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What To Watch: Michigan-NTDP Exhibition

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Michigan welcomes NTDP U-18 to Yost Monday night in exhibition play

Gregory Shamus

Who: Michigan vs USA U-18

Where: Yost Ice Arena

When: Monday, 10/6/14, 7:35pm

The Wolverines return to Yost Monday night to take on the USANTDP Under 18 Team. After never beating Michigan, USA has taken the last two games at Yost and now looks for their third.

What to Watch: Michigan
  • Freshman Debuts: At forward Tony Calderone will get a chance to showcase his skills, as well as Sam Piazza and possibly Cutler Martin on defense. Red held all three players out against Ferris, so if any of these players want to get minutes in the lineup they'll have to start here with a strong showing. The 4th freshman Alex Talcott is out with a shoulder injury.
  • Blueline Play: This team is talented, but the Wolverines should handle them. The past two seasons this game has been ominous for Michigan, exposing their defensive zone miscues as more than just a small problem. The coaching staff will want to see the blueline handle the US forecheck, exit the zone clean and no turnovers.
  • Tightening Up Fundamentals: Exhibition play gives the Wolverines a perfect opportunity to practice the fundamental areas of their game that hurt them against Ferris in a game setting. Line changes, zone entry, exits, alignments and special teams should all benefit from the extra practice.
What to Watch: NTDP
  • Michigan commits: Two Michigan recruits headline this year's NTDP roster. Winger Brandan Warren and defenseman Nick Boka are both highly touted prospects from the state of Michigan set to arrive on campus next year. In the past, current Wolverines such as JT Compher, Evan Allen and Tyler Motte have showcased their skills in this game giving fans an early an early look at what they bring to the ice. Expect both players this year to make similar statements.
  • Big Ten Prospects: The Big Ten isn't as well represented on the roster this season as we have been in years past with only five commits. Warren and Boka for Michigan, forward Luke Kunin and goalie Luke Opilka committed to Wisconsin and defensemen Steven Ruggiero for Penn State.
  • Budding Superstars: A season ago Michigan was introduced to the next crop of future NHL stars, as Jack Eichel, Dylan Larkin and Alex Tuch make their presence known to the Wolverines in their 5-4 win. This season Jeremy Bracco, Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk lead USA into Yost looking to prove themselves against the Wolverines.

Next up: The Wolverines return to action Thursday for their final exhibition against Wilfrid Laurier