USHL Notebook: Multiple trades, win streaks highlight busy week in the USHL
The Green Bay Gamblers and the Omaha Lancers make a deal, Muskegon makes a trio of trades, rookies keep scoring and more.
As this weekend’s games quickly approach on the horizon, USHL writer Jordan McAlpine gets you caught up on what’s happening around the United States Hockey League.
Green Bay adds Avalanche pick Chris Romaine
Green Bay and Omaha executed a trade Tuesday afternoon that sent defenseman Chris Romaine to the Gamblers. Romaine, a 2022 sixth-round pick (193rd overall) of the Colorado Avalanche, has five points in 20 games this season with the Lancers.
He missed the first 12 games of this season with an injury and has been in-and-out of Omaha’s lineup over the last few weeks.
Romaine and a 2023 Phase I 10th-round pick head to Green Bay while the Lancers receive a 2023 Phase I fifth-round pick, 2023 Phase II third-round pick, 2024 Phase II conditional second-round pick and future considerations.
TRADE ALERT ‼️ The Green Bay Gamblers have acquired defenseman @chrisromaine_ from the @OmahaLancers and a 10th round Phase 1 pick in exchange for a 2023, Phase 1 5th round pick, 2024 2nd Round Phase 2 pick and future considerations #GoGamblers pic.twitter.com/gHlTQZltfb— Green Bay Gamblers (@GamblersHockey) January 31, 2023
Black Hawks soaring
Waterloo is 9-1-0-0 in its last 10 and the Black Hawks trail Fargo by just five points. To add further intrigue, the two teams will meet for a pair of games in Waterloo this weekend. Waterloo has the USHL’s best home record at 16-5-0-0.
Waterloo will also play at Dubuque on Thursday, setting up a gauntlet of a three-day stretch.
“We know what's ahead of us with three games in three days but we’re excited for the challenge,” Waterloo head coach Matt Smaby told The Rink Live earlier this week.
Smaby’s squad has scored four or more goals in nine of their last 10 games and six or more goals in four of those games. Twenty-one of their 52 goals in the last 10 games have also been scored in the third period.
TRL Power Rankings return
The Rink Live is happy to bring back its USHL Power Rankings just in time for the stretch run. USHL writer Jordan McAlpine will provide rankings on a bi-weekly basis throughout the rest of the season and beyond.
Click here to view this week’s rankings.
Lumberjacks execute trio of major trades
Muskegon traded three of its leading scorers this week in forwards Jake Richard and Owen Mehlenbacher , along with defenseman Tyler Dunbar.
Mehlenbacher was sent to Fargo for rookie forward Ty Henricks and Richard was sent to Tri-City for a 2023 Phase II second-round pick, a 2023 Phase I third-round pick and future considerations. Dunbar was dealt to Lincoln for a 2023 Phase I third-round pick and 2023 Phase II sixth-round pick.
"All three have been marquee players for us and we wish them the best in the future. I'm sure many people are shocked by the recent transactions and we are grateful for the appreciation, care and love for the Muskegon Lumberjacks," said President of Hockey Operations, Steve Lowe.
Mehlenbacher, who was also the Lumberjacks’ captain, was third on Muskegon’s roster in points (24) and fourth in goals (11). The Wisconsin commit and Detroit seventh-round pick joins a Fargo team that has the USHL’s best record (24-8-0-3) and a lineup that has scored the USHL’s fourth-most goals (136).
Richard, a sixth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres last summer, led Muskegon with 18 goals and 35 points while Dunbar was fifth on Muskegon’s roster with 22 points (3-19-22). Richard's 18 goals are tied for ninth in the USHL while Dunbar's 22 points are also tied for ninth amongst USHL defensemen.
Players of the Week
In case you missed it earlier this week, the USHL announced its Players of the Week Tuesday evening. Fargo forward Cole Knuble and Madison defenseman Nick Wallace took home the respective honors while Youngstown’s Jacob Fowler was named the USHL Goaltender of the Week for a second straight week and the fourth time this season.
For more on each player and their recent play, click here.
- Chicago’s Macklin Celebrini has a six-game point streak and is currently tied with Jack Harvey for the USHL point lead with 45 (23-22-45). Celebrini has nine points during his current streak. The rookie is averaging an impressive 1.5 points per game and has a league-leading 11 power-play goals.
- Fargo forward Mac Swanson has seven assists over his last three games. Swanson is second amongst USHL rookies with 36 points (8-28-36).
- Cedar Rapids forward Ryan Walsh is third in the USHL with 44 points (13-31-44) in 33 games. Walsh is currently riding a nine-game point streak and had a five-point night (2-3-5) last Saturday. Walsh’s 31 assists also lead the league.
- Youngstown forward William Whitelaw has goals in five straight games and 11 points (8-3-11) in that stretch. The Phantoms have won three straight and are 7-3-0-0 in their last 10.
HATS OFF TO WILL WHITELAW FOR HIS 20TH OF THE SEASON 🧢 pic.twitter.com/CdaKH1wcUm— Youngstown Phantoms (@YtownPhantoms) January 29, 2023
- Cedar Rapids forward Andy Moore was suspended one game for removing an opponent’s helmet. Moore will miss Friday’s game against Chicago.
- Muskegon defenseman Jack Sparkes was issued a two-game suspension for checking from behind. The Lumberjacks host Youngstown for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday.
- Omaha forward
was handed the USHL’s longest suspension of the season for his actions last Saturday night. Diamond received seven games for Aggressor/Supplemental Discipline.
- Tri-City sent defenseman Kaden Muir to Austin (NAHL) in a trade earlier this week. The Northeastern commit skated in 24 games for the Storm this season.
- Sioux City also dropped Sawyer Scholl earlier this week. The left-shot forward had six goals and an assist in 35 games this season.
- Fargo goaltenders Anton Castro and Matej Marinov announced their commitments to Wisconsin and Quinnipiac earlier this week. For more on their decisions, click here.