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Minnesotans in the USHL

By Tony Scott , 09/06/21, 2:45PM CDT


Nearly 100 MN players make the 30-man rosters in nation's top junior league including 14 HS eligibles

Minnesota...the glass is half full

Jackson Blake scored the game winner in the BHS state final and the Clark Cup final in 2021 - Photo Jenae Anderson (Hockey Writers)

As cooler fall winds begin to blow in, that means a new season draws closer. Moms will pack Rubbermaid bins full of clothes and Gatorade and boys will slowly become young men living on their own in small towns chasing their dream to play college and pro hockey.

If you include the 10 Minnesotans who play for the National Team Development Program, there could be as many as 100 Minnesota players skating in the USHL this season.  USA Hockey's only Junior-A league is back to full strength this year, with all 16 franchises back on the ice. The league announced it's 30-man rosters last week with a healthy percentage of them from the state of hockey. 

On September 20 teams must cut their roster size down to 25. Of the 25, they must have at least three high school aged players (2004 or 2005 DOB) and can only carry four 20 year olds (2001 DOB).

The following is a list of Minnesota players, their hometown/HS team, where they are playing in the USHL and in college, and if they have MSHSL eligibility.

HS First Name Last Name HS Team/Town USHL College
Grant Ahcan Burnsville Cedar Rapids St. Cloud State
Cade Ahrenholz Lakeville South Omaha Colorado College
* Trey Ausmus East Grand Forks Madison North Dakota
Henry Bartle Centennial Des Moines Uncommitted
Carter Batchelder Eden Prairie Waterloo Colorado College
Jon Bell SC Cathedral Cedar Rapids Uncommitted
* Jackson Blake Eden Prairie Chicago North Dakota
Jake Braccini Buffalo Fargo Minnesota
Connor Brown Gentry Chicago Uncommitted
* Alex Bump Prior Lake Omaha Uncommitted
* Max Burkholder Chaska Dubuque Colorado College
Anton Castro Mendota Heights Fargo Boston University
* Jimmy Clark Edina Sioux City Uncommitted
Ben Dexheimer Blake Madison Miami-Ohio
Josh Eernisse Eastview Tri City Uncommitted
Adem Eisele Stillwater Youngstown MN State
Ethan Elias Maple Grove Omaha Uncommitted
Aidan Emerson Prior Lake Cedar Rapids Uncommitted
Adam Flammang STMA Cedar Rapids Bemidji State
Mario Gasparini Lakeville North Tri City Vermont
Cooper Gay Benilde-St. Margaret's Fargo Uncommitted
* Joe Gramer Moorhead Des Moines Uncommitted
Luke Gramer Moorhead Fargo Northern Michigan
* Hunter Hady Rochester Chicago Uncommitted
Jackson Hallum St. Thomas Academy Green Bay Michigan
Jack Harvey Stacy Chicago Boston University
Tyler Haskins Rochester Madison Michigan
Jacob Jeanette Duluth East Waterloo Uncommitted
Luke Johnson St. Cloud Lincoln Lake Superior State
Hunter Jones Andover Waterloo Uncommitted
Killian Kiecker-Olson Andover Des Moines Uncommitted
Tyler Kostelecky Maple Grove Tri City Arizona State
* Carter Krenke Blake Omaha Uncommitted
Luke Kron Andover Sioux Falls St. Thomas
Kyle Kukkonen Maple Grove Madison Michigan Tech
Connor Kurth Chisago Lakes Dubuque Minnesota
Teddy Lagerback Minnetonka Waterloo Arizona State
* Brody Lamb Dodge County Green Bay Minnesota
Mason Langenbrunner Eden Prairie Fargo Harvard
* Casy Laylin STMA Chicago Uncommitted
Luke Levandowski Rosemount Chicago Wisconsin
Griffin Ludtke Lakeville South Sioux City NEB-Omaha
Charlie Lurie Shattuck Fargo NEB-Omaha
* Christian Manz Shattuck Chicago
Joe Miller Blake Chicago Minnesota
John Mittelstadt Eden Prairie Green Bay Minnesota
Luke Mittelstadt Eden Prairie Madison Minnesota
Henry Nelson Maple Grove Lincoln Notre Dame
Tucker Ness Wayzata Waterloo Uncommitted
Kade Nielsen Burnsville Cedar Rapids MN State
* Gavin O'Connell Wayzata Waterloo Uncommitted
Carson Peters Wayzata Youngstown Uncommitted
Joey Pierce Hermantown Lincoln MN Duluth
* Nick Pierre Hill Murray Sioux City Wisconsin
Garrett Pioniemi Holy Family Sioux Falls Minnesota
* Eric Pohlkamp Brainerd Cedar Rapids Uncommitted
Jack Reimann Blaine Sioux Falls Uncommitted
Mason Reiners Edina Waterloo Uncommitted
Lleyton Roed White Bear Lake Tri City Bemidji State
Tyler Rollwagon Shattuck Fargo NEB-Omaha
* Max Rud St. Cloud Sioux Falls Minnesota
Garrett Schifsky Andover Waterloo Uncommitted
Bennett Schimek Mendota Heights Sioux City Providence
Jacob Schneider Wayzata Waterloo Colgate
Sully Scholle Chaska Des Moines Uncommitted
Grant Slukynsky Warroad Sioux City Northern Michigan
Jack Smith St. Cloud Cathedral Sioux Falls MN Duluth
Jack Stark Chaska Chicago Yale
Jakob Stender Alexandria Fargo Uncommitted
Charlie Strobel Hill Murray Waterloo Minnesota
Cal Thomas Maple Grove Sioux Falls Vermont
Lucas Wahlin Hill Murray Lincoln Uncommitted
Mason Wheeler Rosemount Tri City MN State
Mitchell Wolfe Andover Des Moines Bemidji State
Jared Wright St. Thomas Academy Omaha Colgate
Cooper Wylie Stillwater Waterloo St. Cloud State

Playing the percentages

The month of September is a crazy one for Junior hockey players. Hockey fans should get their Paper Mate pink eraser out and be ready for some changes. Players should prepare to pack their bags a time or two.

Teams really don't become firm until October/November.  After cutting five players later this month, teams will scour the waiver wires and make trades within their league. They will also keep a close eye on the NAHL fall showcase in Blaine - September 15-19 - for players who excelled that first weekend. 

Between now and mid-October, junior hockey rosters change. A lot.

Should I stay or should I

Carter Krenke, Blake

First Name Last Name High School/Town % Chance HS
Trey Ausmus East Grand Forks 0
Jackson Blake Eden Prairie 10
Conner Brown Gentry 50
Alex Bump Prior Lake 100
Max Burkholder Chaska 0
Jimmy Clark Edina 50
August Falloon St. Cloud 0
Joe Gramer Moorhead 100
Hunter Hady Rochester 0
Carter Krenke Blake 100
Brody Lamb Dodge County 0
Casy Laylin STMA 0
Christian Manz Shattuck-St. Mary's 0
Gavin O'Connell Wayzata 75
Nick Pierre Hill Murray 0
Eric Pohlkamp Brainerd 50
Max Rud St. Cloud 0

Eric Pohlkamp, Brainerd

Seven Not Listed MSHSL Players

August Falloon, St. Cloud

If you peruse these 30-man rosters, there are a lot of mysteries yet to be solved on some key MSHSL juniors and seniors. Here is some scoop on a few and their status.

Thor Byfuglien (SR, Roseau) - Multiple sources have confirmed with YHH that the senior defender is also skating before/after with the Chicago Steel. Byfuglien is not listed on the Chicago 30-man but will likely skate in 6 games as an affiliate and then "take it from there." Many near the border believe he will be coming back to play for the Rams. Now, if they could just lock down a head coach!

August Falloon (SR, St. Cloud) - Falloon definitely falls into the "Mystery" category.  The Tech/Apollo senior had 26 points in 15 games in his junior campaign.  He is not listed on Tri City's 30-man roster, but is listed on their Training camp roster of 23 forwards posted on Twitter yesterday.  Multiple sources have confirmed he will not return to St. Cloud for his senior campaign.

Trey Fechko (SR, Edina) - Was tendered by the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL last spring and thought to be headed to the Vancouver suburb for the season. Was at HS Elite League camp last weekend and is set to skate for the southwest metro SIT Mutual Funds team.

Tanner Ludtke (JR, Lakeville South) - The UNO commit is in Lincoln skating with the Stars this fall. He is currently an affiliate with six games of eligibility before the team is forced to make a decision on his status. As of today, the Ludtke camp says Tanner will be back at Hasse for the start of the '20-'21 season and likely skate with the Stars afterward.

Zam Plante (JR, Hermantown) - Probably the most intriguing name that was missing from the 30-mans. Plante is in training camp with the Chicago Steel and is widely known to be doing a before-after gig in the windy city. Plante is currently an affiliate player which means he can play six games under that title. From there, it is anyone's guess how the Steel plan to deal with his status. Affiliate players on not on 30-man rosters.

Tristan Sarsland (SR, BSM) - Was thought to be headed to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL) or the USHL, but as of Tuesday is enrolled in school at Benilde and will skate in the HS Elite League. Sarlsland will be a finalist for Mr. Hockey this season.

Will Schumacher (SR, Prior Lake) - Schumacher had 36 points for the Lakers as a junior and will likely be listed by NHL Central scouting this year. He will skate before and after with the Minnesota Magicians (NAHL).

Will Schumacher, Prior Lake senior

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