Canton native and Western Michigan commit Paul Cotter (photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey)

Team East tops Team West in 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game


By @MichaelCaples –

Tonight, in Kearney, Neb., some of the top NHL Draft-eligible players in the USHL competed in the league’s annual USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the home of the Tri-City Storm.

Team East prevailed 4-3 over Team West in the 2018 edition of the contest, which has showcased 76 future NHL draftees since its inception six years ago.

MVP honors went to Honeybaked alum Ryan Savage (Team West) and Tyler Madden (Team East), who happens to be the son of former University of Michigan star John Madden.

Here’s a look at how the Michigan names fared:

Team East

  • Max Ellis – 2 shots, +1 rating (Canton native, Notre Dame commit)
  • Xan Gurney – 15 penalty minutes (more on that later), -1 rating (Grosse Ile native, Western Michigan commit)
  • Aidan Fulp – 1 shot, +1 rating (Victory Honda alum, Western Michigan commit)
  • Matej Pekar – 2 shots, even +/- rating (Oakland Jr. Grizzlies alum, Muskegon Lumberjacks forward)
  • Emilio Pettersen – no stat line, even +/- rating (Muskegon Lumberjacks forward)
  • Marc Del Gaizo – 1 assist, four shots, +3 rating (Muskegon Lumberjacks defenseman)

Team West

  • Matt Kessel – 1 shot, even +/- rating (Bloomfield Hills native, Miami commit)
  • Christian Krygier – 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, even +/- rating (Novi native, Wisconsin commit)
  • Travis Mitchell – 1 assist, 1 shot, -1 rating (South Lyon native, Cornell commit)
  • Ryan Savage – 1 goal, 2 shots, +1 rating (Honeybaked alum, Miami commit)
  • Cole Krygier – 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot, even +/- rating (Novi native, Wisconsin commit)
  • Paul Cotter – 1 goal, 2 shots, even +/- rating (Canton native, Western Michigan commit)
  • Phillippe Lapointe – 2 assists, -1 rating (Michigan commit)
  • Jack Randl – 4 shots, -2 rating (Michigan commit)

And some highlights: