Rosters named for the 2012 USHL Top Prospects Game

By League Press Release

The United States Hockey League today announced the 40 players selected to compete in the 2012 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game presented by CCM which is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan.

The game, which is the first of its kind for the USHL, will showcase many of the top USHL players eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

A total of 30 players selected are in their first year of eligibility for the NHL Entry Draft.  Seven of the players are draft-eligible for the second time this year.  In addition, the USHL will showcase three players who are eligible to be drafted by NHL teams in 2013.

The selection process for the players was completed in cooperation with USHL General Managers, NHL scouts and decision makers, and NHL Central Scouting.

“We’re proud to be able to provide such a great night and stage for some of our young stars,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince.  “It’s also a credit not just to the players, but the education-based American development model we celebrate in the USHL – that is, that you can remain NCAA-eligible, play Division I college hockey, and fulfill the dream of playing in the National Hockey League.”

USHL players selected for the game include forward Zemgus Girgensons of the Dubuque Fighting Saints and the USHL’s top-rated goaltender, Jon Gillies of the Indiana Ice.  A trio of top defensemen prospects for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, including Jordan Schmaltz of the Green Bay Gamblers, Mike Matheson of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, and Brian Cooper of the Fargo Force.  The current leading scorer in the USHL, Kevin Roy of the Lincoln Stars, has also been named to the roster.

"The prospect game is a positive addition by the USHL as it presents a unique and valuable opportunity for NHL scouts to view these elite USHL players as they showcase their abilities," said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting.

Fourteen USHL teams will have at least one player represented in the contest.  Team USA declined to participate in the game due to academic commitments for its players during the week of the event.  All but five of the 40 players currently have commitments to play collegiate hockey following their USHL careers.

Four players who are top prospects for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft were also selected to compete in the event, including Waterloo Black Hawks leading scorer Taylor Cammarata, the top pick in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft, and Black Hawks 16-year-old defenseman Ian McCoshen who is in his second USHL season.  Lincoln Stars forward Luke Johnson, the team’s third-leading scorer, was also chosen for the event.  Dubuque Fighting Saints 16-year-old defenseman Michael Downing, an original selection, will not be able to participate due to the heavy academic and playing schedule he faces after returning to the team from international competition.

The 40 USHL/NHL Top Prospects will now be divided into two teams, the makeup of which will be announced at a later date.

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft takes place on June 22-23 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Last year, a total of 37 players with USHL experience – 28 from the 2010-11 season and nine USHL alumni – were selected by NHL teams in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

2012 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Roster

Forwards                                                                             Defensemen

Ray Pigozzi – Chicago Steel                                                 Ian Brady – Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Kevin Irwin – Des Moines Buccaneers                                 Jaccob Slavin – Chicago Steel

Zach Saar – Des Moines Buccaneers                                    Mike Matheson – Dubuque Fighting Saints

Cody Bradley – Dubuque Fighting Saints                              Brian Cooper – Fargo Force

Zemgus Girgensons – Dubuque Fighting Saints                    Justin Wade – Fargo Force

Nate Arentz – Fargo Force                                                    Dakota Mermis – Green Bay Gamblers

Austin Farley – Fargo Force                                                  Jordan Schmaltz – Green Bay Gamblers

Alex Kile – Green Bay Gamblers                                            Mike McKee – Lincoln Stars

Nicholas Schilkey – Green Bay Gamblers                             Mark Yanis – Muskegon Lumberjacks

Robbie Baillargeon – Indiana Ice                                          Cliff Watson – Sioux City Musketeers

Robert Polesello – Indiana Ice                                               Ian McCoshen – Waterloo Black Hawks**

Zach Aston-Reese – Lincoln Stars                                        Chris Bradley – Youngstown Phantoms

Luke Johnson – Lincoln Stars**                                            Michael Downing^ – Dubuque Fighting Saints**

Kevin Roy – Lincoln Stars                                                                  

Adam Chlapik – Muskegon Lumberjacks                              

Matthew DeBlouw – Muskegon Lumberjacks                        Goaltenders

Jordan Masters – Muskegon Lumberjacks                            Jon Gillies – Indiana Ice

Justin Selman – Sioux Falls Stampede                                  Alex Lyon – Omaha Lancers

Austyn Young – Sioux Falls Stampede                                  Stephon Williams – Sioux Falls Stampede

Taylor Cammarata – Waterloo Black Hawks**                      Jay Williams – Waterloo Black Hawks

Vince Hinostroza – Waterloo Black Hawks

A.J. Michaelson – Waterloo Black Hawks                             

Austin Cangelosi – Youngstown Phantoms

Richard Zehnal – Youngstown Phantoms

**2013 draft-eligible

^will not participate

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12.  With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 18 NHL draftees on its rosters last season, and over 280 players committed to NCAA Division I schools during the 2010-11 season, the USHL is emerging as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).

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