MUSKEGON, MI- Muskegon Lumberjacks defenseman Hank Kempf has been named to the USHL’s All-Rookie second team, the league announced Friday. The league awards are decided by a General Manager vote, and Kempf becomes the second Jack to be honored, after Danil Gushchin was named to the All-USHL third team.
Kempf, 18, of Chicago, saw limited action for Muskegon in ‘18-’19, but emerged as a top-pair defenseman in his first full season as a Lumberjack. Kempf didn’t score a goal on the season, but his 17 assists were the third-most of any rookie defenseman in the USHL.
Kempf made considerable contributions on the offensive end, and combined with his exceptionally steady defense, added up to a rating of +18, the best mark of any rookie blueliner. That differential was also the second-best rating on the team, behind only Gushchin’s +21.
“This is great news to hear Hank was honored,” said head coach Mike Hamilton. “Hank was a rock for us all season, and was consistently the best defender on the ice each night, and was matched against our opponent’s top line every game.”
“With such a successful rookie campaign we are excited to see the steps Hank takes next season,” continued Hamilton. “Hank has an NHL future ahead of him- some team is going to be very lucky to have him as a prospect. This young man has a bright future ahead of him!”
Kempf is committed to Cornell University, and was ranked #204 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the 2020 NHL draft.