Michigan developing next wave of American NHLers

Since USA Hockey's National Team Development Program was started in 1996, more than 200 of its...

Since USA Hockey's National Team Development Program was started in 1996, more than 200 of its players have been drafted by the NHL, including 45 first-round picks and three first overall. (Jim Wells/QMI Agency/Files)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:30 PM ET

ANN ARBOR, MICH. - The Ice Cube is an innocuous brown brick building in a leafy area on the outskirts of this cozy college town west of Detroit, best know as the home of the University of Michigan.

Michigan's trademark "M" dominates the landscape here, posted up on most of the buildings on the sprawling campus which serves as the cultural and economic epicentre of the community. Tradition and history are in strong supply here.

Inside a door just before the main entrance to the Ice Cube, behind a USA Hockey logo, there's evidence of another strong athletic legacy growing in the shadow of the Wolverines.

This is the home of USA Hockey's under-17 and under-18 teams ... and a lot of trophies. It's like the basement of the Gretzky household in Brantford, Ont.


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