Chicago – The United States Hockey League today announced the players named to the 2011-12 All-USHL First Team and Second Team presented by CCM as determined by a vote of USHL coaches and general managers.
Among the All-USHL Teams are four players that have been selected in the NHL Draft, several that are top prospects for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft, and 13 players that have committed to NCAA Division I college hockey programs. The Clark Cup champion Green Bay Gamblers led the way with five players selected, including three on the First Team, while the Indiana Ice had three players named to the All-USHL Teams for the second consecutive season.
All-USHL First Team selections include goaltender Zane Gothberg of the Fargo Force, defensemen Andy Welinski and Jordan Schmaltz of the Green Bay Gamblers, in addition to forwards Alex Broadhurst of the Green Bay Gamblers, Zemgus Girgensons of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Kevin Roy of the Lincoln Stars, and Daniil Tarasov of the Indiana Ice.
Players selected to the All-USHL Second Team include goaltender Ryan McKay of the Green Bay Gamblers, defensemen Brian Cooper of the Fargo Force, Ralfs Freibergs of the Lincoln Stars, and Ryan Obuchowski of the Indiana Ice, along with forwards Taylor Cammarata of the Waterloo Black Hawks, Sean Kuraly of the Indiana Ice, and Nolan LaPorte of the Green Bay Gamblers.
All-USHL First Team
Zane Gothberg (G), Fargo Force
The goaltender from Thief River Falls, Minnesota posted a 26-16-4 record with USHL best .921 SV%. His 2.22 GAA was the second best mark in the League. Gothberg led the USHL with seven shutouts which shattered the Fargo Force season record held by Mike Lee (2008-09). The 19-year-old put together a nine-game winning streak from December 30th to January 21st, compiling a 1.43 GAA and .947 SV% with two shutouts over that stretch. Gothberg was the co-winner of the USHL Goaltender of the Year. He is a 2010 NHL Draft pick of the Boston Bruins and will play hockey next season at the University of North Dakota.
Andy Welinski (D), Green Bay Gamblers
The Duluth, Minnesota native was recently named USHL Defenseman of the Year after putting up 37 points (15g, 22a) in 54 regular season games. His 15 goals tied for the lead among USHL defensemen and his plus-35 rating was the third best mark in the entire League. Welinski anchored the Gamblers defense which allowed 2.30 goals per game, the lowest mark in the USHL, and helped Green Bay achieve a plus-112 goal differential this season. He was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2011 NHL Draft following his rookie USHL season. The defenseman will play college hockey next season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Jordan Schmaltz (D), Green Bay Gamblers
The 18-year-old from Verona, Wisconsin tied for second in scoring among all USHL defensemen with 41 points (10g, 31a) in 55 regular season games. After starting the season with the Sioux City Musketeers, he was acquired by the Gamblers and put up 35 points (7g, 28a) and a plus-15 rating in 46 games. He added seven points (2g, 5a) and a plus-10 rating in 12 playoff games. Schmaltz is the first player since the 1994-95 season (Scott Swanson, Omaha Lancers) to be named All-USHL First Team in consecutive seasons. A top prospect for the 2012 NHL Draft, the defenseman is committed to the University of North Dakota.
Alex Broadhurst (F), Green Bay Gamblers
The forward from New Lenox, Illinois was third in USHL scoring with 73 points (26g, 47a) in 53 regular season games. He tied for sixth overall in the League with a plus-32 rating and his six game-winning goals were the fourth most in the USHL. Broadhurst finished the regular season riding a six-game point streak in which he accumulated 15 points (3g, 12a). He led the League in playoff scoring with 18 points (9g, 9a) in 12 games and was also tops with a plus-16 rating. Broadhurst also recorded the first-ever shorthanded hat trick in USHL history. The 19-year-old was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Draft following his rookie USHL season.
Zemgus Girgensons (F), Dubuque Fighting Saints
Dubuque’s captain led the team with 55 points (24g, 31a) despite appearing in just 49 of the team’s 60 regular season games. With him in the lineup for the full game, Dubuque posted a 34-9-3 record but were just 2-11-1 without him for the full 60 minutes. The Riga, Latvia native led the Saints with 24 goals and a plus-17 rating. His six game-winning goals tied for fourth most in the USHL. Girgensons scored eight goals over his last seven games of the season, including his first USHL career hat trick (3g) on March 24th in the 4-1 victory over Tri-City. A projected first-round selection in the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft, he is committed to play college hockey at the University of Vermont.
Kevin Roy (F), Lincoln Stars
The recently turned 19-year-old had a record-breaking season as he collected 104 points (54g, 50a) in 59 regular season games, the most points in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present). He is the first USHL player to reach the 50-goal mark since the 1993-94 season and his total of 54 are the most by a USHL player since 1988-89. The native of Lac Beauport, Quebec also led the USHL with a plus-44 rating and was tops in the League with 28 power play points (14g, 14a). He ended the regular season riding a 15-game point streak, amassing 31 points (16g, 15a) over that span. Roy will play college hockey next season at Brown University and is a top prospect for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft.
Daniil Tarasov (F), Indiana Ice
The forward was second in USHL scoring with 88 points (47g, 41a) while appearing in all 60 regular season games. His 47 goals were second most in the League and gave him 84 goals over his two-year USHL career, the most by a player over two seasons since 1991-92 (Chris Ferraro, 102 goals). Tarasov was third in the League with 13 power play goals and led the USHL with eight game-winning goals for the second consecutive season. He recorded 12 multi-goal games this season which included a hat trick (3g) on January 21st vs. Dubuque. The native of Moscow, Russia finished the regular season riding a 13-game point streak, amassing 26 points (14g, 12a) over that stretch with four multi-goal games.
All-USHL Second Team
Ryan McKay (G), Green Bay Gamblers
The 19-year-old from Palatine, Illinois led all USHL goaltenders with a 2.18 GAA and was second overall with a .920 SV%. He posted a 27-5-3 record during the regular season which included a 15-0-1 mark on the road to help the Gamblers win a USHL record 25 road contests. McKay became the Gamblers all-time leader in wins as he collected 66 regular season wins during his three-year USHL career. The goaltender also helped Green Bay capture the Clark Cup, posting a 9-3 record with a 2.07 GAA and .922 SV%. He shared honors as USHL Goaltender of the Year and will now continue his hockey career at Miami University.
Brian Cooper (D), Fargo Force
The 18-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska recorded 24 points (6g, 18a) in 55 regular season games and totaled 92 penalty minutes. He was second on the team with a plus-16 rating which also ranked tied for 12th among USHL defensemen. On five occasions this season, he finished a game with a plus-three rating. The Force posted a 5-1-0 record in games that Cooper scored a goal. It is the second consecutive season that Cooper has been named to the All-USHL Second Team. A top prospect for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft, the three-year USHL veteran will continue his career next season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Ralfs Freibergs (D), Lincoln Stars
The Riga, Latvia native led all USHL defensemen in scoring with 43 points (8g, 35a) while appearing in all 60 regular season games. His 35 assists were also tops among League blueliners and his plus-24 rating was fifth overall for USHL defensemen. Freibergs recorded 17 points (3g, 14a) on the power play to help the Lincoln Stars boast the USHL’s third highest power play percentage (23.2%). Over the final 14 games of the season, he registered 13 assists and a plus-10 rating to help the Stars earn an 11-3-0 record and finish first in the Western Conference. He will play college hockey next season at Bowling Green State University.
Ryan Obuchowski (D), Indiana Ice
The 19-year-old from Canton, Michigan finished tied for second in scoring among USHL defensemen with 41 points (7g, 34a) as he appeared in all 60 regular season games. He also posted a plus-12 rating and finished third on the Ice with 134 shots on goal which was also third highest total by a USHL defenseman. Obuchowski scored 20 of his points (5g, 15a) on the power play, second among USHL defensemen, to help the Ice lead the League with a 24.9% conversion rate on the man-advantage. The two-year veteran also served as Ice team captain this season. He will continue his hockey career at Yale University.
Taylor Cammarata (F), Waterloo Black Hawks
The forward was recently named the 2011-12 USHL Rookie of the Year after finishing sixth overall in USHL scoring with 69 points (27g, 42a) while appearing in all 60 regular season games. Cammarata, who just turned 17 earlier this month, was the youngest player in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) to surpass 60 points in a season. The Plymouth, Minnesota native was selected first overall by the Black Hawks in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft. Cammarata helped Waterloo reach the Clark Cup Final series and led the team with 16 points (8g, 8a) in 15 postseason contests. He is committed to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota following his USHL career.
Sean Kuraly (F), Indiana Ice
The second-year forward tied for fourth in USHL scoring with 70 points (32g, 38a) in 57 regular season games. His 32 goals was the fourth highest total in the League and his six game-winning goals also tied for fourth. Kuraly recorded his first USHL hat trick on December 10th, scoring all three goals in the 3-2 victory over Dubuque. He put together a five-game goal streak from December 17th-31st which included two game-winners. The 19-year-old from Dublin, Ohio was selected in the 2011 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks following his rookie USHL season. He will play college hockey next season at Miami University.
Nolan LaPorte (F), Green Bay Gamblers
The recently turned 20-year-old tied for fourth in USHL scoring with 70 points (36g, 34a). His 36 goals were the third most in the League and his seven game-winning goals tied for second. LaPorte led the entire USHL with 16 power play goals and his plus-35 rating tied for the third best mark. The Mokena, Illinois native twice registered five-game goal streaks (October 7-21 and November 25-December 9) and recorded seven multi-goal games during the season. He added 12 points (4g, 8a) in 12 postseason games to help the Gamblers win the Clark Cup. He is committed to play college hockey at Western Michigan University.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 13 NHL draftees on its rosters this season, and over 250 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL is emerging as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action online all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).