The United States Hockey League today announced the Center Trophy USHL All-Rookie Team as determined by a vote of League coaches.
First-year players named to the Center Trophy All-Rookie Team include; Indiana Ice goaltender Cab Morris, defensemen Mac Bennett of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Nate Schmidt of the Fargo Force, along with forwards Anders Lee of the Green Bay Gamblers, T.J. Tynan of the Des Moines Buccaneers, and Erik Haula of the Omaha Lancers.
“It’s probably not accurate to call these outstanding young hockey players ‘rookies’,” said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince, “because they’re all leaders of their teams, and current as well as future stars. Spread among almost half of this year’s Member Clubs, they have made an individual and collective impact in the most competitive season ever in the USHL. Congratulations to all of them for achieving this prestigious award as they develop as great hockey players and great young men.”
The USHL All-Rookie Team recognizes first-year USHL players who were not classified as Junior ‘A’ veterans upon entering the League.
Cab Morris (G), Indiana Ice
The 18-year-old native of Wilmette, Illinois won 21 games in net for the Ice during his first USHL season. He was third among League goaltenders with a .913 save percentage and fifth with a 2.57 goals-against-average. Morris also posted three shutouts. Three times this season he was named USHL Goaltender of the Week and was also selected to compete in the 2010 USHL All-Star Game, but was unable to participate due to injury. He is committed to Dartmouth College following his USHL career.
Mac Bennett (D), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
The defenseman from Warwick, Rhode Island recorded 24 points (9g, 15a) and a plus-17 rating in 53 games during his rookie season with the RoughRiders. Three of his goals were game-winners, tying him for third among USHL blueliners. The recently turned 19-year-old was selected to play in the 2010 USHL All-Star Game in January. Bennett was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round (79th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He will play collegiately at the University of Michigan.
Nate Schmidt (D), Fargo Force
An 18-year-old from St. Cloud, Minnesota, Schmidt posted 37 points (14g, 23a) in 57 regular season games for the Force. He tied for third among League defenseman with 14 goals and was third with 175 shots on goal. The defenseman scored two goals in his USHL debut on October 2nd, 2009. He collected an assist at the USHL All-Star Game in January. Schmidt will play collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota following his USHL career.
Anders Lee (F), Green Bay Gamblers
The recently named the USHL Rookie of the Year tied for tenth in League scoring with 66 points (35g, 31a) and was one of three players to lead the USHL with 35 goals during the regular season. The 19-year-old native of Edina, Minnesota led the League with nine game-winning goals and ranked second overall with a plus-38 rating. He equaled a USHL season high with a goal in eight straight games. A 2010 USHL All-Star Game selection, Lee will play hockey next season at the University of Notre Dame.
T.J. Tynan (F), Des Moines Buccaneers
The 18-year-old from Orland Park, Illinois tied for fifth in USHL scoring with 72 points (17g, 55a) while playing in all 60 regular season games for the Buccaneers. He led the USHL with 55 assists and set a League season high when he dished out five assists in a 6-4 win over Fargo on November 19th, 2009. Tynan began his USHL career with a point in his first five games (4g, 4a). He is committed to play hockey at the University of Notre Dame following his time in the USHL.
Erik Haula (F), Omaha Lancers
The native of Pori, Finland, who turned 19 last month, tied with Tynan for fifth in League scoring with 72 points (28g, 44a) in 56 regular season games. He tied for eighth in the USHL with 28 goals, five of which were game-winners, and his plus-36 rating tied for the fourth best mark. A 2010 USHL All-Star, he equaled two League season highs on November 6th, 2009 when he scored four goals and collected six points (4g, 2a). The 2009 NHL Draft pick by the Minnesota Wild will play collegiately at the University of Minnesota.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)