The puck drops at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Toronto, when the Maple Leafs and Senators square off in the first of 1,271 games for the 103rd season of the National Hockey League (NHL). Among the 31 teams, 90 Selects alumni hold a spot on opening-night rosters from league superstar Connor McDavid (96 ECS-O) to highly-touted rookie Kaapo Kakko (01 Finland Selects).
Here’s a couple quick hits on Selects around the league to get you ready for the season:
- Defending champion St. Louis returns all four Selects alumni that helped the organization win its first Stanley Cup in June, with Ryan O’Reilly (91 ECS), Robert Thomas (99 ECS-O), Robby Fabbri (96 ECS-O) and Jake Allen (90 ECS) in the lineup against Washington.
- 28-of-31 NHL teams begin the season with at least one former Selects player on the roster, and 24 of them include multiple alumni.
- No team begins the season with more Selects on their opening-night rosters than the Maple Leafs with seven. Mitch Marner (97 ECS-O) and William Nylander (96 Sweden Selects) headline the group, along with Travis Dermott (96 ECS-O), Timothy Liljegren (99 Sweden Selects), Rasmus Sandin (00 Sweden Selects), Kasperi Kapanen (96 Cougars) and Dmytro Timashov (96 Sweden Selects).
- The most alumni originated from our East Coast Selects teams, accounting for 41 NHL players from 10 different birth years. The ‘89 ECS was the original Selects team in 2004; a squad that featured current San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
- Sweden Selects (16) and Finland Selects (10) are the most represented European programs, with Czech Selects following closely with six alumni.
- A wealth of rookies will make their NHL debuts including Tobias Bjornfot (01 Sweden Selects) with the Los Angeles Kings, Nick Suzuki (99 ECS-O) with Montreal, Joel Farabee (00 WCS) with Philadelphia and Cody Glass (99 WCAN) with Vegas, among others.
It’s officially hockey season with the NHL resuming action after a 112-day offseason. Check out a complete list of alumni in the league HERE and see who’s playing on your favorite team today!
The Canadian Hockey League’s (CHL) three subsidiary organizations — Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and Western Hockey League (WHL) — began regular-season action over the weekend, while the United States Hockey League (USHL) is slated to start later this week. The “Big Four” major junior hockey entities in North America serve as breeding ground for the next group of NCAA and NHL players, each scattered with a wealth of former Selects players.
In total, nearly 350 Selects alumni are in position to compete at junior hockey’s highest level.
All 20 teams in the OHL have at least two alumni on their 30-man rosters for the upcoming season. The Saginaw Spirit leading the way with 10, including their team captain Damien Giroux (00 East Coast Selects-Q). Four other alumni have also been announced as captains for their respective teams, including defending Robertson Cup champion Guelph Storm’s Cam Hillis (00 East Coast Selects-O), Liam Ham (99 East Coast Selects-O) for the Mississauga Steelheads and both co-captains for the Kitchener Rangers with Riley Damiani (00 East Coast Selects-O) and Greg Meireles (99 East Coast Selects-Q).
With 122 Selects alumni in the OHL, more than 20 percent of all active players in the league this season will have ties to the program.
In addition to that, 15-of-18 teams in the QMJHL also have Selects representation on their rosters. A diverse league, the 41 alumni stem from eight different countries including our North American-based Selects teams and academy, Austria Selects (2), Czech Selects (2), Finland Selects (1), Germany Selects (3), Latvia Selects (2) and Slovakia Selects (2).
Major strides were taken to improve Selects reach and impact on Western Canada, beginning with the ‘02 and ‘03-birth years. Just a few short years later, those pioneering players in the program now set their sites on the WHL, accounting for 77 alumni spread across all 22 teams in the league. That also includes the last two players to be selected first overall in the 2018 and 2019 WHL Bantam Drafts with Dylan Guenther (03 Western Canada Selects) and Matthew Savoie (03 Western Canada Selects) respectively. Amidst the overall group are 21 players from the 02-birth year from Western Canada Selects and 22 players from the 03-birth year between WCAN and Pacific Selects teams.
The smallest league of the group, the 16-team USHL features 88 alumni in addition to 24 more players that are members of this year’s U.S. National Team Development Program. Both of those figures are record highs for the Selects program that continues to evolve, adapt and grow to reach more youth hockey players every year.
Roughly 349 major junior and Tier-I junior players in North America have roots stemming from the 02 Jr. Selects teams, East Coast, West Coast and Western Canada Selects teams, as well as 10 different European Selects teams and regions.
Interested in joining our Selects Hockey family? Check out THESE DATES and see how you can get involved today!
Lake Placid, New York, is the site of the three-game series between Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, as their respective U18 and U22 women’s squads face off this week. Game One of each series got underway on Wednesday with 40 Selects alumni competing for their respective countries.
The U.S. won the first U22 game 4-3 in overtime of a game that featured 12 Selects sporting the Stars and Bars as well as five more for Team Canada. Hannah Bilka scored the game-winning goal at the 4:01 mark of the extra period, with Cayla Barnes setting up the play. Grace Zumwinkle had the only multi-point performance of the day with a goal and an assist for Team USA, Gabby Hughes added an assist to the stat sheet as well. For Team Canada, it was Kristin O’Neill tying the game with less than 90 seconds to play in regulation.
Game Two on Thursday also went in favor of USA, with a 4-2 final. Presley Norby and Bilka adding a goal apiece to an impressive second half of action at Herb Brooks Arena.
The U18 series has been throughout, with both games decided by just one goal. Five Selects alumni were victorious with Team Canada in Game One, as Aly McLeod’s two goals propelling The North to a 5-4 win.
Back-to-back power-play goals by Abbey Murphy — the first with eight seconds left in regulation and the second coming 1:32 into overtime — evened the U18 series at a game apiece, giving Team USA and its 18 Selects alumni their first win of the series.
In total, 40 Selects proudly represent their countries during this hotly contested three-game series which will conclude on Saturday afternoon.
Hockey Canada and USA Hockey host their U18 and U22 national team camps this month, with Canada concluding over the weekend and USA in full swing this week. More than 60 prominent Selects alumni were invited to their countries’ respective camps, as players vie for roster spots in the upcoming three-game Summer Showcase series in Lake Placid, New York.
20 of the 31 Americans in attendance for U18 camp stem from Selects, including forwards Ellie Bayard, Katie Davis, Lacey Eden, Peyton Hemp, Ella Huber, Katherine Khramtsov, Gabby Krause, Sydney Langseth, Abbey Murphy, Kirsten Simms, Clara Van Wieren, Makenna Webster and Kiara Zanon. While no goalie in attendance comes from a Selects background, seven of the 10 defenders in camp do, including Mia Biotti, Caroline Harvey, Vivian Jungels, Lyndie Lobdell, Maggie Nicholson, Maddy Samoskevich and Haley Winn.
As far as U22 camp attendees, 28 former Selects will look to represent Team USA later this month. Cayla Barnes, Lauren Bernard, Grace Bowlby, Natalie Buchbinder, Jincy Dunne, Maggie Flaherty, Skylar Fontaine, Hadley Hartmetz, Gabbie Hughes, Kat Hughes, Nicole LaMantia, Makayla Langei, Patti Marshall, Maddie Rolfes, Ally Simpson and Olivia Zafuto are among defenders lobbying for roster spots. Up front, Hannah Bilka, Clair DeGeorge, Becca Gilmore, Maddi Mills, Maureen Murphy, Presley Norby, Emily Oden, Melissa Samoskevich, Sophia Shaver and Grace Zumwinkle will compete to be one of the 12 forward spots while Lindsay Reed and Abby Levy are among camp goaltenders.
Eleven former Selects concluded camp over the weekend for Team Canada, with Lindsay Agnew, Jaime Bourbonnais, Emma Buckels, Claire Dalton, Sarah Fillier, Alexie Guay, Maggie MacEachern, Emma Maltais, Kristen O’Neill, Danielle Serdachny and Daryl Watts making their case for the U22 squad.
Canada’s U18 camp concluded with Lindsay Bochna, Brianna Brooks, Makenna Chokelal, Brianna Legros, Ashley Messier, Maddi Wheeler and Tatum White in the mix.
The Women’s National Festival three-game series will begin on August 14th, between Team Canada’s and Team USA’s U18 and U22 squads respectively. Hosted in Lake Placid, New York, the next chapter of the Canada-U.S. rivalry will be written with Selects alumni heavily involved.
The first annual Hockey Hall of Fame Future Stars Tournament crowned its ‘06 and ‘07 Division champions on Sunday. The individual-entry event follows in the format of the Future Legends Invitational in April, offering players the opportunity to return to the unique tournament as well as welcoming new players to the field.
The ‘06 Division was won by Team Orr after going 5-1-0 in the tournament. After being drafted on Thursday afternoon, the 15-man roster quickly became acclimated with one another by winning their first two games of the event by a combined total of nine goals. Team Orr’s lone loss on the weekend — a 7-2 decision at the hands of Team Lemieux — would be avenged in the championship game when Orr shut out Lemieux 7-0 to win the gold medal.
Forward Toms Trockis led Team Orr and the ‘06 Division in scoring with five goals and eight points in five games. Trockis and Marek Beaudoin combined to score one-third of Team Orr’s goals en route to the championship.
In the ‘07 Division, Team Gretzky took the top spot with a 5-1-0 record. After winning three of their four round-robin games by just one goal, Team Gretzky propelled themselves into the championship game with a 4-2 win over Team Orr before defeating Team Howe in the gold medal game.
Louis François Bélanger of Team Brodeur stood out in the ‘07 Division, scoring 12 goals and 13 points in five tournament games to lead all participants.
The Future Stars Tournament adds a new wrinkle to Selects’ Hockey Hall of Fame series in Toronto, regularly hosting some of the best players in the world at these individual-entry events. Looking to elevate both the Future Legends and Future Stars tournaments to new heights in 2020, you can get involved with one of these great tournaments by filling out the form HERE.
The 2019 NHL Draft proved to be a banner year for South Kent Selects Academy, having four alumni get selected during the weekend in Vancouver. Former Selects Shane Pinto (2016 – 2018), Zac Jones (2015 – 2018), Ethan Phillips (2016 – 2019) and Dominic Basse (2018 – 2019) heard their names called — all on the second day of the draft — and are set to join NHL organizations at their respective development camps later this summer.
Shane Pinto, Second Round, 32nd Overall by the Ottawa Senators
Verbally committed to the University of North Dakota for the ‘19-20 season, Pinto played 56 games this season in the USHL, totaling 28 goals and 59 points. The New York native spent two seasons at Selects Academy, as Pinto was second on the 18U team in scoring with 39 goals and 73 points in 61 games, helping the program to a 2018 Tier-I national championship.
Zac Jones, Third Round, 68th Overall by the New York Rangers
A 5-foot-10, left-hand shot defenseman, Jones served as captain of the 18U team during its national championship run in 2018. He was named the USHL’s Rookie of the Year this season after scoring seven goals and 52 points in 56 games in his first year of junior hockey. Jones will make the jump to college hockey next season when he joins UMass-Amherst in the fall.
Ethan Phillips, Fourth Round, 97th Overall by the Detroit Red Wings
After starting the ‘18-19 season in South Kent with the 18U squad, Phillips was summoned to Sioux Falls in the USHL where he played 50 regular-season games. The Boston University commit added 16 goals and 43 points this season as well as five points in six games during the Stampede’s playoff run that ended with a Clark Cup championship.
Dominic Basse, Sixth Round, 167th Overall by the Chicago Blackhawks
During his first season at Selects Academy, Basse boasted a 1.91 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in 42 games for the 18U team. His 48-save effort helped the program repeat as Tier-I national champions this past April. The 6-foot-6 netminder is verbally committed to join Colorado College in ‘21-22 and his junior rights belong to the Youngstown Phantoms in the USHL.
Four Selects Academy alumni selected in a single draft is a program record, expanding upon the two alumni chosen in 2018 and the three alumni chosen in 2017. In total, 13 players have left the program to go on and be selected in the NHL Draft including last year’s 14th overall pick Joel Farabee (2014 – 2016) and 2016 second-round pick Andrew Peeke (2013 – 2015).
Want more from our Selects Academy or learn how you can get involved? Click HERE.
More than 300 Selects alumni have walked across the stage at the NHL Draft after hearing their names called over the past 12 years. The 2019 Draft in Vancouver, however, would be a record year for the program with 60 former players being chosen from 10 different Selects teams, regions and countries across the ‘99, ‘00 and ‘01-birth years.
The New York Rangers’ second-overall pick Kaapo Kakko (‘01 Finland Selects) headlined the group, as one-of-16 Finnish Selects players to be chosen and the first to be selected among alumni. He was followed by third-overall Kirby Dach (‘01 Western Canada Selects), sixth-overall Moritz Seider (01 Germany Selects), eighth-overall Philip Broberg (‘01 Sweden Selects) and ninth-overall Trevor Zegras (‘01 East Coast Selects-Q).
In all, 14 Selects players were among the first 31 picks in Friday’s Round 1 festivities. Day two was sprinkled with a plethora of alumni throughout the remaining six rounds including:
Round 2: 6
Round 3: 10
Round 4: 8
Round 5: 5
Round 6: 10
Round 7: 5
Of the 31 NHL teams, 24 finished the weekend by adding at least one Selects alum to its organization. The Detroit Red Wings led the way with six of their 11 picks having ties to Selects, including Seider, Robert Mastrosimone (‘01 East Coast Selects-O), Albin Grewe (‘01 Sweden Selects), Ethan Phillips (Selects Academy), Cooper Moore (‘01 Junior Selects) and Gustav Berglund (‘01 Sweden Selects).
With six different North American Selects regions and a dozen European programs, the diversity of international alumni was on full display at the draft.
Finland Selects: 16
East Coast Selects-Q: 10
Sweden Selects: 8
West Coast Selects: 7
East Coast Selects-O: 6
Junior Selects: 4
Selects Academy: 3
Western Canada Selects: 3
Czech Selects: 2
Germany Selects: 1
The total number of alumni drafted in 2019 dwarfs the previous high of 44 at the 2016 Draft in Buffalo. Seeing 60 more Selects pursue their NHL dreams adds to the pool of nearly 400 former players that have gone on to join organizations at the game’s highest level. Last season, 124 alumni appeared in at least one NHL game and with ever increasing numbers involved in the draft process, it will certainly be fun and exciting to see where this class ends up making their mark in the league as well.
For more on our alumni or how you can get involved with Selects program click HERE.
Former ‘91 East Coast Selects forward Ryan O’Reilly helped the St. Louis Blues capture their first Stanley Cup in history, defeating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 on Wednesday night. The championship marks a seventh consecutive year in which a Selects player has won the Stanley Cup and the first time that multiple alumni aided in the championship run.
O’Reilly was named MVP of the NHL Playoffs, being awarded the Conn Smythe trophy after he scored 23 points in 26 games, including five goals and nine points in the Final. He became the first player since Wayne Gretzky in 1985 to score a goal in four consecutive Cup Final games and the first person to receive the award in his first season with a team.
Backup goaltender Jake Allen (‘90 East Coast Selects) served an integral role during the team’s regular season, appearing in 46 games with a 19-17-8 record, .905 save percentage and 2.83 goals-against average along with three shutouts.
Both Robby Fabbri ( ‘96 East Coast Selects-O) and rookie Robert Thomas (‘99 East Coast Selects-O) were in and out of the lineup during the Cup Final largely due to injuries. Thomas played in Games 1 and 5, scoring one goal and six points during the Blues’ playoff run after appearing in 70 regular-season games during his first season in the NHL. Fabbri was inserted into the lineup for Games 2 and 3 when Thomas went down with an undisclosed injury. The 23-year-old centerman scored 16 points in 30 regular-season games.
The 2019 Blues mark the first time that multiple alumni were represented on the championship-winning team. According to NHL requirements, a player must appear in 41 regular-season games OR one Stanley Cup Final game to be eligible to get their names etched on the Cup. All four alumni meet that criteria and should those requirements hold true, the foursome’s names will join the likes of Alex Chiasson (‘91 East Coast Selects), Bryan Rust (‘92 East Coast Selects), Brandon Saad (‘92 East Coast Selects) and Tyler Toffoli (‘92 East Coast Selects) on hockey’s Holy Grail.
Interested in learning more about our Selects program or how you can get involved? Check it out HERE for more information.
With nearly 200 active Selects alumni in the Canadian Hockey League’s three subsidiary leagues, a wealth of former players put together successful and noteworthy campaigns during the ‘18-19 season. The OHL, QMJHL and WHL recently concluded their awards ceremonies in which the trio of leagues recognized many former Selects.
Quinton Byfield was recognized with the Emms Family Award as the OHL’s Rookie of the Year. The ‘02 East Coast Selects-O alum became the fourth Selects player to earn the award, joining Ryan Merkley (‘00 East Coast Selects-O), Connor McDavid (‘96 East Coast Selects-O) and Aaron Ekblad (‘96 East Coast Selects-O).
For a third year in a row, Nick Suzuki (‘99 East Coast Selects) was named the recipient of the William Hanley Trophy. Awarded to the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, Suzuki is one-of-four players to receive the trophy on multiple occasions and the only person in its 55-year history to be given the award three times.
In the WHL, Cody Glass (‘99 Western Canada Selects) was the runner-up to Justin Almeida for the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year. Captain of the Portland Winterhawks, Glass scored 15 goals and 69 points in 38 games this season while also appearing in six games for the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Chicago Wolves. The former first-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, Glass is expected to be a full-time player in the AHL next season.
Raphael Lavoie (‘00 East Coast Selects-Q) was honored with the Michael Bossy Award as the QMJHL’s Top Professional Prospect. The 20th ranked prospect among North American players according to the NHL’s Central Scouting, Lavoie scored 32 goals and 73 points in the regular season and added 32 points in 23 playoff games during the Halifax Mooseheads’ run to the QMJHL Finals.
A couple academic honorees in the OHL as well, with Thomas Harley (‘01 East Coast Selects-O) receiving the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year. Three of the last five recipients of the award have been Selects alumni, including Harley, McDavid and Sasha Chmelevski (‘99 West Coast Selects). This year, Chmelevski continued to earn recognition by earning the Roger Neilson Memorial Award as the Top Academic Post-Secondary Student.
Mack Guzda (‘01 Junior Selects) became the first person to receive the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award twice in his career as the Top Academic High School Student. Guzda shared the 2019 award with Zack Terry.
For an eighth consecutive year, the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final will feature at least one former player from our Selects program. The 2019 St. Louis Blues actually featured three Selects alumni on their roster for Game 1 on Monday, including forwards Ryan O’Reilly (‘91 East Coast Selects) and Robert Thomas (‘99 East Coast Selects-O) in addition to backup goaltender Jake Allen (‘90 East Coast Selects).
The trio matches a previous high by one team in which the Nashville Predators’ Stanley Cup roster featured three alumni during the 2017 final as well. The string of former Selects reaching the Stanley Cup Final goes back to the 2012 finale in which Jacob Josefson (‘91 East Coast Selects) dressed for the New Jersey Devils. During this eight-year streak, there have been 14 instances in which a Selects alum has had a shot at the Cup. Bryan Rust (‘92 East Coast Selects) with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Brandon Saad (‘92 East Coast Selects) with the Chicago Blackhawks have been victorious in both of their appearances along with Tylor Toffoli (‘92 East Coast Selects) with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.
In addition to the Blues’ three players, the Boston Bruins list two more Selects alumni — Urho Vaakanainen (‘99 Finland Selects) and Jakub Zboril (‘97 Czech Selects) — as scratches.