The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan wrote an article about the NHL prospect factory that is the U.S. National Team Development Program in Plymouth, and it’s a superb organizational profile:
“Starting off we had some tough sledding out of the gate,” [coach John] Wroblewski said. “Like most things, it doesn’t happen overnight. You build momentum, it takes time, and we got in a groove and started winning medals.
“We’re at a point where it’s a landmark for kids. I have to imagine when you’re 10 or 11 or 12-years-old, they already have their eyes on Plymouth and wanting to be part of the NTDP.
“That’s what we’ve grown into. There’s a lot of people who have had a huge hand in it.”
Next month at the NHL Entry Draft the USA NTDP has, generally speaking in most mock drafts, six of the top 20-25 players who either played this season or graduated from the program a year ago.
Defensemen Quinn Hughes (Michigan), Mattias Samuelsson and Bode Wilde, and forwards Oliver Wahlstrom, Brady Tkachuk and Joel Farabee are players who will hear their names called early in the draft. All have pushed each other while in the NTDP, one of the reasons the program has been successful.
“You challenge yourself against the best kids in the country in your age bracket every day,” said Scott Monaghan, NTDP senior director of operations, and an original member of the program.