The United States Hockey League (USHL) is a decent, but lesser-known junior loop down south and certainly not the first choice of most top young hockey prospects.
But where there’s hockey, there’s hope and we’ve seen that in a couple of USHL grads who skated through town recently on their way to bigger and better things.
First, it was Manitoba Moose winger Dan Sexton, the pride of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, who touched down briefly in Winnipeg last November on his way to what looks like it will be a bona fide NHL career.
In 17 NHL games since being called up by the Anaheim Ducks from the Moose, Sexton has scored six goals and six assists and is presently 11th in scoring on the struggling Ducks, despite having played less than half of the games of most of his teammates.
And now comes another USHL grad through town, Hershey Bears defenceman John Carlson, who played two seasons with the Indiana Ice before graduating to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League for his breakout season in 2008-09.
A first-rounder of the Washington Capitals, Carlson scored the overtime winner against Canada in the World Juniors gold medal final the other night and looks destined to make the Indiana Ice the answer to a trivia question someday.