The United States Hockey League today announced the All-USHL First and Second Teams presented by Reebok/CCM as determined by a vote of League coaches and general managers.
The Indiana Ice led the League with three total players selected, including two on the First Team. The Dubuque Fighting Saints also had a trio of players named – all on the Second Team. Among the All-USHL Teams are four players who have already been selected in the NHL Entry Draft and 12 players that are committed to play for NCAA Division I hockey programs.
All-USHL First Team selections include; Cedar Rapids RoughRiders goaltender Brady Hjelle, defensemen Nick Mattson of the Indiana Ice and Jordan Schmaltz of the Sioux City Musketeers, in addition to forwards Blake Coleman of the Indiana Ice, Jayson Megna of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, and Jimmy Mullin of the Fargo Force.
Players selected to the All-USHL Second Team include; goaltenders Ryan McKay of the Green Bay Gamblers and Matt Morris of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, defensemen Brian Cooper of the Fargo Force and Ben Marshall of the Omaha Lancers, along with forwards Daniil Tarasov of the Indiana Ice, and Dubuque Fighting Saints forwards John Gaudreau and Vinny Saponari.
"This is always one of the toughest votes for our coaches and general managers to make," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince, "because the standard of play in the USHL is so high, and there are so many high achievers on our rosters. But these young men are stars among stars, team players to a man, and bound for great careers. Congratulations to them."
All-USHL First Team
Brady Hjelle (G), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
The recently named USHL Goaltender of the Year posted a 40-8-5 record to help the RoughRiders capture the Anderson Cup. The 40 wins established a new USHL record for victories in a season by a goaltender. His .923 save percentage was the second highest in the League and his 2.21 goals-against-average ranked fourth overall. He was tops in the League in minutes played (3,230) and saves (1,419). The 20-year-old from International Falls, Minnesota will play college hockey at Ohio State University next season.
Nick Mattson (D), Indiana Ice
The 19-year-old from Chanhassen, Minnesota was named the USHL Defenseman of the Year after recording 36 points (6g, 30a) in 57 games. He was second in scoring among League defenseman and was third overall in the USHL with a plus-33 rating. Mattson was named to the midseason CCM USHL All-Star Teams, the second straight year he has earned that honor. He was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season.
Jordan Schmaltz (D), Sioux City Musketeers
Also a USHL All-Rookie Team selection, the 17-year-old led League defensemen in scoring with 44 points (13g, 31a) in 53 games and tied for the USHL lead with 20 power play assists. The Verona, Wisconsin native finished the season riding a 10-game point streak, and over his final 13 games, he registered 20 points (6g, 14a) and a plus-10 rating to help the Musketeers reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The five-time CCM USHL Defensive Player of the Week is committed to the University of North Dakota.
Blake Coleman (F), Indiana Ice
He led the USHL with 92 points (34g, 58a) – the most scored in a USHL season in over a decade – on his way to being named both the USHL Player of the Year and Forward of the Year. The last player to surpass 90 points was Thomas Vanek (46g, 45a) in 2001-02. Coleman had 17 more points than the next highest scorer in the League. He also posted a plus-52 rating, the highest recorded mark since the USHL became Tier I in 2002. The 19-year-old from Plano, Texas will attend Miami University next season.
Jayson Megna (F), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
The RoughRiders captain tied for ninth in League scoring with 58 points (30g, 28a) while playing in all 60 regular season games. He was one of five USHL players to score 30 goals this season. The 21-year-old from Northbrook, Illinois tied for the League lead with eight game-winning goals and was tops in the USHL with 234 shots. He put together a USHL season best 15-game point streak in addition to a 12-game point streak. Megna will play collegiate hockey next season at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Jimmy Mullin (F), Fargo Force
Also a member of the USHL All-Rookie Team, Mullin finished seventh in USHL scoring with 60 points (23g, 37a) in 52 regular season games. He was fourth overall with a plus-29 rating and his four shorthanded goals tied for the League lead. The 19-year-old form Cincinnati, Ohio equaled a Force team record for points in a game when he collected five (1g, 4a) in the 6-2 win vs. Sioux City on December 3rd, 2010. Selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Mullin is committed to Miami University.
All-USHL Second Team
Ryan McKay (G), Green Bay Gamblers
He led all USHL goaltenders in both goals-against-average (2.00) and save percentage (.928) while posting a 25-9-3 season record. His 25 victories were the third most in the USHL. The 18-year-old from Palatine, Illinois also recorded five shutouts, tying for the second most among League goaltenders. McKay put together a 10-game winning streak from November 12th to January 7th. The second-year USHL goaltender helped Green Bay win 40 games for the second straight season. He is committed to Miami University.
Matt Morris (G), Dubuque Fighting Saints
The 17-year-old compiled a 23-8-4 record in 37 appearances during his first USHL season. He was second among League goaltenders with a 2.17 goals-against-average and was fourth overall with a .921 save percentage. Morris recorded four shutouts, including three in a span of five starts from November 5th-24th. The native of Ridgewood, New Jersey was named to the midseason CCM USHL All-Star Teams. Following his USHL career, he will play collegiate hockey at the University of Maine.
Brian Cooper (D), Fargo Force
The youngest player among the All-USHL Teams tied for sixth among League defensemen in scoring with 33 points (11g, 22a) in 51 games. He posted a plus-15 rating and was second on the Force with 132 penalty minutes. Playing in his second USHL season, he was among 44 players named to the midseason CCM USHL All-Star Teams. Cooper is a native of Anchorage, Alaska and will play college hockey at the University of Nebraska at Omaha following his USHL career.
Ben Marshall (D), Omaha Lancers
Also named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, Marshall tied for sixth among USHL defensemen in scoring with 33 points (11g, 22a) in 56 regular season games. His five game-winning goals led all League blueliners and he was second with 142 shots on goal. The 18-year-old from Stillwater, Minnesota totaled a plus-20 rating to rank third among USHL defensemen and tied for 10th overall in the League. Marshall was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He will play collegiately at the University of Minnesota.
Daniil Tarasov (F), Indiana Ice
The 19-year-old led the USHL this season with 37 goals and was second in League scoring with 75 points (37g, 38a) in 57 games played. He tied for the USHL lead with eight game-winning goals and was third overall with 217 shots on goal. Tarasov had seven multi-goal games, including a hat trick on January 22nd. His plus-34 rating was the second highest mark in the League. The Moscow, Russia native was a midseason CCM USHL All-Star and also was recently named to the USHL All-Rookie Team.
Vinny Saponari (F), Dubuque Fighting Saints
Playing in his first USHL season, the forward was sixth in League scoring with 64 points (18g, 46a) in 56 games while also posting a plus-17 rating. His 46 assists were the third most in the USHL and his 19 power play assists also tied for third overall. The native of Powder Springs, Georgia set a League season high with 12 shots vs. Lincoln on January 22nd. Saponari was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He is committed to play collegiate hockey next season at Northeastern University.
John Gaudreau (F), Dubuque Fighting Saints
The 2010-11 USHL Rookie of the Year was second in the USHL this season with 36 goals and finished fourth overall in scoring with 72 points (36g, 36a) while playing all 60 regular season games. He led the League with 15 power play goals and also tallied seven game-winning goals. The 17-year-old from Carneys Point, New Jersey had the best shooting percentage in the League (.234) and scored a goal on his first shot during his USHL debut. Gaudreau will attend Northeastern University following his USHL career.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its ninth season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2010-11. With over 250 players this season already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 18 NHL Entry Draft picks currently on League rosters, the USHL is the nation’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com.