COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- This year's NCAA Men's Frozen Four will feature an American flair once again, as 78 of the 102 players on the rosters of Boston College, Miami University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Wisconsin have developmental roots in the United States.
Play in the NCAA Men's Frozen Four begins Thursday (April 8) at Ford Field in Detroit, with RIT battling Wisconsin and Boston College facing Miami.
Of the players competing in the NCAA Men's Frozen Four, six have been part of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. Located in Ann Arbor, Mich., the NTDP, in its 13th season, is an elite training program for the top 16- and 17-year-old players in the United States.
In addition, six NCAA Men's Frozen Four participants have skated for the U.S. National Junior Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, while eight have competed at the IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship as members of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team.
Junior hockey leagues in the United States continue to play a major role in the development of collegiate athletes as well. This year's Frozen Four will showcase 60 players with ties to junior hockey in America prior to their collegiate days, including 47 from the United States Hockey League, seven from the Eastern Junior Hockey League and six from the North American Hockey League.
A total of 19 states will be represented by players in the Frozen Four, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin. In addition, 24 American-born players competing in the Frozen Four have been drafted by National Hockey League teams.
NOTES: All four coaches in this year's NCAA Men's Frozen Four are USA Hockey certified. Boston College's Jerry York and Wisconsin's Mike Eaves are Level 5 certified coaches, while Miami's Enrico Blasi and RIT's Wayne Wilson are Level 4 certified coaches ... American players lead all four Frozen Four teams in points. Wisconsin's Michael Davies (St. Louis, Mo.) is tied for sixth in the country with 51 points (19-32). Boston College's Cam Atkinson (Greenwich, Conn.) ranks tied for second in the nation with 27 goals and tied for eighth with 50 points. RIT's Cameron Burt (Detroit, Mich./16-31--47) and Miami's Jarod Palmer (Fridley, Minn./18-27--45) also lead their respective teams in points.
American Players in the 2010 NCAA Men's Frozen Four
USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Alumni (6)
Brett Bennett University of Wisconsin 2004-06
Blake Geoffrion University of Wisconsin 2004-06
Jimmy Hayes Boston College 2006-08
Jarod Palmer Miami University 2002-04
John Ramage University of Wisconsin 2008-09
Justin Vaive Miami University 2005-07
U.S. National Junior Team Alumni (6)
Jake Gardiner University of Wisconsin 2010
Blake Geoffrion University of Wisconsin 2007, 2008
Jimmy Hayes Boston College 2009
Ryan McDonagh University of Wisconsin 2009
John Ramage University of Wisconsin 2010
Derek Stepan University of Wisconsin 2010
U.S. National Under-18 Team Alumni (8)
Brett Bennett University of Wisconsin 2006
Blake Geoffrion University of Wisconsin 2006
Jimmy Hayes Boston College 2009
Ryan McDonagh University of Wisconsin 2007
Jarod Palmer Miami University 2004
John Ramage University of Wisconsin 2009
Philip Samuelsson Boston College 2009
Justin Vaive Miami University 2007