USHL trio on the “A” list

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Two players from the National Team Development Program with Team USA and Green Bay Gamblers’ forward Nick Schmaltz are the three “A” skaters from the USHL listed on the latest NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s Players to Watch List announced Thursday.USA hockey logo

The forwards from the NTDP are Dylan Larkin and Sonny Milano.

Being ranked as an “A” or “B” player means the Bureau rates the players as having an excellent chance at being a first, second, or third round selection when the NHL Draft is held next year.  “A” skaters are candidates to be first-round draft choices.

Milano is second in scoring for Team USA with two goals and 11 points in seven games. The native of Massapequa, N.Y. is committed to Notre Dame for his college hockey career.

Larkin is a Michigan Wolverine commit from Waterford, Mich. and has six goals and nine points in seven games for Team USA this season.

Schmaltz, who hails from Verona, Wis. and who is committed to North Dakota, comes into the weekend for the Gamblers with five goals and 12 points in ten games this season.

A total of 47 USHL players are on the Players To Watch List, which is a league-by-league grading based on the scouting efforts of NHL Central Scouting.

They will release a mid-season numerical ranking of 210 players from all leagues in January.  11 USHL teams are represented on the list.

STARS CLOSE TO SALE – A report in the Lincoln Journal-Star newspaper says the Lincoln Stars’ franchise is close to having new ownership, which would be the first change of leadership in the team’s 18 year history.

Nothing official has been released by the league or by the team.  However, Stars’ president Jim Pflug was quoted as saying the transaction was close to being completed.

“There is a transaction, pending league approval,” Pflug was quoted in the report. “We fully expect for them to approve the sale, at which time we will release information on the buyer.”

Pflug said the prospective owners do not live in Lincoln, but have no interest in the team leaving Nebraska’s capital city.  There are also no plans for a change of management or coaching leadership, he said.

If approved by the league, the ownership change would take effect immediately.

SUSPENDED GAME COMPLETED – The game between Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, which was suspended when Dubuque’s Dylan Chanter was hurt in a fight, was finished Tuesday night with the RoughRiders taking a 3-2 shootout victory.

It was the first time Chanter had been back to Cedar Rapids since the fight nearly a month before.  Chanter was carried off the ice on a stretcher that night and taken to an Iowa City hospital, when he lost his helmet in the fracas and then fell, hitting his head on the ice and suffering a concussion.

Chanter did not play in the completion of the game, called in the second period after the fight by league officials.  Corey Petrash of the RoughRiders, Chanter’s adversary in the fight, also did not play.

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