Ivan Hlinka Gretzky Preview: USA

The first team to announce there roster for this year’s upcoming Ivan Hlinka/Gretzky summer U18 tournament. The American’s came into this year’s tournament with a strong roster than I have seen in recent years. Equipped with more top prospects and more big name players. In previous years it always seemed like the Americans would send a B team to the tournament that didn’t compete as well as there A team would. This year with names like Toporowski, Silianoff, Wolf, Kaliyev leading the charge, it seems like they have a much stronger roster than I can remember. Coming off of a placement game win, USA has only medalled once in the past three years and they usually don’t flash a first round calibre prospect like the few they might have on this year’s team. This year’s team has a strong offensive group backed with some solid goaltending, there defensive core is young and heavy on the left side so I am interested to see how they work that out but they should be a fairly fun team to watch in the offensive zone.

Previous Years Results

2018: Win Placement Game

2017: Loss in Finals (Silver)

2016: Win Placement Game

2015: Win in Secondary Finals (Bronze)

Notable Alumni’s:

Johnny Gaudreau (2010)

Connor Murphy (2010)

Alex Galchenyuk (2011)

Anthony DeAngelo (2012)

Nick Schmaltz (2013)

Kyle Connor (2013)

Brock Boeser (2014)

Casey Mittelstadt (2015)

Kailer Yamamoto (2015)

Ryan Poehling (2016)

Forwards:

Sam Colangelo

John Farinacci

Josh Groll

Aaron Huglen

Jackson Jutting

Arthur Kaliyev

Michael Mancinelli

Robert Mastrosimone

Josh Nodler

Tyler Paquette

Nicholas Robertson

Grant Silianoff

Luke Toporowski

Defense:

Dylan Davies

Michael Feenstra

Mike Koster

Mitchell Miller

Luke Reid

Cade Webber

Goalies:

Derek Mullahy

Dustin Wolf

Notable Players to Watch:

Arthur Kaliyev – The highlight name on this team’s roster in my personal opinion, as Kaliyev is currently touted as a first round prospect coming off of his first season in the OHL. Kaliyev is that goal scoring winger who plays such a composed and controlled style of game. He has confidence with the puck on his stick and instinctive abilities that are a great contributor to his goal scoring success. He is a big kid who has slick puck controlling abilities, a wicked release that can stun a goalie, and the ability to score from anywhere with the puck on his stick. I’d expect Kaliyev to be one of their top three producers at the tournament, likely to lead them in scoring.

Robert Mastrosimone – Coming off of a great rookie season in the USHL with the Chicago Steel, Mastrosimone might be the best non-USDP player playing in the USA this year. Mastrosimone blends the ability to create offensive opportunities with good vision and playmaking abilities, while also being able to finish offensive opportunities with his killer scoring instinctive abilities. He has a nose for the net and attacks lane with an active stick. I think he will have a fairly successful tournament, should come out as one of the team’s top five scorers at the end of the tournament.

Grant Silianoff – The University of Notre Dame commit is coming off of a productive season with the Shattuck St. Mary’s Midget Prep’s that saw him post 67 points in 55 games and a point per game pace in the USHL when given the opportunity. The former 1st overall USHL draft selection plays a balanced offensive game, he can create offense on his own while also being able to finish well around the net. I’m excited to get more viewings on Silianoff, a plyer expected to be a top four round pick come next year’s NHL Draft.

Luke Toporowski – Had one of the more impressive season’s amongst WHL rookies this past season, Toporowski’s game really came around in the latter half of the season and till be interesting to see if he can take that strong second half as momentum going into the tournament this year. Strong on his feet and shows the elite puck protection abilities, plays heavy on the puck with a strong lower body. His foot speed massively improved last season which added an extra asset to his already impressive toolset. Toporowski could have a strong tournament and rise into some people’s top 31.

Dustin Wolf – Expected to take the reigns next season from Carter Hart in the Everett Silvertip’s crease. Dustin Wolf got a bit of an opportunity last season to show what Everett should expect from the 17 year old goaltender next season, posting an impressive 2.25 GAA and 0.928 Sv% in the 20 games he played in. An athletic net minder who suffocates first chance opportunities. He has excellent reflexes with his lower body and despite not being a bigger goalie, he makes up for it with his quickness and awareness. Expected to be the starting net minder for the American team.

Schedule:

August 6th 7:00pm MDT against Czech Republic

August 7th 7:00pm MDT against Finland

August 8th 7:00pm MDT against Russia