By Joshua Boyd / USPHLNCDC.com
The National Collegiate Development Conference has made its name as a great path to NCAA Division I college hockey and also for NHL Entry Draft prospects.
It is also a great path to the Tier I United States Hockey League, as evidenced by two recent call-ups from the Rockets Hockey Club to the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers.
The Rockets recently promoted both ‘02 Army commit Barron Woodring and ‘05 prospect Kyle Rohrer to the Musketeers. Rockets Head Coach Jared Kersner and Sioux City Head Coach Jason Kersner (the Rockets’ NCDC coach from 2020 through 2022) are brothers, creating an obvious pipeline between the NCDC and USHL.
Woodring joined the Rockets in 2020-21 and made an immediate impact with 23 points in 38 games as a junior rookie. The next year, he put up 58 points in 46 games and played three games with Sioux City in 2021-22 as well. This year, Woodring is at 23-21-44 in 38 games, along with five games up with the Musketeers. He recently scored two goals in the NCDC Best of the Best All-Star Game on Feb. 21.
Woodring leads all active NCDC players with 125 points in 122 games, and he is fifth on the all-time NCDC scoring leaderboard.
“I couldn’t be more excited for ‘Woody’ to have the opportunity to play in Sioux City. No one is more deserving. Woody is the heart and soul of our culture,” said Jared Kersner. “He is a tireless worker who is always working on his craft. He is a player that can and does play in all situations. One shift he is scoring big goals for us; the next shift he is sacrificing his body on the PK. He is an extension of our coaching staff, our Captain, and he makes our job easier.”
Rohrer was the 10th overall draft pick in the 2022 NCDC Entry Draft. He jumped right into the NCDC lineup out of Team Wisconsin, and after a 100-point season in 24 games with his hometown Oregon (Wis.) High School.
He is a point-per-game player with the NCDC Rockets, putting up an 11-14-25 line in 25 games. He has been a +1 in his three games up so far with the Musketeers. The USHL team wanted to keep him in late February, so he missed the NCDC All-Star Young Guns game, to which he was voted by NCDC coaches.
“[Rohrer] is a great young talent. He is a magician with the puck and his hockey IQ is off the charts,” said Jared Kersner. “Every time he has the puck he makes something happen. As an ‘05, I’ve watched his game develop this season in this league playing against older players which will allow him to thrive in this opportunity in Sioux City.”