More than 25 players born in 2000 are currently on United States Hockey League rosters and making their mark on the nation’s top junior circuit prior to turning 17.
The group includes Waterloo defenseman Michael Ferrandino – the youngest player on the Black Hawks’ roster when the season began in September. Although the suburban Chicago native won’t celebrate his 17th birthday until March, he can already claim a successful rookie season. Ferrandino has appeared in 37 of 42 Waterloo games. The puck-moving defenseman has nine points, which ranks third among the Hawks’ blue line corps.
“Michael represents a trend in the league: players are getting younger, and the best young players are getting opportunities sooner,” said Black Hawks Head Coach and General Manager P.K. O’Handley. “We knew Michael had skill, and it has been great to see him develop while he makes our team better at the same time.”
The Hawks became acquainted with Ferrandino when he skated at the team’s first Futures Camp in the summer of 2015. Then last spring, Waterloo selected him in the fifth round of Phase I during the 2016 USHL Draft, before he eventually earned a spot on the Hawks’ 2016/17 roster.
Top young players from across the United States and beyond will come to Waterloo this summer looking to follow in Ferrandino’s footsteps. The Black Hawks 2017 Futures Camps will be held at Young Arena for players born in 2002, 2003, and 2004 as follows:
– July 27-30: 2002 skaters
– August 3-6: 2003 & 2004 skaters
– August 13-16: 2002, 2003 & 2004 goalies
Skaters from across the country who take the ice will compete in several one-hour “mini-games,” and also participate in at least one off-ice training session. A practice session with Hawks coaches will also be conducted within the program schedule, as well as a tour of the Hawks’ locker room and facilities. Members of the Waterloo coaching staff and Black Hawks alumni will direct all activities.
The August Goalie Camp will be directed by Black Hawks Goalie Coach Chris Economou.
Registration for the Black Hawks 2017 Futures Camps will be accepted immediately. The $450 camp fee for skaters, or $525 for goalies, must be received with a completed registration form by Wednesday, July 12th.
See the Black Hawks 2017 Futures Camp and Goalie Camp flyers for more details, including basic session information. To register, visit the Black Hawks’ offices at Young Arena or call (319) 232-3444. A detailed session schedule will be available to participants at a later date.
Below is some of the feedback the Black Hawks received from parent’s whose sons participated in the Black Hawks 2016 Futures Camps:
“I want to extend another thank you for the opportunity to have Connor be a part of your camp. This was our first experience with a camp outside of his AAA and AA teams and it was a great experience! All of your staff was encouraging and always there for questions.”
-Tammy M., Minnesota
“You were able to get a good, talented group of kids from all over the country and Canada. Wow. I came down there not knowing anyone, but it culminated in meeting some great people…Both Dane and I have made some great new hockey friends.
-Erik S., Wisconsin
“I have to say, Coach P.K’s. speech in the seminar really had an impact on my older son. He really took what coach said.”
-Paul S., New Jersey
“It was well done and very professional. I would also like to thank the athletic trainer of the Waterloo Black Hawks…He was very knowledgeable and answered my questions. Young arena is a great facility.”
-Steve F., Colorado