Michigan, once thought to be out of the woods for infection numbers, is now seeing rising numbers since opening the state to tourism and regular business activity.
On Friday the Governor of Michigan issued an executive order for face masks to be worn in public once again state wide. That order clearly came to late for three NTDP team members.
Three players from the U.S. National Team Development Program have tested positive for COVID-19 according to Katie Strang and Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required), throwing the viability of holding the World Junior Summer Showcase later this month into question.
Even though the other usual participating nations, Canada, Finland, and Sweden have pulled out of the event already, USA Hockey was still planning on holding the event in Plymouth, Michigan starting July 24.
The report examines how that will be difficult considering Michigan’s current health mandates. Last month, USA Hockey announced the 43-man roster for the event, which includes nine members from the previous World Junior team that finished in sixth place. Other high-profile prospects such as Cole Caufield (MTL), Spencer Knight (FLA), Trevor Zegras (ANA), and Alex Turcotte (LAK) were all included on the roster.
Michigan is the home of the NTDP and Muskegon Lumberjacks both teams playing in the USHL. The USAH issuing “return to play” comments yesterday saying they anticipate playing a full season.
In that statement they also say they are taking guidance from several places including the NHL. If you follow the NHL guidance, and when they will return to play the next season, it looks more and more unlikely that the USHL will start anywhere close to October.
Stay tuned for more USHL information later.