Sioux Falls, SD
The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game showcases the top NHL draft eligible USHL players, including South Dakota native, and Chicago Steel standout, Walker Duehr.
After going undrafted last summer, Sioux Falls native Walker Duehr is one of 40 players taking part in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
"That's what this is all about. It's about giving players opportunities to succeed and to have special moments in their life. Regardless of how far hockey takes him, I can guarantee for Walker this is something that he'll never forget," USHL Director of Player Development and Recruitment Doug Christiansen said.
"There will be a little bit of pressure, especially with this magnitude of a game, but I'm going to try and block it out and just go out there and play my game," Sioux Falls native Walker Duehr said.
Duehr has 23 points in 28 games, including eleven goals, and is looking to improve with every game.
"Just always getting better on the ice with the little things. Working on foot speed or hand skills and just sharpening up those details. Off the ice, getting bigger, faster, stronger and always working at that," Duehr said.
"Just seeing that development and growth that he's had I think it's a great example of what this league can do for a player. He's a guy who's been a top player on our team this year and top player in the league, and now to get to come home to Sioux Falls and play in an event like this it'll be special to be there," Chicago/Team East head coach Dan Muse said.
Walker left Sioux Falls at age 14 and is cousins with former Stampede player Zeb Knutson, who offered some advice...
"They told me if I want to do what I want to do in hockey, which is play college hockey and hopefully pro someday, I need to move away to have more exposure and play at a higher level," Duehr said.
Duehr has played for three USHL teams in three seasons, and helped Tri-City to its first-ever Clark Cup championship last May.
"Whenever you win a championship, you learn a lot of things along the road. Just going through the whole playoffs and the grind of that, and also learning how to take care of your body and the different type of play around playoff hockey, and eventually getting to the finals and winning it...it was awesome," Duehr said.
Walker has committed to play college hockey at MSU-Mankato.
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