Seven New NTDP Commitments Announced
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Clearly timed to be released on the morning of the OHL Draft, USA Hockey announced seven more commitments to the Under 17 National Team Development Program (NTDP) at 8 am this morning.
The press release below contain s the details of the announcement.
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NTDP Announces Seven Commitments for 2012-13 Season
Four Forwards and Three Defensemen Latest to be Named to U.S. National Under-17 Team
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Forwards Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.), Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.), Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and Chris Wilkie (Omaha, Neb.), along with defensemen Louis Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.), Nathan Billitier (Spencerport, N.Y.) and Joshua Wesley (Raleigh, N.C.) have committed to join USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program for the 2012-13 season, it was announced today. The players, all from the 1996 birth year, will compete as members of the U.S. National Under-17 Team.
“This is a dynamic group of players to add to an already exciting roster,” said Peter Ward, director of player personnel for the NTDP. “The scouting staff has been working tirelessly to assemble the best talent in the country and it shows with these commitments.”
Hitchcock competed for the New Jersey Rockets Junior B team of the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League. In 35 games he scored 33 goals and added 42 assists, which was fourth most in the league. Hitchcock also skated in eight playoff games for the Rockets, recording 16 points (5-11), including one game-winning tally. He was named most valuable player in the MJHL for his performance during the 2011-12 season.
During the 2011-12 season, Milano skated for the Cleveland Barons Midget Minor team of the Tier One Elite League. He tallied 44 goals and collected 43 assists in 40 games. His 87 points placed him first in the league.
Tuch played for the Syracuse Stars Junior B team of the Empire Junior Hockey League where he amassed 101 points (44-57) in 40 games, which ranked at the top of the league. He also notched one goal and recorded three assists in four playoff games for the Stars.
Wilkie comes from the Omaha Lancers Midget Minor team of the North American Prospects Hockey League, where he accumulated 48 points (22-26) in 18 games. He led the NAPHL in points and power-play goals (10). He also skated in four playoff games with the Lancers, netting three goals and adding 10 assists.
Belpedio skated for Culver (Ind.) Academy. He recorded nine goals and 11 assists in 34 games.
During the 2011-12 campaign, Billitier played for the Rochester (N.Y.) Stars Junior A team of the Eastern Junior Hockey League and collected two assists in 34 games.
Wesley comes from the Carolina Junior Hurricanes of the North American Prospects Hockey League, where he totaled 13 points (7-6) in 18 games, ranking eighth among defensemen. He also notched one goal and registered six assists in five playoff games.
NOTES: Billitier competed for Team USA in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games from Jan. 13-22, 2012, in Innsbruck, Austria … The 2012-13 U.S. National Under-17 Team will play in the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in the U.S. It will also compete in three international competitions, including the 2013 World Under-17 Challenge … The U.S. National Under-17 Team will be comprised of two goaltenders, 12 forwards and eight defensemen … The roster currently stands at eight forwards and five defensemen, having previously announced commitments by forwards Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.), Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.), along with defensemen Ryan Bliss (Bedford, N.H.) and Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.).