Unlike last autumn, the United States Hockey League (USHL) does not have the bittersweet task of diverting NHL fans from the top professional circuit’s agonizing inaction. Even so, nothing is to change in terms of the country’s top junior league percolating another influx of prominent prospects for the next NHL entry draft.
The USHL is coming off a milestone in that department, having watched 32 of its past or present players pen their names to the 2013 selection board.
Not long after that, a July press release from the league rounded up the names of 28 then-tentative 2013-14 season participants who are on the NHL’s Central Scouting Services 2014 Future's List. The CSS itself posted 17 names under its USHL heading in a July 10 NHL.com submission.
It bears mentioning that some of the names on either or both lists no longer apply. For instance, Connor Chatham, Kevin Labanc and Ryan MacInnis have all since opted to go the Canadian major junior route.
Still, notable names remain on the immediate radar, whether the CSS has formally acknowledged them or not. In the coming months, they will likely have company in the form of some USHL peers, whether they are from a full-time member of the league or the U.S. National Team Development Program.
With the league’s game schedule set to begin on Friday, here are 20 USHL players to follow this season as they make their case for the 2014 NHL draft.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics and player information for this slideshow were found via eliteprospects.com.