Commits Contend for Clark Cup
USHL title comes down to Chicago vs. Sioux City, two teams filled with future NCAA talent.

Yale recruit Graham Lillibridge plays for former Bulldogs assistant coach Dan Muse in Chicago.

The top teams in each USHL conference in the regular season will meet in the Clark Cup Final as the Chicago Steel and Sioux City Musketeers open the best-of-five series Friday night in Sioux City, Iowa.

As expected in the nation’s only Tier I junior league, both rosters are filled with future NCAA players. A total of 44 players on the two teams are committed to 30 Division I schools (full list below). Clark Cup Hub | Listen: The U Show Final Preview

Chicago enters the Clark Cup Final with three of the top six scorers in the USHL playoffs in Jack Badini (Harvard, 13 points), Marc Johnstone (Sacred Heart, 10) and Eduards Tralmaks (Maine, 9). Sioux City counters with Kristian Pospisil (uncommitted, 10) and Tarek Baker (Wisconsin, 9) among the league’s top six scorers.

The Steel defeated Youngstown and Dubuque to advance to the finals, while Sioux City won series vs. Des Moines and Waterloo. The first two games of the series will be held Friday and Saturday in Sioux City before the series shifts to Chicago for Game 3 on May 19. All games are available on HockeyTV.

Five schools have had recruits on each team appear in the playoffs:

  • Arizona State – Chicago’s Johnny Walker and Sioux City’s Jacob Wilson
  • Connecticut – Chicago’s Adam Karashik and Sioux City’s Brian Rigali
  • New Hampshire – Chicago’s Corson Green and Sioux City’s Charlie Kelleher
  • Penn State – Chicago’s Tyler Gratton and Sioux City’s Connor McMenamin
  • Western Michigan – Chicago’s Derek Daschke and Sioux City’s Carson Vance

Several other schools have had multiple commits appear in the playoffs for one of the teams in the Clark Cup Final:

  • Boston College – Sioux City’s Aapeli Rasanen and Eeli Tolvanen
  • Harvard – Chicago’s Badini and Baker Shore
  • Minnesota State – Chicago’s Jake Jaremko and Reggie Lutz
  • Providence – Chicago’s Ben Mirageas and Jason O’Neill

Tolvanen is a first-round NHL Draft prospect, while Chicago counters with three players on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings in Mirageas, Brannon McManus (Minnesota) and Dayton Rasmussen (Denver).

Both head coaches in the final are former NCAA players and assistant coaches. Chicago’s Dan Muse is in his second season in the USHL after winning an NCAA champion as an assistant at Yale. Jay Varady, who played and coached at Union, is in his fourth season at Sioux City.

Chicago is seeking its first Clark Cup, while Sioux City seeks its fourth, but first since 2002.

NCAA Commitments in Clark Cup Final
Chicago Steel (22)
Wyatt Aamodt Minnesota State
Jack Badini Harvard
Derek Daschke Western Michigan
Tyler Gratton Penn State
Corson Green New Hampshire
Jake Jaremko Minnesota State
Marc Johnstone Sacred Heart
Adam Karashik Connecticut
Matthew Kiersted North Dakota
Mitch Lewandowski Michigan State
Graham Lillibridge Yale
Austen Long Colorado College
Reggie Lutz Minnesota State
Brannon McManus Minnesota
Ben Mirageas Providence
Jason O’Neill Providence
Dayton Rasmussen Denver
Alec Regula Michigan
Jordan Seyfert Merrimack
Baker Shore Harvard
Eduards Tralmaks Maine
Johnny Walker Arizona State

Sioux City Musketeers (22)
Tarek Baker Wisconsin
Anea Ferrario Brown
Connor Ford Bowling Green
Matt Hellickson Notre Dame
Jackson Keane North Dakota
Charlie Kelleher New Hampshire
Philip Knies Miami
Cole Koepke Minnesota Duluth
J.C. MacLean Clarkson
Keegan Mantaro Air Force
Joseph Matthews Dartmouth
Connor Mayer Connecticut
Connor McMenamin Penn State
Matthew Miller Michigan State
Micah Miller St. Cloud State
Sampo Ranta Wisconsin
Aapeli Rasanen Boston College
Brian Rigali Connecticut
Eeli Tolvanen Boston College
Peter Tufto Quinnipiac
Carson Vance Western Michigan
Jacob Wilson Arizona State