranbury, NJ|
|G||Isaiah Saville||Tri-City Storm||University of Nebraska Omaha||Anchorage, AK|
|D||Cedric Fiedler||Fargo Force||Western Michigan University||Boca Raton, FL|
|D||Luke Johnson||Sioux City Musketeers||Providence College||Edina, MN|
|D||Ryan Johnson||Sioux Falls Stampede||University of Minnesota||Irvine, CA|
|D||Zac Jones||Tri-City Storm||University of Massachusetts||Glen Allen, VA|
|D||Kirby Proctor||Des Moines Buccaneers||University of Nebraska Omaha||Okotoks, AB|
|D||John Prokop||Omaha Lancers||Miami University||Wausau, WI|
|F||Kaden Bohlsen||Des Moines Buccaneers||Uncommitted||Willmar, MN|
|F||Bobby Brink||Sioux City Musketeers||University of Denver||Minnetonka, MN|
|F||Matt Brown||Des Moines Buccaneers||University of Massachusetts Lowell||Wood Ridge, NJ|
|F||Marcus Kallionkieli||Sioux City Musketeers||Uncommitted||Helsinki, FIN|
|F||Jami Krannila||Sioux Falls Stampede||St. Cloud State University||Pori, FIN|
|F||Andre Lee||Sioux Falls Stampede||University of Massachusetts Lowell||Karlstad, SWE|
|F||Brady Meyer||Des Moines Buccaneers||University of Minnesota Duluth||North Branch, MN|
|F||Tyler Paquette||Des Moines Buccaneers||Penn State University||Collegeville, PA|
|F||Ethan Phillips||Sioux Falls Stampede||Boston University||Dartmouth, NS|
|F||Shane Pinto||Lincoln Stars||University of North Dakota||Franklin Square, NY|
|F||Anthony Romano||Sioux Falls Stampede||Clarkson University||Vaughn, ONT|
|F||Austen Swankler||Sioux Falls Stampede||University of Michigan||North Huntingdon, PA|
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 17th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. The USHL had a record 45 players selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, more than any junior league in the world, 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.