Photo: U.S. NTDP defenseman Keaton Thompson, shown here competing at the All-American Prospects Game last month, is a potential first round pick for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
What a difference a day can make.
I had the fortune of taking in the U.S. NTDP U-18 team’s first two games against college teams for this 2012-13 season, facing off against the University of Wisconsin and the University of Notre Dame back-to-back on the nights of October 6th and 7th.
Photo: Former USHL scoring star Kevin Roy switched schools prior to the 2012-13 season and is now playing for Northeastern in the Hockey East conference (courtesy of Jim Pierce)
Like any NCAA rookie, Kevin Roy was eager for the start of his first year of college hockey. His excitement shone through in his debut with Northeastern University, where the Quebec native scored the game-winner and added an assist to help his new team earn the win against Merrimack.
Photo: Waterloo Blackhawks forward Taylor Cammarata, shown here competing at the 2012 All-American Propsects Game, is one of the more offensively talented American prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Most of the hockey world is on pins and needles waiting for the lockout to end, but you wouldn’t know it sitting inside Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa. The team mascot, a large bird named Tommy Hawk with a big Domino's Pizza logo on the back of his jersey, riled up the cowbell-waving fans of the hometown Blackhawks in the stands while others grabbed beer and leafed through the game program, reading about their opponent, the Youngstown Phantoms. Hockey lives on.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings prospect Paul Ladue will play at the University of North Dakota starting in the fall of 2013 (courtesy of Kim Fogle/Lincoln Stars)
During the 2010-11 season, defenseman Paul LaDue was playing for the Alexandria Blizzard of the North American Hockey League, a Tier II junior league known more for producing players for the NCAA rather than the NHL. Just a year later, on June 23rd of this year, he heard his name called at the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.
Photo: Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jaccob Slavin, shown here at their prospect camp, will move on to Colorado College in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Jamie Kelleher/HF)
Better and better.
That is how Chicago Steel head coach Scott McConnell describes defenseman Jaccob Slavin’s game.