PITTSBURGH — The 2021 USHL Fall Classic held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township concluded Sunday, capping another successful showcase over four days. Each of the league’s 16 teams played two regular-season games in front of a legion of NHL scouts and Division 1 coaches.
New England Hockey Journal is here to break down the top players who are tracking for the 2022 and 2023 Entry Drafts seen in the first three days of the event. While the league is once again deep with quality prospects, the higher-end talent will be available in 2023.
As a late 2004-born player, the Chicago Steel’s Adam Fantilli led the way, followed by a pair of Tri-City Storm players in forward Gavin Brindley and defenseman Andrew Strathmann, who were both featured in our earlier Fall Classic roundup.
The lion’s share of the top talent in the USHL resides with the U.S. National Team, which features dynamic forwards Logan Cooley, Frank Nazar and Isaac Howard, to name a few. Team USA defensemen Seamus Casey and Ryan Chesley had superb games in a win against the Sioux City Musketeers on Sat., while Lane Hutson showed why he was so coveted on the recruiting trail before deciding on BU.
Texas product and Dubuque netminder Paxton Geisel has been on our radar for some time now, and he did not disappoint in his lone start, showing some mental toughness and impressive upside.
We ranked our top undrafted 2003 and 2004-born (with one special 2005) top forwards, defensemen and goalies from the event, which typically sets the tone for the season. Unless otherwise noted, all players are eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.