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Cammarata receives multiple USHL accolades

by Mike G. Morreale

Forward Taylor Cammarata of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League on Wednesday was named USHL Forward of the Year and Player of the Year as determined by league coaches and general managers.

The 5-foot-7, 156-pound left-handed shot, who is No. 193 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top 2013 draft-eligible North American players, led the USHL with 93 points (38 goals, 55 assists) in 59 regular-season games.

"His smarts and creativity make him a good prospect," Central Scouting's David Gregory told

Cammarata's point total was the second-highest in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), following the 104 points (54 goals) produced by Kevin Roy of the Lincoln Stars in 2011-12.

Additionally, his 38 goals led the league and were the third-highest total by a player in the USHL Tier 1 era. He had five game-winners, and posted the second-best shooting percentage in the USHL (21.1).

"He's a very special kid," Waterloo coach P.K. O'Handley told "He mixes it up when he needs to mix it up. I think his size is an advantage because he knows how to use it as an advantage. He understands there's going to be NHL teams that say he's too small, but knowing him, that's not going to keep him down.

"He's not afraid to make a play, and generally he makes opposing teams pay. I think there are scouts over the years who say the best players find a way to be the best players, and this kid in every step of his young hockey career, has found a way to be one of the best. I don't see that changing any time soon."

Cammarata, who is committed to the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2013, helped lead Waterloo to the best power play percentage in the league (25.4 percent) -- he produced 10 goals and 27 points with the man-advantage. The Plymouth, Minn., native finished his USHL career with 162 points (65 goals, 97 assists) in 116 regular season games.

He holds franchise records in assists, is second in points, and fifth in goals during the team's junior era. He also added 10 goals and 21 points in 20 USHL career playoff games.

Roy, the 2012 USHL Player of the Year, was Central Scouting's No. 78-ranked North American skater prior to the 2012 Draft in Pittsburgh. He led the USHL in scoring with 104 points and became the first player in the league's Tier 1 era to produce at least 50 goals in a season. The 5-foot-9, 168 pound forward was chosen in the fourth round (No. 97) of the 2012 Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

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