For the second season in a row, the Anaheim Jr. Ducks Midget 16U AAA team has had a player called up to the U.S. National Team Development Program.
Forward Rory Herrman played for the USNTDP’s U17 team against Muskegon of the United States Hockey League on Dec. 30 at Plymouth, Mich., and was scheduled to play with the U17s at Dubuque in another USHL contest on New Year’s Day. The Jr. Ducks were playing in a Tier 1 Elite Hockey League Showcase in nearby Fraser, Mich., on Dec. 28-30, making Herrman’s call-up logistically easier.
“It’s a great opportunity for Rory,” Jr. Ducks 16U AAA coach and Director of Player Personnel Alex Kim said. “Any time a player gets to wear a USA jersey in any capacity it’s an honor and a privilege. We are grateful that the USNTDP has given some of the Jr. Ducks a chance to play for them these past two seasons.
“Rory has worked hard on developing his on-ice habits, which has led to this opportunity. He competes hard and plays with a lot of tenacity.”
Justin Dixson, who is playing for Tri-City (USHL) this season, also played a couple of games for the NTDP last season. Dixson, who scored 61 goals for a Jr. Ducks team that advanced to the USA Hockey Youth Nationals, verbally committed to play for UMass-Amherst.
Herrman, a 1999 birth year who committed to Arizona State earlier this season, has 21 points – including 10 goals – through 23 games in the Tier 1 League for a Jr. Ducks team that is 18-7 in the league and 30-7 overall.
The Jr. Ducks capped a successful weekend at the Tier 1 showcase in Michigan with 4-0 and 6-0 victories on Dec. 30 despite not having Herrman, fellow forward Cooper Haar and defensemen Slava Demin and Nico Rubino in the lineup due to injuries. Goaltenders Carl Stankowski and Patrick Pugliese each posted a shutout.
“I'm proud of how our team has responded in the absence of the players,” Kim said. “They've been resilient and also contributed to Rory’s success.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Herrman, who is from Poway, participated in the USA Hockey National Select-16 Festival over the summer.