2023-24 USHL Power Rankings

USHL Power Rankings: Fargo Force, Dubuque Fighting Saints Se...

Writer Ryan Sikes provides his view on the league every other week with our USHL Power Rankings.

Welcome to FloHockey's bi-monthly power rankings for the USHL. Find out which of the league's 16 teams rise and fall over the course of the long regular season.

1. Fargo Force / Last Ranking: 1

Record: 10-0-0-0

The Force set the franchise win streak record, starting the season with victories in all ten games they’ve played. Fargo has allowed just 16 goals all season, with University of Wisconsin commit Anton Castro sporting a league-best 1.39 goals-against average. Recent University of Minnesota commit Leo Gruba leads all USHL defensemen in points (14). 

2. Dubuque Fighting Saints / Last Ranking: 3

Record: 9-1-1-1

Friday night’s matchup against Fargo could be a preview of the Clark Cup Finals. Dubuque continues to outscore their opponents at will, leading the league with 66 goals scored. Forward Erik Pahlsson, who also just committed to Minnesota, leads the league in points (19) and is tied for the league lead in goals (10).

3. Youngstown Phantoms / Last Ranking: 9

Record: 8-3-1-0

After a slow start out of the gate, Youngstown is one of the hottest teams in the USHL. The Phantoms have points in their last five games as they have seen defenseman Tory Pitner take a massive leap forward offensively this season. The University of Denver commit has four goals and 11 points, already surpassing last year’s totals for both.

4. Sioux City Musketeers / Last Ranking: 7

Record: 7-3-3-0

The Musketeers power play continues to convert at an obscene rate (41.9%), with 11 skaters registering multi-point totals on the man advantage. Hagen Burrows (2024) is one of seven Sioux City forwards already in double digits, and the University of Denver commit leads all rookie skaters in points (14).

However, this weekend will mark Burrows’ last with the Musketeers before he returns to Minnetonka High School to try to defend the team’s second-ever state title captured in March last year.

“It's a tough decision for me because Sioux City has been amazing, but it's something I feel like I need to do,” Burrows told FloHockey on Thursday. 

“I’ll be back in the spring.”

5. Madison Capitols / Last Ranking: 4

Record: 7-2-2-0

Madison remains high in the latest installment of power rankings, having collected points in their last three games. Max Nagel is making his case as a draft-eligible re-entry prospect to keep close tabs on, as he leads the Capitols in points (14) through the first 11 games. Netminder Patriks Berzins has hit his stride, owning the best save percentage (0.948) and second-best goals-against average (1.61). 

6. Green Bay Gamblers / Last Ranking: 8

Record: 8-5-0-0

Green Bay finished up the weekend with an impressive three-game sweep in Muskegon. Julian Lutz (ARI) has been on fire since making his USHL debut, collecting points in three of his last four and in six of his first nine games. Despite allowing five goals on Saturday, Adam Gajan (CHI) picked up the win and has victories in four of his last five starts.

7. Muskegon Lumberjacks / Last Ranking: 6

Record: 7-3-1-1

The Jacks slide down one spot after their weekend against the Gamblers. Muskegon has scored the third-most goals (55) in the USHL, but they’ve also committed the third-most penalties as well, something that plagued them last year. Matvei Gridin (2024) saw his four-game points streak end against Green Bay, but the Russian forward still has the second-most points (18) in the league.

8. Sioux Falls Stampede / Last Ranking: 5

Record: 7-4-1-0

Forward Chris Pelosi (BOS) continues to push toward his goal of being a point-per-game player, with a goal and an assist last weekend and 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 12 games this year. Netminder Caleb Heil (2024) is going through a bit of adversity, having lost three of his last four games, including a season-high five goals allowed against Youngstown. 

9. Tri-City Storm / Last Ranking: 2

Record: 7-5-0-0

The Storm slid to the middle of the pack in our rankings, having dropped their last three games. Trevor Connelly (2024) leads the team in points (12), but he hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 6. Goaltender Cameron Korpi had a difficult weekend, allowing four goals in each game against Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, suffering his first two losses of the year in the process.

10. Waterloo Black Hawks / Last Ranking: 12

Record: 5-5-0-0

Waterloo continues to inch their way up in the power rankings. Returning forward Gavyn Thoreson leads the team in points (10), but keep close tabs on rookie forward John Mustard (2024), who is riding a six-game points streak, collecting five goals and three assists over that span. In net, Calvin Vachon has emerged as an intriguing re-entry candidate in next year’s draft, having racked up wins in his last four games while owning the fourth-best save percentage (0.920) in the USHL.

11. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders / Last Ranking: 13

Record: 4-6-1-0

The RoughRiders have made several in-season roster adjustments, including the acquisition of forward Amine Hajibi, who has two goals and eight points in his first eight games with the team. Cedar Rapids has eight skaters with at least four points, led by Calgary Flames draft pick Cade Littler, who has seven goals and ten points through his first 11 games.

12. USNTDP / Last Ranking: 10

Record: 4-8-0-0

The U-17 team picked up their first USHL win this past weekend, as University of Michigan commit Cole McKinney has points in three of his last five games and four points in seven games overall. Netminder Harrison Boettiger earned USHL Goaltender of the Week honors after his shutout performance on Friday night.

13. Des Moines Buccaneers / Last Ranking: 15

Record: 3-6-2-0

The Bucs moved up in the rankings after wins in their last two games. Ben Kevan (2025) has been red-hot lately after being held to just one point through his first three games. The Arizona State commit has points in four of his last five games, collecting five goals and three assists over that span. Netminder Jonathan Reinholdt has wins in two of his last three games and owns the ninth-best goals-against average (2.90) in the league.

14. Lincoln Stars / Last Ranking: 11

Record: 3-6-0-1

Lincoln’s goal-scoring woes have continued, dropping their last four contests and have the fewest goals-scored (19) in the league. Jared Mangan leads the team in points (9), but the Stars have only three skaters with four-plus points. Yan Shostak has hit a rough patch, allowing a season-high four goals in each of his last two games.

15. Chicago Steel / Last Ranking: 14

Record: 1-8-1-0

The Steel have scored the third-fewest goals (24) and are tied for the second-most goals (52) allowed. Michael Hage (2024) has three goals and eight points in his first 10 games, but Chicago is struggling mightily to score, which wasn’t a problem for them last year. 

16. Omaha Lancers / Last Ranking: 16

Record: 0-7-2-0

The only team without a win yet, the Omaha Lancers have scored the second-fewest goals (24) and committed the most penalties in the league. Aleksi Kivioja has goals in back-to-back games and six points (four goals, two assists) in 10 games overall. The Lancers have already used four netminders this season and recently acquired Lucas Szyszka from Muskegon to hopefully shore up their goaltending room.