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Superior's Marthaler, Lakeland's Meyer Invited to NTDP Evaluation Camp

By Bill Berg Jr, WiPH Staff, 03/15/24, 3:45PM CDT


Two Wisconsin players, both of them on Team Wisconsin's 15O team, have been invited to the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp. They are Superior sophomore Jackson "JJ" Marthaler, and Lakeland freshman Kade Meyer. The camp is held from March 19th to 23rd at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.

Marthaler and Meyer, both defensemen, are two of the 47 players (26 forwards, 16 defensemen, and 5 goalies) invited to the 2024 evaluation camp. The evaluation camp roster represents 17 states, and all the players were born in 2008.

Marthaler missed a portion of this season when he represented our country in Korea at the Youth Olympics. Meyer was a finalist for Wisconsin Prep Hockey's Joe Piskula Award, as well as being a second-team All-Conference player in the Great Northern Conference. Both players were Honorable Mention All-State selections. 

Obviously, competition to make the NTDP roster will be fierce, but we're rooting for both players.

We talked to some of their coaches to learn more about these young players. (Please note coach Suter was traveling and responded when he was able)

How have you seen their play evolve over the year/years?

"Over the past year or so, JJ has really matured. He's become more focused on his goals and is taking a more methodical approach to things. It has been impressive how he handles the pressure of being scrutinized every time he's on the ice." -- Superior coach Evan Nelson.

"It’s been great to be a part of Kades development and I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for him. He’s obviously a great hockey player. But who he is as a person and leader in our community. He’s a top notch kid who I am very proud of. " -- Lakeland coach Jake Suter.

On Marthaler: "His confidence and ability to possess pucks has grown, he is not rushing pucks of his stick and trying to make more plays and drive exits with his feet when necessary." -- Team Wisconsin coach Dan Francis.

On Meyer: "Kade’s offensive ability has always been his strength but his defending has improved." -- Coach Francis.

What separates them from the pack and makes them a special player?

"JJ's attention to detail sets him apart in his age group. Whether it is his dedication to off-ice workouts, focusing on lighting weights and maintaining proper nutrition, or his precise on-ice skills and understanding of team systems, JJ consistently stands out. In addition, his willingness to collaborate with teammates is commendable. JJ is always ready to offer advice when he observes areas for improvement, demonstrating his commitment to collective growth and success." -- Coach Nelson

On Marthaler: "JJ’s preparation and compete level are second to none. His passion for the game is apparent and he holds himself to high standard." -- Coach Francis

On Meyer: "He is very elusive and is a player that can drive offense both out of our own end breaking out pucks or finding seems on the rush and in zone." -- Coach Francis

How has Team Wisconsin helped evolve their game? 

"JJ has had the opportunity to compete alongside and against some of the best out there. The adage 'iron sharpens iron' rings particularly true in his case. Last summer, he displayed his abilities even further when he stepped up to play at a higher level due to another player's injury, demonstrating his capability to succeed regardless of the competition level. We are extremely proud of what JJ has accomplished so far, and know that there is plenty more to come for him. No coach would want to lose a player of his character and talent, but at the end of the day we do want what is best for each individual kid in our program. This is the next step in achieving a dream of his and we want nothing more than for him to achieve it." -- Coach Nelson

"Team Wisconsin has been a big part of Kade's development and it allows for kids like Kade to stay home and play for their high school, while also getting the exposure and level of play that TW offers" -- Coach Suter

On both players, "Allows them to compete and play against other top players in the country with our schedule in Fall." -- Coach Francis

Team Wisconsin Players Going to the NTDP

"We wish the best for Jackson and Kade in the upcoming tryouts at NTDP camp.  If it’s not the right time, we will be thrilled to have them back home with HS and TW this season", said Team Wisconsin Commissioner Mike Larabell. 

More from Commissioner Larabell:

Playing Wisconsin WIAA high school hockey and for Team Wisconsin can be highly beneficial for players aspiring to excel in the sport. These experiences offer a unique blend of competitive play, skill development, and exposure to higher levels of competition, ultimately shaping players into well-rounded athletes. Notable Wisc HS/TW alumni such as Jake McCabe, Ty Emberson, Cole Caufield, Daniel Laatsch, Brady Cleveland, and Drew Schock have demonstrated the positive impact of participating in these programs.

Jake McCabe, currently playing in the NHL, honed his skills in Wisconsin high school hockey and TW before moving on to play for the NTDP. His journey highlights the strong foundation provided by these programs for future success. Ty Emberson, another NHL prospect, developed his game through Wisconsin high school hockey and further refined his skills with Team Wisconsin, demonstrating the pathway these programs offer toward professional hockey.

Cole Caufield, a highly touted prospect, and current NHL player, showcased his talent in Wisconsin high school hockey and TW, utilizing the competitive environment to elevate his game. Similarly, Daniel Laatsch, Brady Cleveland, and Drew Schock have all benefited from the rigorous competition and skill development opportunities provided by participating in these programs.

Overall, playing Wisconsin WIAA high school hockey and for Team Wisconsin provides players with invaluable experiences, helping them develop both on and off the ice. From honing technical skills to learning teamwork and sportsmanship, these programs lay the groundwork for future success in hockey and beyond. The achievements of players like McCabe, Emberson, Caufield, Laatsch, Cleveland, and Schock serve as testament to the significant benefits these programs offer to aspiring athletes.

2024 NTDP Evaluation Camp Roster Announced

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 03/13/24

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