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Two Michigan players selected to USA Hockey's U17 program in Plymouth

The Detroit News
Washington Township's Hunter Brzustewicz, center, celebrates with Isaac Howard, left, and Maddox Fleming during a semifinal game against Canada at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Joe Toth for OIS via AP)

Two hockey players from Michigan were among the 23 players selected to join USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Plymouth on Wednesday.

Forward Frank Nazar of Mount Clemens and defenseman Hunter Brzustewicz of Washington Township will play for the national under-17 team during the 2020-21 season.

Nazar had 49 goals and 78 assists for 127 points in 55 games with the Honeybaked Under-15 team this year.

Brzustewicz had 15 goals and 96 assists for 111 points with the Oakland Junior Grizzlies Under-15 team this year.

Nazar and Brzustewicz are committed to the University of Michigan along with NTDP teammate Seamus Casey, a defenseman with the Florida Alliance Under-16 team.

Four other players played in Michigan this year: forward Cutter Gauthier (Detroit Compuware), forward Rutger McGroarty (Oakland Jr. Grizzlies), forward Cole Spicer (Detroit Honeybaked) and defenseman Tyler Duke (Detroit Compuware).

Although the team didn't hold a typical evaluation camp because of the coronavirus pandemic, NTDP director of player personnel Kevin Reiter said he was "thrilled" about the makeup of the roster for the upcoming season.

"(The camp) is just one component of our overall process," Reiter said. "We're fortunate to have a terrific network of scouts, along with our own staff, in place to help in selecting the team. In the end, it's never easy to get to the final roster as there are so many talented players in our country."

The NTDP is a two-year residency program for high-performance players located at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.

The under-17 team plays in the United States Hockey League, the only Tier I junior hockey league in the United States, as well as against select competition in the North American Hockey League and Minnesota Elite League.

They will also compete in three international tournaments this year, including the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, Prince Edward Island in November.

The team will be led by head coach Seth Appert (Cottage Grove, Minn.), associate coach Nick Fohr (Grand Forks, N.D.) and assistant coach Brent Darnell (Canton).

Here's the rest of the U17 team:

Forwards

► Brady Berard, East Greenwich, R.I. (Providence)

► Logan Cooley, West Mifflin, Pa. (Notre Dame)

► Maddox Fleming, Rochester, Minn. (Not yet committed)

► Marek Hejduk, Parker, Colo. (Not yet committed)

► Isaac Howard, Hudson, Wis. (Minnesota-Duluth)

► Devin Kaplan, Bridgewater, N.J. (Boston University)

► Cruz Lucius, Grant, Minn. (Minnesota)

► James Snuggerud, Chaska, Minn. (Not yet committed)

► Charlie Stramel, Rosemount, Minn. (Not yet committed)

Defensemen

► Ryan Chesley, Mahtomedi, Minn. (Not yet committed)

► Lane Hutson, North Barrington, Ill. (Boston University)

► Charlie Leddy, Fairfield, Conn. (Boston College)

► Kaden Muir, Manchester, N.H. (Not yet committed)

► Seamus Powell, Marcellus, N.Y. (Boston College)

Goalies

► Tyler Muszelik, Long Valley, N.J. (Not yet committed)

► Dylan Silverstein, Calabasas, Calif. (Not yet committed)