You wouldn’t think an exhibition event would be one of the biggest scouting events for the NHL. This past weekend every NHL team and all 59 NCAA Division I teams descended to Sioux City, Iowa for the USHL Fall Classic.
All 14 USHL teams participated in the event including the USA National Team Development Program. One thing people are interesting to see if the NTDP can compete in the USHL. They went 1-2 but the two losses were on a combined three goals.
Although the games don’t count in the standings, that doesn’t mean the competition isn’t there. This is their opportunity to show the NHL scouts they have the talent to be selected in the 2010 draft. The USHL seems to be producing more and more elite talent each year. John Carlson two years ago and this past season it was John Moore. Both impressed at their first NHL camps. Imagine both on USA’s blueline at the World Junior Championships this year?
Who’s the next rising star? Right now it’s too early to tell but defenseman Kevin Lind has to be up there. He was with the Chicago Steel last year along with Moore. Another has to be Connor Brickley a forward for the Des Moines Buccaneers. He had a great summer and his stock should continue to rise. Another player who had a great tournament was Michael Parks of Cedar Rapids. He had six points in three games. He’s committed to North Dakota.
The USHL opens up the season this weekend.