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Future Stars Highlight 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Prospects game Sarah A. via Flickr


Future Stars Featured in the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

The 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will take place on January 9th in Kearney, NE, and is sure to bring attention to future household names. Hockey’s fandom may be unfamiliar with these young stars, but not for long. All 40 players selected are eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft, and all but two are committed to playing NCAA Division I hockey in years to come. The game’s two teams, East and West, were formed in accordance with NHL and USHL general managers and scouts.

Prospects Game Missing Prospects

Some notable names, however, will unfortunately not be present considering the game is a USHL event. Rasmus Dahlin, the “Super Swede”, is the most notable. He is projected to be taken first overall in the 2018 draft but plays in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) making him ineligible for the prospect game.

Dahlin would be the first Swede taken first overall since Mats Sundin in 1989, but not for no reason. Dahlin, crafty defensemen, carves up opposing players with his speed, skill, and most importantly his patience.

Also missing from the list is Andrei Svechnikov, who currently plays in the OHL and is projected second overall in the 2018 Draft. Svechnikov played last season in the USHL with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Svechnikov is sure to be a future NHL star. A left-handed forward, Svechnikov plays on his off-wing. He employs quick cuts inside and holds a calming confidence with the puck, posing huge problems for defensemen. It’s a shame not to see him as a part of January’s game, but he’ll surely be a part of the NHL soon.

Prospects Game Notable Names

Despite the top two 2018 projected picks not participating, the USHL prospect game still poses some exciting talent. Big names have participated in the past, including Brock Boeser (VAN), Kyle Connor (WPG), and Jordan Schmaltz (STL). This will surely attract hopeful USHL players in the future.

January’s prospect game will feature 16 of the 17 USHL teams. However, more importantly, some of the league’s top scorers will be in attendance, laying promise for a great show.

Team East

One of those top scorers is Chicago Steel’s, Blake McLaughlin. The 2000-born forward lies eighth in USHL scoring (8G, 13A), and recently announced his commitment to the University of Minnesota. He is sure to grab the NHL’s attention playing in an exciting Minnesota hockey market.

For number’s sake, Team East will feature Des Moines’, Braden Costello. Costello has 6 points (5G, 1A) in 22 games played this season and will continue his hockey career at the University of North Dakota.

Team West

The West poses some of the USHL’s brightest stars, including the league’s top scorer Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup of the Fargo Force. Schmidt-Svejstrup has posted 29 points (17G, 12A) in 23 games played, making him quite the NHL target. He has announced his commitment to play at the University of Maine and will likely apply for the NHL draft soon. USHL teammates Matt Kessel and Ryan Savage also join him on Team West.

Twins Cole and Christian Krygier also highlight Team West. The two both play for the Lincoln Stars out of Nebraska, and have committed to play for the University of Wisconsin in the future. The two American defensemen may very well replace Vancouver’s Sedin brothers as the NHL’s beloved twins.

For the rest of the USHL prospect game’s roster, look below:

Full Roster


  • Forwards: Harrison Roy (CR), Tyler Madden (CIL), Braden Costello (DM), Blake McLaughlin (CHI), Alexander Steeves (DBQ), Ryan O’Reilly (MAD), Noah Prokop (GB), Matej Pekar (MUS), Jachym Kondelik (MUS), Emilio Pettersen (MUS), Max Ellis (YNG), Curtis Hall (YNG)
  • Defensemen: Michael Callahan (CIL), Xan Gurney (CHI), Graham Lillibridge (CHI), Aidan Fulp (DBQ), Jacob Semik (DBQ), Marc Del Gaizo (MUS)
  • Goalies: Zach Stejskal (CIL), Ivan Prosvetov (YNG)


  • Forwards: Ryan Savage (FGO), Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup (FGO), Devlin McCabe (LIN), Philippe Lapointe (LIN), Paul Cotter (LIN), Jack Randl (OMA), Samuel Salonen (SC), Sampo Ranta (SC), Martin Pospisil (SC), Jaxon Nelson (SF), Wyllum Deveaux (TC), Jack Drury (WAT)
  • Defensemen: Matt Kessel (FGO), Christian Krygier (LIN), Cole Krygier (LIN), Travis Mitchell (OMA), Jack St. Ivany (SF), Jace Foskey (TC)
  • Goalies: Jake Kucharski (DM), Jared Moe (WAT)