I have been contacted by sbnation.com to write up some profiles on players that may be drafted into the USHL this year in the USHL Futures Draft. I will be writing a profile almost every day leading up to the draft beginning with forwards, then on to defensemen, and finishing with goaltenders. These are in no particular order, as the Futures Draft is hard to predict. I haven't seen these players play either, so if you have seen them play and have something to add, please do. Enjoy!
Brandon Hope (Honeybaked U18) is one of the most highly touted goaltenders of the 2012 NHL Draft eligible class. The 6'1", 190 pound goalie out of Canton, Michigan has many good things written about him, such as this profile Honeybaked wrote for him on his Pointstreak profile:
"Brandon is an athletic goaltender who believes in “Having A Purpose” when he skates. He prides himself in his physical & technical skills which provide his team with an opportunity to win every time he’s on the ice. He displays a high level of confidence, determination, & composure while competing. He is an aggressive net-minder with exceptional puck handling skills. His ability to see plays develop is outstanding & has excellent on-ice communication skills. His overall play shows he has a real understanding & passion for the game. He is a coachable young man & provides team leadership as an Alternate Captain. Brandon has won three North American Silver Stick Championships, two World Championships, one State Championship & was named MVP and MVG in three. He was honored to represent Michigan in the NTDP’s national festival in 2008. He is a freshman at Plymouth HS & maintains a 3.5 GPA. Brandon believes the number one enemy of great, is good. Thus, his future plans include specialized training on & off the ice so he can pursue his dream of playing at the highest level possible."
This past season, Hope showed pretty good stats. In 32 appearances with Honeybaked's midget major squad, he posted a 11-16-4 record with 2 shutouts. In 1593 minutes played, Hope allowed 96 goals, getting him a 3.25 GAA and a .878 SV%. Where Hope really shone last season was during the post-season tournament for midget majors. In 4 games of that tourney, Hope posted a 3-1 record with 1.36 GAA and .944 save percentage. I would compare Hope to Green Bay goaltender, and USHL goaltender of the year Steve Summerhays. Expect to see Hope in the USHL sooner rather than later.