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Nick Schmaltz following in brother's footsteps

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Nick Schmaltz knows the perfect role model from which to build his hockey resume.

That would be his brother Jordan, who happened to be a 2012 first-round pick (No. 25) of the St. Louis Blues.

"I look up to him and am happy for what he has accomplished so far with his career," Schmaltz said of his older brother. "It's pretty unique to have a brother be such a good player so I take advantage of that and learn from his experiences. I hope I can achieve some of the goals that he has already."

It isn't by accident that Nick basically has followed the same path as Jordan, playing for the under-16 Chicago Mission and now with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. He's also committed to the University of North Dakota, where Jordan is now starring as a sophomore defenseman.

U.S. to hold World Junior camp in Minneapolis

Wednesday, 10.23.2013 / 12:42 PM / Prospects

USA Hockey announced Wednesday that the coaching staff for the U.S. National Junior Team will hold a four-day training camp from Dec. 15-18 in Minneapolis to help determine the roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The United States, the defending WJC gold medalist, will join seven other countries at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden, from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2014. The final 23-player roster for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team will be announced Dec. 23.

Five practices are scheduled at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena and a pre-tournament game at Minnesota State University is slated for Dec. 17. After training camp in Minneapolis is complete, the remaining players and coaches will travel to Angelholm, Sweden, from Dec. 19-23 to continue the evaluation process.

NHL Draft prospects top U.S. World Junior A roster

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 4:39 PM / Prospects Staff

USA Hockey on Thursday announced the roster for the World Junior A Challenge, to be held Nov. 4-10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

All players on the 22-man roster play in the United States Hockey League.

The six-team international tournament features the United States, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland, and two teams from Canada -- West and East. The U.S. will open the tournament against Russia on Nov. 5.

The roster includes three players selected in the 2013 NHL Draft, including a pair taken by the Buffalo Sabres -- forward Connor Hurley, a second-round pick (No. 38) playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, and goaltender Calvin Petersen, a fifth-round selection (No. 129) playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks. Also picked for the team was Fargo Force forward Teemu Kivihalme, a fifth-round pick (No. 140) of the Nashville Predators.

DeLeo hoping to be Winterhawks' next success story

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Chase De Leo has always been privy to the success rate of players drafted into the NHL from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

It was a big reason he decided to join the team in 2011-12 following a successful stint with the Under-16 Los Angeles Selects back home in California.

The native of La Mirada was a ninth-round pick (No. 192) of the Winterhawks in the 2010 WHL bantam draft after connecting for 27 goals and 83 points in 28 games for the L.A. Selects bantam AAA team that would advance to the national championship.

Top 2014 prospect Reinhart already a hockey lifer

Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

It's only partially true that Sam Reinhart has been playing hockey since the day he was born.

"My parents always joke the day I came out of the hospital and went home after I was born, they [older brothers Max and Griffin] had me in our playroom upstairs shooting tennis balls at me," he told

"I'm not sure what day, but it was shortly after [he came home]," Paul Reinhart, a former NHL player and father of the three boys, told "He [Sam] was still in his car seat when they carried him up there. I'm not sure if it was the day after, but it was early in his life. He got a taste for it, for sure."

When it comes to hockey, the game is part of the family DNA.

Move to North America suited Honka's style of play

Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

All European-born players treat the decision differently on when and why to move to North America to continue their hockey career. Some opt to stay home until they're NHL-ready, while others wait until after they've gone through their draft year.

But for Finnish defenseman Julius Honka, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, he knew exactly where he wanted to be in his draft year.

Taken by the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League with the 34th pick of the 2013 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, Honka wasted little time booking a plane ticket for Saskatchewan.

"That is the best choice for me," Honka told of going to Swift Current. "[This season] I have the draft and that is the best choice for me. … It wasn't that hard of a choice."

Iverson wins MVP at prospects game

Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 11:17 PM / Prospects

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Keegan Iverson's two points earned him Player of the Game honors in Team Mark Johnson's 5-2 win over Team Joe Mullen in the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Top Prospects Game at Consol Energy Center on Thursday night.

Iverson, who plays for the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks, broke a 1-1 tie 6:57 into the third period. Dylan Larkin, who like Iverson finished with a goal and an assist, whipped the puck on the net from the blue line, forcing Alex Nedeljkovic to make a pad save. Iverson grabbed the rebound and slid the puck into the back of the net.

"It's a great experience," Iverson said. "Coming in, I was a little nervous. I didn't know what to expect, but it's a great experience to be here and get Player of the Game."

AAPG to feature top American prospects for 2014 draft

Wednesday, 09.25.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The second CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will be a great opportunity for the finest 2014 NHL Draft-eligible players to showcase their talents in an all-star setting before hundreds of scouts in search of the next best American-born player.

"What it also allows for, and why it's different, is because it's a prospects game that has players coming from all sorts of levels and leagues," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr told "We'll have players from prep school, the NCAA and [United States] National Team Development Program, and from major junior in the Canadian Hockey League, playing with and against each other."

Donato replacing Turgeon at prospects game

Monday, 09.23.2013 / 12:11 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

USA Hockey on Monday announced that forward Ryan Donato of the Dexter School in Massachusetts will serve as an injury replacement at the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, which will be played Thursday at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Donato will replace Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League) forward Dominic Turgeon, who sustained a lower-body injury and is out indefinitely. Donato, a "B"-rated skater among Massachusetts high school players on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2014 NHL Draft, will play for coach Joe Mullen at the event.

Donato is the son of former NHL forward Ted Donato, who spent 13 seasons in the League with eight different teams.

NHL Central Scouting: Goalies to watch

Monday, 09.23.2013 / 10:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Goalies Thatcher Demko of the Boston College Eagles and Alex Nedeljkovic of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League have the privilege of being the only players at their position with an "A" rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Demko, a San Diego native, and Nedeljkovic, born in Ohio, each could become the first American-born goalie drafted in the first round since the Dallas Stars selected Jack Campbell with the 11th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft. Demko was the youngest goalie invited to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August.

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