Opportunities always abound at the USPHL NCDC Combine Series, which has been run since 2019 to offer players the chance to skate in front of Tier II National Collegiate Development Conference coaches in Chicago and Detroit.
The knock on the door was loud and clear for Las Vegas native Ian Williams, whose performance at the Combine was so impressive that he was able to sign an NCDC Tender at the event, guaranteeing himself a spot at the Connecticut Jr. Rangers’ Main Camp and finding a spot on their 70-Man Protected List, which includes players certain to make the 2022-23 roster plus future prospects for coming years.
Williams, a 2003-born native of Las Vegas, Nev., was certainly happy with his choice to go to the USPHL NCDC Combine this year.
“I learned about the USPHL NCDC Combine series by looking up the NCDC camps online and saw the one in Chicago. I thought it would be a good opportunity,” said Williams, who attended the Chicago Combine held at the Fifth Third Arena in downtown Chicago, Ill., a facility that also serves as the Practice Home Of The Chicago Blackhawks.
“I had a positive experience at the combine. I got a lot of ice in and also some off-ice work,” he added. “The off-ice portion of the Combine was a nice addition to the usual game setup of combines and provided another opportunity to excel and stand out.”
The off-ice part of the Chicago Combine was run by Paul Goodman, who is the Blackhawks’ Strength and Conditioning Coach and also runs the Goodman Elite Training facility on the premises.
It was after his third of three guaranteed games at the Combine that Williams was approached by Connecticut Jr. Rangers Head Coach Jim Henkel.
“He approached me after my last game at the camp,” said Williams. “My individual performance at the Combine was good. I felt I played pretty well and I think my confidence and skills from the past two seasons developing in Wenatchee (not only with the U18AAA team but also with the time I spent participating in the BCHL practies) helped me stick out to the Connecticut staff.
“I thought it was a great opportunity and I enjoyed the camp a lot,” added Williams. “There were numerous scouts and coaching staff from all over the USPHL and NCDC in attendance, which is why you go to these things.”
Watch for the announcements for the 2023 USPHL NCDC Combine series in February 2023.