North Dakota commit and forward Luke Voltin has been added to the Chicago Steel, according to league sources.
Voltin, 16, was dismissed from the National Team Development Program late Tuesday night and the NTDP confirmed the news on Wednesday morning.
Voltin was playing with the U-17 team and was dismissed for what is believed to be a violation of team rules. NTDP spokesman Jake Wesolek could not discuss the reasons for Voltin’s dismissal from the program.
USHL Director of Hockey Operations Tony Gill said this morning there is a process in which a team could add Voltin to its roster but declined to further describe how it all works although with Chicago obtaining his rights, it could be determined the process allows a player like Voltin to go to whoever is first in line in the league’s waiver wire.
Chicago, which is 9-21-1 this season, has the worst mark in the league.
Voltin tweeted prior to the news breaking he was not going to play in the Western Hockey League and would honor his commitment to North Dakota along with playing in the USHL quickly.
He could realistically play this weekend when the Steel having three games agianst Indiana, Youngstown and Cedar Rapids.
Voltin, 16, played in 11 league games this seasons scoring six points for three goals and three assists. He was part of the United States team which won its third consecutive Four Nations Title.
In Voltin Chicago is getting a forward considered to be among the best American-born forwards in his age group.
He played on varsity last season as a sophomore at perennial Minnesota power Hill-Murray, scoring 31 points (18 goals and 13 assists) on a team which had been favored to make a serious run at a state title before losing in the section finals.
Before going to Chicago, Voltin had two other options which didn’t include the USHL.
Voltin’s Major Junior rights are owned by the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks, who lately have had a knack for getting and seriously tempting players from North Dakota and Minnesota to join their team.
Portland recently signed Minot, N.D. native Alex Schoenborn to a contract for next season and are believed to be in the hunt for Breck freshman defenseman-turned-winger Keegan Iverson.
There have also been more Minnesotans going to play Major Junior as of late. Voltin’s former Hill-Murray teammate, defenseman Travis Wood, signed a contract to play this season with the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League.
Edina’s Ben Walker left the Hornets, another Minnesota perennial power, to sign with the Victoria Royals, which also play in the WHL.
Another possibility would be to return to Hill-Murray but now he is going to Chicago he will be expected to help jump start what has been one of the league’s most beleaguered offenses.