Sunday, June 13, 2010

Post-Draft Team Profiles- USNTDP

Team USA aka the USNTDP spent its first full season in the USHL last season, with mixed success. Overall Team USA finished their season in the USHL with a record of 25-31-4, with most of the wins coming from the U18 squad, but some came from the U17 team. I also thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you readers that I'm quitting my "No USNTDP Players Rule" for next season. Team USA doesn't participate in the USHL Drafts, but they land commitments from the most talented players in the country. The U17 squad will be fielding 13 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders. So let's go through the players that have committed to play for the USNTDP so far....
U17 Team
Nicolas Kerdiles (LA Selects U16) is a 6'1", 180 pound winger who is one of the best '94 players coming out of the Tier 1 Elite League. Basically all of the forwards taken by the USNTDP are the leaders of their respective teams in nearly every statistical category. That's exactly what Kerdiles did, leading his team in scoring by 7 points. Kerdiles put up 54 points, 25 of which were goals and the other 29 were assists. Kerdiles has also been the captain of his team since the 2006-07 season, which shows that he is quite a character guy. He could be a potential leader for the U17 squad. Kerdiles, just like every other USNTDP player, has two years of eligibility with Team USA. Kerdiles, after that two years of eligibility, will go on and play at Wisconsin for the 2012 season. Photo from

Frankie Vatrano (Boston Jr. Bruins) is another high scoring forward, except Vatrano comes from the East Coast. Vatrano is a 5'10", 190 pound center out of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and he can put the puck in the net and set up his teammates to score. With the Jr. Bruins of the Empire Junior Hockey League last season, Vatrano played 44 games, and in those 44 games, he scored an amazing 42 goals and picked up 47 assists for a grand total of 89 points in those 44 games, a truly amazing feat. Safe to say, those 89 points were good enough to lead his team in scoring. Vatrano is scheduled to start at Boston College in either 2012 or 2013. If he enrolls in 2012, his schedule with the USNTDP will be normal, but if he goes in 2013, he will play another year in the USHL after his time with the USNTDP. Photo.

Brendan Silk (Austin Prep) is 6'1", 160 pound winger out of the Boston area, and is again a very proficient scorer. Silk has been described as a very smooth skater and his size is pretty nice for a 16 year old, but then again, so is the size of most of the other USNTDP commits. Oh, yeah, I'll just clear this up right now, Silk is a relative of Dave Silk, a member of the 1980 US Olympic team who completed the "Miracle on Ice". On to Brendan, he is a solid skater that can fill a variety of roles in the offensive zone. Silk can score as well as set his teammates for goals. Last season at Austin Prep, in 22 games, Silk scored 21 goals and got 14 assists. After his time with the USNTDP, Silk will attend Boston College, presumably starting in 2012. Photo from

Quentin Shore (Colorado Thunderbirds U16)  is a forward who didn't lead his team in scoring, but he is obviously a solid prospect. While playing for the Colorado Thunderbirds this past season, Shore put up 26 points, 13 goals and 13 assists, in 33 games played in the Tier 1 Elite League. Overall on the season, Shore actually put up 95 points, 41 of which were goals and 54 were assists in 74 games played. There's been some speculation about where Shore will end up in college, and although he hasn't made a decision yet, most people believe Shore will follow his two brothers to Denver University following his time with the USNTDP. However, he has been quoted as saying Denver isn't a sure thing, and Minnesota and Wisconsin have been showing interest in Shore.

Thomas DiPauli (Chicago Mission U16) was one of the two Chicago Mission forwards selected to the U17 team, along with teammate Ryan Hartman. DiPauli is a 5'10", 173 pound center who can really do it all. Last season with the Chicago Mission U16 team, DiPauli put up some good stats. In the 30 games he played, DiPauli netted 18 goals and picked up 15 assists, which was good for 33 points. With those 33 points, DiPauli ranked fourth on his team in scoring. Notre Dame recruited DiPauli rigorously, and they got a commitment from him on March 16th. Now the thing about his committment is that DiPauli will start at Notre Dame in either 2012 or 2013, which leaves the door open for DiPauli to play a season of USHL in 2012 if Notre Dame wants him to play another year in the USHL.

Ryan Hartman (Chicago Mission U16) is one of the best pure goal scorers that the USNTDP got for the 2010 season. Hartman is a 5'11", 165 pound winger from West Dundee, Illinois. He has great scoring ability and led his Chicago Mission team in goals this past season. In fact, Hartman scored 25 goals and 19 assists for a total of 44 points in 38 games played. But he's not all offense. Hartman plays a very physical game, and is widely considered one of the best two-way players in the '94 class. This physical games is what helped draw him to Miami-Ohio, where he is scheduled to start playing in 2013. This means that after his two years in the USNTDP, he will play in the USHL for year. Hartman was drafted by Dubuque in the Futures Draft, so they will own his rights when he comes out of the USA Hockey Program. Photo.

Stefan Matteau (Notre Dame Hounds) is a 6'1", 188 pound center out of Blainville, Quebec. Matteau was the only foreign-born player that committed to play for the USNTDP. Matteau is not the best statistical forward that committed to the U17 squad, but is an overall good center who has skills on both sides of the puck. Matteau is breaking the mold a little bit here, being a Canadian who wants to come down and play for Team USA and go the college route. Matteau is one of the few USNTDP commits that doesn't have a college offer locked up. However, he has garnered some interest with his stats, posting 37 points, 15 of them goals and 22 were assists. Matteau has received interest from Cornell, Quinnipiac, and Yale. Photo from

Cameron Darcy (Dexter Prep) I am awaiting access to Dexter Prep's team page.

Nikolas Olsson (LA Selects U16) is a 6'0", 170 pound winger from Escondido, California, and is from the same team and city as fellow USNTDP selection Nicholas Kerdiles. Olsson played in only 21 games this past season with the LA Selects midget minor squad, but took full advantage of his limited time, gaining 28 points, which ranked third on the Selects, despite playing over ten less games then the rest of his teammates. Of those 28 points, 19 were goals and 9 were assists, speaking to his ability to put the puck in the net. Olsson isn't committed to a college yet, but he has gained plenty of interest, most of it coming from Denver, but Boston College, Boston University, Michigan, North Dakota, and Wisconsin have all shown interest in the sniper. Photo from
Connor Carrick (Chicago Fury U16)  is a defenseman who thinks more about the offensive side of his game than the defensive side. Carrick, as a defenseman, ranked third on the Fury's midget minor squad in scoring with 22 points in 37 games. Of those 22 points, 7 were goals and 15 were assists. Carrick also spent some time playing up a division on the Fury U18 team. On that squad, the 5'10", 175 pound defenseman racked up 6 points, 2 goals and 4 assists, in 22 games played which is not too shabby for a 16 year old playing in an 18 year old's division. Carrick will spend two years with the USNTDP and then stay in town and play for Michigan, where he committed to play on March 17th. Denver, Yale, and Notre Dame also showed interest in Carrick. Photo from

Jacob Trouba (Compuware U16) is another offensive defenseman that's headed to Team USA's U17 squad this coming season. Trouba is one of the best defenseman in the '94 class and could be very valuble for any NHL that will be looking to draft him in 2012. Trouba, in 38 games for Compuware's midget minor squad last season, netted 14 goals and picked up 14 assists for 28 points, which ranked third on the entire team. Trouba also played 3 games for the midget major Compuware team, showing that the coaches really trust him and like his skills, which will carry over into his time with the USNTDP. Trouba doesn't have a college scholarship yet, but he is the object of one the biggest recruiting battles in college hockey. Michigan and Notre Dame are both trying to land Trouba for the 2012 season. Photo.

Seth Jones (Dallas Stars U18) is probably the best overall player that will be suiting up for the USNTDP this coming season. Jones is widely regarded, with myself included, as the best defenseman eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft. As a 15 year old, Jones not only played all season for the Dallas Star's midget major squad with players two years older than him, he finished third in scoring for defenseman on the team. Jones, a mainly defensive defenseman, scored 5 goals and picked up 13 assists in 42 games played. Jones is obviously highly touted recruit, and he is letting as many colleges that show interest in him have a shot at signing him. However, he does have three favorite colleges, and will more than likely sign with one of the three. Denver, Miami-Ohio, and North Dakota are Jones' favorites. Photo from

Dakota Mermis (St. Louis Amateur Blues U18) is another defenseman who played up a division. As a '94 birthdate, Mermis spent all season with the St. Louis Amateur Blues' midget major squad, and also appeared in two games for the Lincoln Stars, where his brother Jarrod played.  Mermis was fourth on his team in scoring, despite playing against players two years older than him. Mermis netted 11 goals and racked up 26 assists for a total of 37 points in the 48 games he played, which are very nice numbers. The 5'10", 165 pound defenseman from Alton, Illinois committed to Denver University in May as a supposed "package deal", with his brother Jarrod also headed to DU. Mermis is a great prospect who has played in the USHL before, so he should be a good fit with the U17 squad. Photo from

Brady Skjei (Lakeville North HS) is a 6'0", 160 pound offensive defenseman from the Minnesota High School hockey system. Skjei finished second on the Lakeville North squad in scoring as a defenseman, which is no easy task. Skjei finished his high school career with a very solid statistical year. In 30 total games played for Lakeville High, Skjei scored 11 goals with 4 of them coming in post-season play. He also added 18 total assists for 29 points in those 30 games played. Although Skjei had a great year statistically, he hasn't really generated much college interest, which is peculiar, considering almost all of the USNTDP selections either have college scholarship offers locked up, or they have multiple colleges drooling over them. Just by getting on the U17 squad will guarantee a scholarship offer.
Jared Rutledge (Chicago Young Americans U16) is currently the only goaltender committed to play for the U17 team next season. Another goalie will be added down the road, but it is expected that Rutledge, one of the premier goalies of the 2012 draft class will be the starter. Rutledge wasn't my favorite pick to make the U17 squad, but he must have impressed the scouts quite a bit at the 40-man tryout. Rutledge put up some good stats with the CYA U16 squad this past season, posting a 17-9-2 record with 3 shutouts. On the year, he had a 2.86 GAA and a .887 save percentage. Rutledge is another player who is the center of a fairly large recruiting battle. Rutledge is trying to decide to either attend North Dakota or Michigan State, with reports stating that MSU has a lead in Rutledge's mind. Photo from
U18 Squad
Tyler Biggs
Cole Bardreau
Reid Boucher
Travis Boyd
Dan Carlson
Rocco Grimaldi
Ryan Haggerty
Zac Larraza
JT Miller
Blake Pietila
Adam Reid
Michael Vilardo
Barrett Kaib
Jake McCabe
Connor Murphy
Michael Paliotta
Alexx Privitera
Robbie Russo
Andy Ryan
Matt Van Voorhis
John Gibson
Matt McNeely

Please leave comments, I would love to hear them!
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  1. Any idea who the second U17 goalie will be?

  2. I had heard that although he didn't make the team during the tryout, Brandon Hope had a good chance of filling that second spot, but with Hope committing to play for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, I'm not too sure who will fill that second spot.

  3. Forget Team USA, please get the ret of the USHL teams done! Great Stuff and Thank You.

  4. I'm trying as hard as I can, this takes awhile, and I've been pretty busy. I'm doing the best I can.

  5. Hope is better suited for a Major Junior type of game. While some were hoping to see him in the red, white, and blue, many feel he made a good choice, providing he got a excellent education package?

  6. With Hope heading to Sarnia in the OHL and Gillies heading to Indiana in the USHL, I guess Izyk could still fill the vacant goalie position, if he wanted it? Would imagine the ntdp is kicking themselves for waiting so long to decide because now their options are dwindling. This is not an easy position especially in the USHL against players that are 3-4 years older.

  7. Gillies is a future draft, so theoretically he could still go to the U17 team I believe

  8. Gilies is committed to play this year in Indiana. That takes hope and gilies out of the goalie equation for ntdp. Ebert, Donnay, Michaelson, Hope, Gilies, Iafrate, Galchenyuyk looks like lots of talent decided to pass on ntdp option.

  9. I don't think all those players you mention above were offered spots.

  10. You snooze, you lose. How long did the NTDP really think all these kids would wait around? Add Grant Webermin and Cody Payne to the list. WOW.


Keep it clean, and don't attack individual players.