Photo: University of Michigan forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect JT Compher is one of a growing number of young players from Illinois to be drafted ny NHL teams (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
As long as Brady Skjei can remember, he wanted to be a Minnesota Gopher. His grandfather Stan Skjei and relative Brett Sadek both played football at the University of Minnesota and like many other players born in the self-proclaimed State of Hockey, Skjei went to many games at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis hoping to one day be on the other side of the Plexiglas representing the school as a student-athlete.
Photo: University of Wisconsin forward and Anaheim Ducks prospect Nic Kerdiles has been generating offense wherever he plays, whether it is for Wisconsin or for Team USA at the 2014 WJC (courtesy of Dan Sanger/Icon SMI)
The final month of 2013 marked the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half of the 2013-14 NCAA hockey season. Hockey’s Future takes a look back at the many notable performances by NHL prospects around college hockey during the month of December. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of January 5th, 2014.
Photo: QMJHL forward Anthony Mantha took his game to the international stage in December, where he managed 10 points in four preliminary round games at the 2014 World Junior Championships. Mantha was selected 20th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Forward Anthony Mantha (DET) is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for December. An offensively prolific player since the start of the 2013-14 season, Mantha took his game to another level in December, with 14 points in five QMJHL games and 10 points through the preliminary round of the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Photo: Boston College defenseman and New Jersey Devils prospect Steven Santini has registered six points (2G, 4A) and a +13 rating in his freshman season with the Eagles (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Team USA defenseman Steven Santini's last appearance at a World Junior Championship, the 2013 U18 WJC back in April of last year, was a memorable one. In addition to winning the gold medal along with his USA teammates, Santini also was named that tournament's Best Defenseman.
Photo: Quebec Remparts forward and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Adam Erne is taking part in his first U20 World Junior Championship for Team USA (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Team USA started their quarterfinal contest against Russia on the offensive, scoring three goals to take a 3-2 lead into the first intermission. But a string of USA penalties in the second period swung the momentum towards Russia as they scored the last three goals of the game to take the win, 5-3.