Former US Olympic Committee CEO Jim Scherr is a finalist to become the NCHC's new commissioner.
Wisconsin is going to try moving forward Gavin Hartzog to defense. It's worth a shot with Jake McCabe out due to injury and a couple defensemen just a year or two removed from playing high school hockey.
Edina HS senior Ben Walker left school during the middle of tryouts to sign with Victoria of the WHL. It's kind of a curious move. It shouldn't hurt the Hornets too much, however. They're still pretty loaded with talent, while the rest of their usually deep section was hit much harder by graduation and attrition over the summer.
The US team, made up primarily of USHL players, took home a bronze medal at the World Jr. A Challenge last week. It's a testament to the quality of the USHL that after winning gold two years in a row, only taking a bronze feels like a bit of a disappointment. A lot of attention was focused on draft-eligible defensive prospects Jordan Schmaltz and Brian Cooper. Reports from TSN's Craig Button said the general consensus was that both players played well, but didn't necessarily blow scouts away.
Speaking of Button, his list of top 60 draft prospects for the month of November is out. The list seems a little harsh towards Americans and future college players. Here is ISS's November Top 30. NHL Central Scouting should be releasing their Jr. A rankings tomorrow.
One player I haven't seen mentioned anywhere that stood out to me the most at the NAHL Showcase and intrigues me as an NHL Draft sleeper is Cory Ward of the Aberdeen Wings in the NAHL. With 9 points in his last five games, that brings him to 26 points in 17 games, made all the more impressive by the fact that his team has scored just 59 goals this season. He's got a +4 +/- on a team that is a -73 overall, he's got good size at 6'0" 200 lbs., and he's captain of his team despite being a late '93 birthdate, which is really young for the NAHL. Maybe not an early round pick, but it would be nice to see an NAHL getting drafted.
Meanwhile, the timing of so many players leaving the USHL for the WJAC was perfect for a number of Minnesotans to play a weekend's worth of games in the USHL prior to the start of the high school season. The players that got a little USHL action in were: Blake Cates(Stillwater), Blake Heinrich(H-M), Jared Thomas(Hermantown), Trevor Olson(Duluth East), Jordan Gross(Maple Grove), Vinni Lettieri(Minnetonka), Michael Zajac(Eagan), Tyler Sheehy(Burnsville), and Justin Kloos(Lakeville South). It sounds like all of the players have since been placed back on their respective teams affiliate lists and will return for high school hockey, though it wouldn't be surprised if most, if not all of the underclassmen in this group played full-time in the USHL next year.