USHL Players of the Week & Weekly Notebook

There was some big news this past week in the USHL besides the release of players of the week, transactions and new hirings. The NHL Central Scouting announced its Midterm Rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft.

NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings

Two-hundred and twenty players were listed on the Midterm Rankings North American list, 80 of whom have USHL ties. Each of the 16 teams had at least one player listed, including the USA National Team Development Program (USNTDP). Included in the 80 players are five who are projected to be first-round selections:

To see a full list of the 2020 NHL Draft Prospects here.

Stars Add Defenseman

The Stars added Tadeas Talafa to their active roster on Saturday. Talafa had been playing for Berani Zlin in the Czech Republic. He recorded five goals and 11 assists in 21 games played. Standing at 6-0 and 170 lbs., the left-handed defenseman will add more depth and youth to the Stars roster going forward.

Ben Schultheis Makes Decision

Saints defenseman, Ben Schultheis, made his commitment to Ferris State. “Ben has shown great development in his time with us. He takes pride in all areas of the game and his willingness to learn and desire to compete will translate to his college career at Ferris,” said head coach Oliver David. Schultheis played in 22 games for the Gamblers and recorded three assists.

Capitol Makes Commitment

Ricky Lyle, a Capitols forward, announced his commitment to Army-West Point. Head Coach Garrett Suter had this to say about his player: “Ricky has really stepped up and been a reliable asset for us this season. He’s become one of the more reliable faceoff takers in the league and we can use him in game-winning situations like final shifts or shootouts.”

Steel Add Assistant Coach

Matt Deschamps is the newest assistant coach of the Steel. Deschamps’ coaching history includes St. Lawrence University as an assistant coach and EC Red Bull Salzburg Hockey Club as the head coach. The Steel now have Brock Sheahan as their head coach, Mike Garman as an assistant coach and Deschamps as another assistant coach. Sitting at 25-4-1-0, the Steel are in control of their destiny in first place overall.

USHL Players of the Week

Last week’s Players of the Week include forward Danil Guschin, defenseman Chase Foley and goaltender James Durham. Gushchin, of the Lumberjacks, had a stellar week where he played in three games, scored two goals and recorded for assists for a +/- of 4. He’s listed as a B skater and will look to improve his draft stock to higher than the second round. Chase Foley played in two games for the Stampede, recorded five assists, and had a +/- of 1. He’s committed to play his college hockey at Colorado. James Durham of the Buccaneers made 72 of 76 saves over a two-game span last week. He was pivotal in both games to seal the victory which led to his 1.92 GAA and .947 SV%. He’s committed to play at Brown University in the future.

League Leaders

The top skaters from around the league are:

Points Leaders:
Sean Farrell, Steel, 42
Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, Steel, 39
Trevor Kuntar, Phantoms, 38

Goals Leaders:
Trevor Kuntar, Phantoms, 23
Colby Ambrosio, Storm, 20
Riese Gaber, Saints, 20

Assists Leaders:
Sean Farrell, Steel, 30
Ty Jackson, Saints, 27
Xander Lamppa, Black Hawks, 25

The top goalies are:

Wins Leaders:
Victor Ostman, Steel, 17
Cole Brady, Force, 14
Erik Portillo, Saints, 13

Save Percentage Leaders:
Logan Stein, Black Hawks, .922%
Erik Portillo, Saints, .918%
Nicholas Grabko, Gamblers, .916%

Goals Against Leaders:
Erik Portillo, Saints, 2.05
Logan Stein, Black Hawks, 2.09
Victor Ostman, Steel, 2.30

Stay tuned for more USHL news and updates as the season continues. More and more commitments will be coming as the season progresses, and with the NHL Draft continuing to creep closer and closer, the updated skater rankings are sure to change. Follow me on Twitter @Nwinansw, see you next week.

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