The United States Hockey League announced the players who have been named team captains for the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game presented by CCM on January 23rd in Muskegon, Michigan.
Green Bay Gamblers forward Alex Kile and Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Michael Downing will each wear the “C” for Team East while Lincoln Stars forward Luke Johnson and Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Ian McCoshen will both don the letter for Team West.
Kile is playing his second USHL season after helping the Gamblers capture the Clark Cup during his rookie campaign. The 18-year-old from Troy, Michigan has collected 31 points (17g, 14a) in 32 games this season and ranks tied for 10th in the League with 17 goals. It is the second consecutive year that Kile has played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He scored a goal to help Team East earn a 5-3 win during the inaugural event. Over 90 USHL career regular season games, he has recorded 65 points (34g, 31a) and a plus-26 rating. Kile has added seven points (4g, 3a) in 12 playoff contests. He is committed to the University of Michigan.
Downing is also in his second USHL season and the defenseman has produced 11 points (1g, 10a) and a plus-11 rating in 26 games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. The 17-year-old from Canton, Michigan appeared in 54 games last season as a rookie and scored 14 points (4g, 10a) while adding two points (1g, 1a) in five playoff games. Downing was selected by the Saints with the third overall pick in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft. He recently was ranked #49 among North American skaters in the midterm rankings by NHL Central Scouting in advance of the 2013 NHL Draft. He is also committed play college hockey at the University of Michigan.
Johnson has totaled 21 points (7g, 14a) in 28 games for the Lincoln Stars this season. It is the second year in Lincoln for the 18-year-old forward after putting up 55 points (20g, 35a) in 55 games during the 2011-12 season. Over his USHL career, Johnson has collected 76 points (27g, 49a) and posted a plus-33 rating in 83 regular season games. He was ranked #78 among North American skaters in the recent midterm rankings by NHL Central Scouting. Johnson came to Lincoln after being selected in the first round (11th overall) of the 2010 USHL Futures Draft. The forward will return to his hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota following his USHL career and play college hockey at the University of North Dakota.
McCoshen is a third-year defenseman with the Waterloo Black Hawks and has already surpassed his USHL career highs in scoring with 22 points (6g, 16a) in 27 games this season. His plus-23 rating is currently tied for the sixth-best mark in the League. McCoshen was the second-highest rated USHL skater (#21 overall) in the midterm rankings by NHL Central Scouting. At just 17 years old, he has already appeared in 124 USHL regular season games and scored 48 points (14g, 34a). He was a key piece for the Black Hawks in their run to the Clark Cup Final last spring when he totaled seven points (4g, 3a) in 15 postseason contests. The Hudson, Wisconsin native will play hockey at Boston College following his USHL career.
It is the second season for the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which will showcase many of the top players in the USHL who are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft as they compete in front of scouts and personnel from NHL clubs. Players chosen for the event were based on a selection process that included input of the 16 USHL General Managers, NHL Central Scouting, and NHL team scouts and decision makers.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)