After countless hours of research in looking at the top 10 scorers and top goaltenders across all of NCAA hockey, it is obvious that the unique, multi-tiered USPHL Development Model has a large and enviable stamp on the top performers of the college game.
The league looked at the backgrounds of all players in the top 10 of scoring for their NCAA as of late January and early February, along with team’s No. 1 goaltenders (by games played).
The conclusions were amazing, as there were more than 110 USPHL alumni in the top 10 of scoring for NCAA Division 1 teams (this number includes alumni of all USPHL member organizations).
More than 370 alumni of the USPHL and its member organizations were among the 900+ top 10 scorers in NCAA Division 3 hockey.
That equals out to more than one-third of all NCAA Division 3 top 10 scorers having played for organizations currently fielding teams in the United States Premier Hockey League.
Shifting our attention to the crease, there were 56 former USPHL goaltenders who led their NCAA team in games played through the start of February. This number includes an astounding 47 leading goaltenders out of the 91 NCAA Division 2 and 3 teams that saw development in the USPHL - more than half of all NCAA Division 2 and 3 leading goaltenders!
USPHL players don’t just commit to colleges - they become leaders.
The detailed research also yielded additional insights into the impact of USPHL players on today’s college game:
- At of the end of January, there were 17 alumni of the USPHL and its member organizations who were the top scorers of their NCAA Division 1 teams, and 25 more were leading their NCAA Division 3 squads.
- More than 40 additional USPHL and member organization alumni were second on their NCAA teams in scoring, putting the total at more than 80 top two scorers nationwide.
- Out of the 480+ top 10 scorers in the NCAA, nearly half of those were ranked in the top five of NCAA teams’ point scoring.
- More than 40 top-scoring defensemen ranking among the top 10 for their NCAA teams played in the USPHL and for its member organizations. That equals to one-quarter of all such defensemen in the NCAA game today.
- The top 10 scorers for six NCAA Division 1 teams and 44 NCAA Division 3 teams consisted of a majority of USPHL and member organization alumni.
- Fourteen of the top 20 NCAA Division 1 teams in the most recent USCHO.com poll featured USPHL and member organization alumni among the top 10 in scoring or top goaltenders.
- Fourteen of the top 15-ranked NCAA Division 3 teams in the most recent USCHO.com poll also featured USPHL and member organization alumni among their top 10 scorers and top goaltenders.
Former Syracuse Jr. Stars (now Utica Jr. Comets) 16U standout David Farranace was the top scorer as a defenseman for the Terriers at the end of January, and he was third among all NCAA Division 1 defensemen.
He is one of eight alumni of current USPHL teams to be counted among the Terriers’ top 10 scorers. This includes fellow former USPHL Midget standouts Domenick Fensore, Matthew Quercia and Ethan Phillips, as well as former USPHL junior alum Gabe Chabot. Chabot led the Rochester team in the USPHL Premier in scoring in 2015-16.
Trevor Zegras, a 2019 first round NHL Draft pick by Anaheim, played Midget hockey for EHF Selects members the Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers and Patrick Harper cut his teeth in the Rockets Hockey Club system.
The Big Green’s leading scorer is former Boston Junior Bruins NCDC standout Drew O’Connor, who has 24 points in 22 games this season. Just behind him at the No. 2 position is yet another former Junior Bruin in Quinn Foreman.
The leading scorer among Big Green defenseman is Tanner Palocsik, last year’s NCDC Player and Defenseman Of The Year. He is one of three former Hitmen in the top 10 of scoring for Dartmouth, also including Jeffrey Losurdo and Brendan Less. Mark Gallant, a former Islanders Hockey Club top performer, rounded out the top 10 for Dartmouth.
Two former Cape Cod Whalers (current EHF Selects members) ranked among the top five in scoring, those being the Huskies’ top scoring defenseman Ryan Shea and Aidan McDonough.
They helped Northeastern to a No. 13 national ranking as January came to a close.
Former Islanders Hockey Club U16 player Jordan Harris was just outside the top five, along with former Hitmen Grant Jozefek, former Junior Bruin John Picking, and former Boston Jr. Eagle Jayden Struble.
The cherry on top, however, was goaltender Craig Pantano. The former South Shore Kings keeper had played in all 23 of the Huskies’ games this season.
University of Maine
Tim Doherty, who scored 138 points with the Junior Bruins in the USPHL Premier Division when that level represented the top tier of USPHL hockey, just crossed the 30-point mark for the 2019-20 season with the Black Bears.
Fellow former Junior Bruins Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup and Patrick Shea also ranked in the top 10 for Maine.
Additionally, former Boston Bandit Eduards Tralmaks - who hit the ice in Bridgewater prior to the team’s USPHL tenure - was among the top five.
The Bantams were ranked fourth across the 90-plus team pantheon of NCAA Division 3 hockey, and eight of the top 10 can claim USPHL and member organization roots.
This includes former Mid-Fairfield Jr. Ranger Barclay Gammill, the team’s top scorer with 23 points. He is followed very closely by Islanders Hockey Club alum Lucas Michaud, with 21 points.
Three former South Shore Kings defensemen round out Trinity’s top five - Michael Grande, Liam Feeney and Timothy Weinstein.
Additional USPHL Premier alumni in the top 10 include Dylan Healey, James Callahan and Jack McCarthy.
Former South Shore Kings goalie Tedy Loughborough ranks in the top 10 nationwide for goals against average (1.93).
Speaking of amazing goalies, how about that Tom Aubrun in Norwich? The former USPHL Premier Rochester goalie leads in both goals against average (0.99) and save percentage (.960)
Aubrun isn’t the only USPHL alum that has helped lead Norwich to the No. 1 overall ranking in NCAA Division 3 at the end of January. Former USPHL 16U players Ryan Boucher (Junior Bruins) and Noah Williams (Utica Jr. Comets), as well as former South Shore Kings Premier standout Jordan Hall were counted among Norwich’s top 10 scorers.
At No. 3 in the most recent NCAA Division 3 poll were the Knights.
Former Hitman Conlan Keenan not only has bypassed 30 points (34 in 20 games), but he has worn the captain’s “C” for two straight seasons and preceded that with an “A” on his jersey as a sophomore. His 34 points were good for fifth in the nation.
Also in the top five of scoring for the No. 3 Knights was former Rochester Monarchs NCDC player Chris Perna. Further down SUNY-Geneseo’s top 10, you’ll find two more former Hitmen in David Szmyd and Tanner Salsberry, as well as another former USPHL Premier star Devin Brink.
Lake Forest College
When you go out to the Midwest, you’ll also find USPHL alumni putting together strong seasons for top programs, including the No. 6 Lake Forest College.
Former Syracuse/Utica Premier player Mark DerManulian is clicking at a better than point-per-game pace for Lake Forest, with 22 points in 20 games - and 19 of those points were assists, placing DerManulian in the top 20 nationwide for helpers.
Two former Rochester stars Austin Aksoy and David Cohen were also among Lake Forest’s Top 10 as well as Connor Duncan, who played for the USPHL Premier organization now known as the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes.
It is well proven that no matter where you go in NCAA hockey - East or West, Division 1 or 3 - you will find that unmistakable, highly-accomplished USPHL stamp across the college hockey landscape.