CLOQUET, MN – AUGUST 16th, 2017 – The Minnesota Wilderness have announced that they have added two exhibition games to their pre-season schedule. The Wilderness will play two games in Plymouth, Michigan against the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP), on September 15th and 16th.
The NTDP had 12 alumni selected in the National Hockey League (NHL) Draft this past Spring, including two players selected in the first round. Based out of Plymouth, Michigan, the NTDP U17 and U18 teams consist of the top players in the United States born in 2000 and 2001. Notable NHL Alumni that have played for the program consist of: Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Zach Werenski (Columbus Blue Jackets), Derek Forbort (Los Angeles Kings), Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings), Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres), Ryan Kesler (Anaheim Ducks), and James van Riemsdyk (Toronto Maple Leafs).
Head Coach Tim Madsen had this to say about the exhibition games against the NTDP: “We are looking forward to these games against the NTDP. The long bus trip will give our players an opportunity to get to know one another and build relationships and camaraderie before we start our regular season. We will also have an opportunity to evaluate our team by putting players in certain situations that will tell us where they will fit come September 20th, when we start our season. We look forward to the challenge.”
The Wilderness, fresh off a successful season where they finished 2nd in the NAHL’s Central Division, and lost in game 5 of the Division Finals 1-0 in overtime, will have a new look this season. Returning just six players from last season, the Wilderness look to build another contending team for the 2017-2018 season.