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Michigan Hockey vs. USNTDP Exhibition Preview

The United States Under 18 Program visits Ann Arbor with five Michigan recruits on the roster.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Wolverines welcome the USNTDP U-18 team to Yost for their annual exhibition Thursday night at 7:35.


36 players have joined the Michigan program from the US National Development Program, which up until this season played across the street from Yost at the Ann Arbor Cube.

Michigan has a 13-2-0 record against the NTDP. The most recent loss came against a US squad that featured Dylan Larkin and Jack Eichel. In January of 2013 a USA team led by JT Compher, Evan Allen and Tyler Motte came into Yost and beat Michigan for the first time ever.

Players to Watch

After two seasons that saw only four recruits come to Michigan; Larkin, Zach Werenski, Nick Boka and Brendan Warren, this USA squad and the current U-17 squad are packed with Michigan commits.

On the blueline Berenson has secured the commitments of a pair of towering defenders in Griffin Luce and Luke Martin. Luce is a mauling, physical defender listed at 54th in the NHL's Central Scouting Midterms. He is the son of Scott Luce, the Florida Panthers Director of Player Personnel, and the grandson of Sabres legend and longtime Sabres and Flyers Director of Player Development Don Luce.

Luke Martin has a similar skill set to Luce. He's a tall, solidly built physical defender. His brother Jimmy played at Yale and wore the "C" in 2010. A late 98 birthday, Martin is projected as a top blueline prospect in the 2017 draft.

Three forwards playing tonight will join the program next year: Will Lockwood, James Sanchez and Nick Pastujov.

Lockwood is the son of Joe Lockwood, who played for Red Berenson from 1984-88. The younger Lockwood is a high energy, high effort player who gets to the dirty areas of the ice and battles for pucks on the boards. Michigan fans are going to like seeing him in maize and blue.

James Sanchez is a giant power winger with good hands and raw but enormous potential offensively.

A talented winger, Nick Pastujov also plays a solid two-way game. He is the older brother of U-17 forward Mike Pastujov who will attend Michigan in two years.

Other future Big Ten players you will see are forward Trent Frederic, a Wisconsin commit and defenseman Ryan Lindgren who will attend Minnesota.