With most teams getting to the 1/3 mark of the season, I thought I would post my predictions for the end of the season All-USHL First, Second, and Rookie Teams, as well as Rookie of the Year, Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, and Coach of the Year.
This looks to be pretty tough to predict with so many talented players in this league. I'll do my best and see how it turns out at season's end. If I am anywhere close, the Gamblers could be taking home quite a few awards.
All-USHL First Team:
F - Daniil Tarasov - Indiana Ice
F - Zemgus Girgensons - Dubuque Fighting Saints
F - Kevin Roy - Lincoln Stars
D - Andrew Welinski - Green Bay Gamblers
D - Alex Barron - Indiana Ice
G - Ryan McKay - Green Bay Gamblers
All-USHL Second Team:
F - Sean Kuraly - Indiana Ice
F - Alex Broadhurst - Green Bay Gamblers
F - Austin Farley - Fargo Force
D - Jordan Schmaltz - Green Bay Gamblers
D - Paul Ladue - Lincoln Stars
G - Stephon Williams - Sioux Falls Stampede
Honorable Mention: Jacob Fallon (Indiana), Brad Robbins (Sioux City), Jimmy Murray (Omaha), Brian Cooper (Fargo), Markus Lauridsen (Omaha), Jackson Teichroeb (Lincoln), Matt Morris (Dubuque).
All-USHL Rookie Team:
F - Taylor Cammarata - Waterloo Black Hawks
F - Austin Cangelosi - Youngstown Phantoms
F - Robbie Baillargeon - Indiana Ice
D - Michael Matheson - Dubuque Fighting Saints
D - Ralfs Freiburgs - Lincoln Stars
G - Jason Kasdorf - Des Moines Buccaneers
Honorable Mention: Kyle Novak (Green Bay), Casey Bailey (Omaha), Dakota Klecha (Muskegon), Kevin Schulze (Omaha), Paul LaDue (Lincoln), Alex Lyon (Omaha).
Rookie of the Year: Taylor Cammarata - Waterloo Black Hawks
As of now, this award (to me anyways) is between Lincoln's Kevin Roy and Cammarata. I know it's still way early, but these two have stepped into the USHL and been pretty dominant. Even more impressive for Cammarata, and why I give him the nod over Roy right now, is the fact he is only 16. It's extremely impressive for a kid that young to be among the league leaders in points and if he keeps his pace going, (currently on an 8 game scoring streak) I think this award is his.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Roy (Lincoln)
Forward of the Year: Daniil Tarasov - Indiana Ice
This was a tough decision. I have it coming down to two imports, Tarasov and Zemgus Girgensons. You can't argue either way, but I feel Tarasov will continue to have another monster season alongside Sean Kuraly and Jacob Fallon in Indiana.
Honorable Mention: Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque)
Defenseman of the Year: Andrew Welinski - Green Bay Gamblers
Welinski is an ideal defenseman, scoring almost a point-per-game, as well as being defensively sound. He currently leads all defensemen among scoring and +/- rating. Welinski is a draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, so he is really good right now, and will also get much better. I feel at this point of the season, it's a pretty easy pick.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Schmaltz (Green Bay)
Goaltender of the Year: Ryan McKay - Green Bay Gamblers
Currently, McKay is the best goalie in the league and hardly gives up goals. He has only given up 19 goals in 12 games, so just under a goal against per game. That's darn good and I don't see any reason for McKay to stop putting up spectacular numbers, barring an injury.
Honorable Mention: Matt Morris (Dubuque)
Coach of the Year: Derek LaLonde - Green Bay Gamblers
Seems like overkill on Green Bay, but LaLonde steps in as a first year head coach and has continued on the Gamblers' winning ways. This one could go quite a few ways with Dubuque being a championship caliber team again and quite a few teams off to a good start that had a less than stellar season last year.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Noreen (Youngstown)