Four of the 14 member teams in the USHL kicked off the 2020-21 season on Friday night. A slightly delayed start date due to COVID-19, and three of the scheduled seven games this past weekend were postponed. Nonetheless, the 24-week, 54-game slate began with eight former MI-HS players on active rosters for opening weekend.
Two recent college commits in John Druskinis (Hartland, 2020) and Connor McGrath (Cranbrook, 2019) are positioned to make their USHL debuts. Druskinis committed to the University of Michigan two weeks ago and could spend this upcoming season with in-state Muskegon Lumberjacks. McGrath announced his decision to go to Air Force last week and will join Youngstown after splitting last season between MI-AAA and the NAHL.
Two Upper Peninsula natives Alex Nordstrom (Hancock, 2019) and Brayden Stannard (Escanaba, 2021) made the opening-night roster for the neighboring Green Bay Gamblers. One-time KLAA foes are now teammates for the Lincoln Stars in Jake Beaune (Livonia Stevenson, 2018) and Joey Larson (Hartland, 2019). Jordan Venegoni (Livonia Churchill, 2018) and Cooper Black (Alpena, 2019) will also make their USHL debuts after spending last season in the NAHL.
With eight alumni on USHL rosters, it is the most MI-HS representation in the league for a single season over the past three years. Did we miss anyone? Connect with me on Twitter and let’s talk about where these players have been, where they are and where they’re heading.
Craig Peterson’s comments and opinions are that of his own, and are in no way directly tied to that of the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches’ Association (MHSHCA), its member coaches, or board members. Any questions, comments or concerns regarding his work can be addressed directly to the author of the article.