America, it was beautiful. USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program had its best showing ever at the NHL draft this year, with 17 players hearing their names called. That meant nearly every eligible kid on the team (a couple had late birthdays and will be up in 2020 instead) got to put on an NHL jersey, and it started right at the top with first-overall selection Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils.
In the first round alone, the NTDP counted eight players, which was better than any league, let alone any team. So, yeah, these kids are pretty good.
For coach John Wroblewski, it looked promising right from the get-go. The squad, picked two summers ago in Michigan, was assembled quicker than usual with Hughes, Alex Turcotte and Trevor Zegras as the pillars at center. The competition w...
About the Author
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.