Three forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender earn first-year player honors
Chicago, IL - The United States Hockey League today announced the players named to the 2011-12 USHL All-Rookie Team as determined by a vote of USHL coaches and general managers.
The USHL All-Rookie Team recognizes first-year USHL players that were not classified as top-tier junior hockey veterans upon playing in the League this season. The honorees include seven players; Omaha Lancers goaltender Alex Lyon, defensemen Mike Matheson of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Nick Seeler of the Des Moines Buccaneers, Eddie Wittchow of the Waterloo Black Hawks, and forwards Taylor Cammarata of the Waterloo Black Hawks, Austin Cangelosi of the Youngstown Phantoms, and Kevin Roy of the Lincoln Stars.
"This was one of those great seasons where, looking around the USHL, you could say the future really is now," said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. "These special first-year players, playing on six Member Clubs, all were impact players for their teams and teammates. The USHL was a faster, tougher, more talented league because of their contribution, and they're our rising stars. Congratulations to this season's All-Rookie Team."
Alex Lyon (G), Omaha Lancers
The Baudette, Minnesota native posted a 28-15-3 record in helping the Lancers finish second in the Western Conference standings. His 28 wins, 19 of which came on the road, tied for the second most among USHL goaltenders and he was third in the League with 2,761 minutes played. The 19-year-old did not allow a goal in regulation during his first two starts of the season which were two of his four shutouts for the year, third most in the USHL. Lyon recorded 49 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss on February 24th and was one save shy of the USHL season high by a goaltender. He was selected to participate in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January. He is committed to play college hockey at Yale University.
Mike Matheson (D), Dubuque Fighting Saints
The 18-year-old led all Saints defensemen in scoring with 27 points (11g, 16a) in 53 regular season games. His 11 goals tied for the third most among USHL defensemen and three of those were game-winners, including one in each of the final two regular season victories for Dubuque. The native of Pointe-Claire, Quebec also contributed five points (4g, 1a) in five playoff games. He was selected to compete in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game but was unable to participate due to injury. Matheson is a top prospect for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft and was listed as #30 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings. He is committed to play hockey at Boston College following his USHL career.
Nick Seeler (D), Des Moines Buccaneers
The 18-year-old collected 28 points (4g, 24a) in 58 regular season games, tying for 11th in scoring among all USHL defensemen. He began the year with the Muskegon Lumberjacks before being acquired by the Des Moines Buccaneers midseason. Seeler was a top performer on special teams this season as he scored 13 of his points (3g, 10a) on the power play. He recorded a USHL career high three points (1g, 2a) and posted a plus-two rating on November 12th during a 5-4 win against Indiana. The defenseman was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the fifth round (131st overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft before starting his career in the USHL. He will play college hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Eddie Wittchow (D), Waterloo Black Hawks
The 19-year-old from Burnsville, Minnesota appeared in all 60 regular season games for the Black Hawks and recorded 18 points (5g, 13a) while leading the team with a plus-22 rating. His plus/minus rating tied for the sixth best mark among all USHL defensemen. The first USHL goal for Wittchow was the game-winner in the 6-3 victory over Dubuque on November 18th. He added four assists in the playoffs as he helped the Black Hawks reach the Clark Cup Final series. He was selected by the Florida Panthers in the sixth round (154th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft prior to beginning his USHL career in Waterloo. The 6-4, 200-pound defenseman is committed to play college hockey at the University of Wisconsin.
Taylor Cammarata (F), Waterloo Black Hawks
The forward was recently named the 2011-12 USHL Rookie of the Year after finishing sixth overall in USHL scoring with 69 points (27g, 42a) while appearing in all 60 regular season games. Cammarata, who just turned 17 earlier this month, was the youngest player in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) to surpass 60 points in a season. The Plymouth, Minnesota native was selected first overall by the Black Hawks in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft. He equaled a USHL season high for points in a game when he recorded five (2g, 3a) in the 7-0 win against Sioux Falls on March 23rd. Cammarata helped Waterloo reach the Clark Cup Final series and led the team with 16 points (8g, 8a) in 15 postseason contests. He is committed to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota following his USHL career.
Austin Cangelosi (F), Youngstown Phantoms
The 17-year-old was second on the Phantoms in scoring with 59 points (29g, 30a) in 53 regular season games. His 29 goals were the seventh highest total in the entire League. He opened his USHL career scoring eight goals over his first six USHL games, including three multi-goal efforts. The Estero, Florida native had three shorthanded goals over that stretch and finished the season with eight shorthanded tallies, one shy of equaling the USHL season record that has stood for nearly two decades. Cangelosi helped the Youngstown Phantoms record a team record 32 wins and earn their first ever berth in the USHL Clark Cup Playoffs. He scored five points (3g, 2a) in six postseason contests. The forward is committed to play hockey at Boston College following his USHL career.
Kevin Roy (F), Lincoln Stars
The recently turned 19-year-old had a record-breaking season as he collected 104 points (54g, 50a) in 59 regular season games, the most points in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present). He is the first USHL player to reach the 50-goal mark since the 1993-94 season and his total of 54 are the most by a USHL player since 1988-89. Roy led the Lincoln Stars to the best record in the Western Conference as they recorded 38 wins, the most victories for the organization in the past decade. The native of Lac Beauport, Quebec also led the USHL with a plus-44 rating and was tops in the League with 28 power play points (14g, 14a). He ended the regular season riding a 15-game point streak, amassing 31 points (16g, 15a) over that span. Roy will play college hockey next season at Brown University and is a top prospect for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 13 NHL draftees on its rosters this season, and over 250 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL is emerging as the world's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League's multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action online all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
It's not just hockey. It's the USHL.