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Jr. Ducks’ Herrman embraces NTDP opportunity

 

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For the second season in a row, the Anaheim Jr. Ducks’ Midget 16U AAA team has had a player called up to the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP).

Forward Rory Herrman played three games for the NTDP’s Under-17 team during the holiday break – against the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League (USHL) on Dec. 30 in Plymouth, Mich., and on the road against the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints on Jan. 1-2.

The Jr. Ducks were playing in a Tier 1 Elite League showcase in nearby Fraser, Mich., on Dec. 28-30, making the Poway native’s call-up logistically easier.

“It was a great opportunity for Rory,” Jr. Ducks 16U AAA coach and director of player personnel Alex Kim said. “Anytime a player gets to wear a USA jersey in any capacity, it’s an honor and a privilege. We’re grateful the NTDP has given some of the Jr. Ducks a chance to play for them these past two seasons.

“Rory has worked hard on developing his on-ice habits, which led to this opportunity. He competes hard and plays with a lot of tenacity.”

Justin Dixson, a University of Massachusetts commit who’s playing for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm this season, played a couple of games for the NTDP last season.

Herrman, a 1999-born who’s committed to play his NCAA Division I hockey Arizona State University, had 21 points (10 goals) through 23 games in the Tier 1 League for the Jr. Ducks.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Herrman, who participated in last summer’s USA Hockey Select 16 Festival, was thrilled with the opportunity to play for the National Program.

“It’s a great feeling to put on the USA jersey,” he said. “Playing against older players (in the USHL), you have to play smarter.

“The USHL is such a fast game, completely different from (16U AAA),” he said. “The first game I was kind of nervous, but once you hit the ice you just play hockey.

“It did get easier the next couple games because you’re more locked in on what you need to do.”

– Chris Bayee