Twenty-nine players hit the ice for the first time here in Everett. In front of a crowd that included local fans and youth hockey teams, Coach Hastings put the team through cross-ice drills, center-ice skills and more. The skate, which lasted just over an hour, closed with some private comments at center ice before players and staff took part in media availability.
AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT TIES
In total, 25 players have skated in at least one USA Hockey Player Development Camp while 20 have played in a USA Hockey Youth National Championship, including several who did so as youth hockey teammates. Additionally, a total of 25 players have spent time playing in USA Hockey-sanctioned junior hockey leagues, 13 of which are products of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, including two current NTDP members. For more, visit page five of the camp notes.
On Dec. 4, the NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the expansion application from the NHL Seattle group to bring the yet-to-be named team into the League for the start of the 2021-22 season. Over the last 10 seasons, the number of players part of USA Hockey in the Seattle metropolitan area, which includes Bellevue, has increased by 46%.
Current NHL players and former U.S. national team members T.J. Oshie, Tyler Johnson, Derek Ryan and Kailer Yamamoto all hail from the state.
Speaking on the news of NHL Seattle, as well as the fans in attendance, John Vanbiesbrouck said, "I think USA Hockey's excited about an NHL team coming to this part of the country. It's going to help grow the game here in the Northwest Pacific. You know, it's been fun getting to the rink here and seeing some youth hockey games here last night and this morning, and it was fun seeing them return the favor and watch our practice here today."
COACHING STAFF'S WINNING PEDIGREE
All five members of the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team coaching staff hold winning pedigrees at the junior, collegiate and international level. Combined, the staff has contributed to four international championships, seven NCAA national titles, 32 conference championships (regular- and post-season) and two USHL titles.
Internationally, Mike Hastings guided the U.S. Junior Select Team to the 2000 Viking Cup while assistant coach David Lassonde has served on two championship-winning U.S. teams, including the gold medal-winning 2013 U.S. National Junior Team and 2017 U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Team. Additionally, assistant coach Steve Miller helped the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team to a gold medal finish.
Last season, Scott Sandelin led the University of Minnesota Duluth to its second NCAA national championship in program history after guiding UMD to its first-ever title in 2011. He also won two titles with the University of North Dakota (1997, 2000). Meanwhile, Miller has been on three NCAA title-winning programs, including back-to-back seasons with the University of Denver (2004, 2005) and once with Providence College (2015).