Who to watch at the All-American Prospects Game

Aaron Vickers2020 Draft Center, Tournaments & Events, USHL

Photo by Dan Hickling | Hickling Images

More NHL Draft eligibles are getting set to shine.

The United States Hockey League, with USA Hockey, is primed for the inaugural 2020 BioSteel All-American Game, highlighting some of the top American talent eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.

The event, which replaces the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, takes place on Monday, January 20, 2020 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, MI.

Here’s who Future Considerations scouts are most anxious to see at the All-American Game.

Noah Ellis, D, Des Moines, 6-1, 187, 2-1-2002
Future Considerations Winter Ranking: 85

Ellis, a rookie in the USHL, has 10 points (five goals, five assists) through 34 games this season. Additionally, the 17-year-old defenseman also represented Team USA at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in August, amassing four points (two goals, two assists) in four games.

“When Ellis is in his own zone, he is delivering quality backchecks along the boards as he strives to regain the puck,” Future Considerations scout Josh Tessler said. “Ellis’ skating is easily the best attribute of his game. He displays solid crossovers, crisp lateral movements on the power play, good pirouette/spin moves and transitioned well from forwards to backwards. His passing is consistently accurate, especially his outlet passing, and his transitional play is quite good and he is a zone entry expert.”

Sean Farrell, LW, Chicago, 5-9, 175, 11-2-2001
Future Considerations Winter Ranking: 33

Farrell spent two seasons with the National Team Development Program before joining Chicago for his most productive season to date. The 18-year-old has 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 28 games to pace the entire USHL. The Harvard commit, who was a standout at the World Junior A Challenge, was the first overall selection, by Chicago, in the 2019 USHL Entry Draft.

“Farrell played two years with Team USA and now on a loaded Chicago Steel team,” Future Considerations scout Ray Napientek said. “An older forward in this draft, Farrell plays in all three zones and makes plays most others do not even see with the puck on his stick. This tournament should secure my thoughts as him being a possible top-40 guy in this draft.”

Alex Gaffney, C, Muskegon, 5-7, 163, 6-25-2002
Future Considerations Winter Ranking: NR

Gaffney, 17, has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) through 33 games to establish a new personal best in his second season in the USHL. Like Farrell, Gaffney is committed to Harvard next season.

“As an undersized forward, Gaffney is always around the puck, makes good decisions and is not afraid to make plays in tough areas despite his size,” Napientek said. “He won’t light up the scoreboard but he’s a solid two-way forward. A sleeper in this draft for me.”

Mitchell Miller, D, Tri-City, 5-11, 194, 12-20-2001
Future Considerations Winter Ranking: NR

Miller, who turned 18 in December, has a personal best 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 32 games this year after spending last season with Cedar Rapids. No stranger to the international stage, Miller has twice represented Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, and once at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

“Miller really surprised me in his showing in November,” Napientek said. “He was active in the neutral zone and held up his blue line well. He broke up a lot of plays with his active stick and played a simple game exiting his own zone. I can see him flying up draft boards soon.”

Ryder Rolston, RW, Waterloo, 6-1, 175, 10-31, 2001
Future Considerations Winter Ranking: 56

Rolston is second in scoring for Waterloo with 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) despite playing in just 26 of 33 games this season. Like Farrell, Rolston too spent two seasons with the NTDP before being selected second overall, behind Farrell, in the USHL Entry Draft.

“He will make crisp turns and will utilize his edges to speed up his stride,” Tessler said. “In addition, he is a smart hockey player as he will drop back when he sees his defenseman pinching. He will not hesitate to get involved in the defensive zone. Yet, his skating is easily his best attribute. One of the things that I really enjoy when watching Rolston is how he utilizing pivoting. He will skate up the ice, see he has a man on him and pivot to attempt to lose him.”