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John Mustard’s Speed Helped Decide The Chipotle All-American Game

By Sean Shapiro, 01/16/24, 6:45PM EST


Mustard scored the game-winning goal in overtime for Team White in the 2024 All-American Game

PLYMOUTH, Mich. — Throughout Monday afternoon, John Mustard was flying. 

Frequently charging down the right wing, as a left-handed shooter, Mustard was a dual threat with the puck. He could cut to the middle of the ice for a better shot, he could open for a pass or he could tuck the shoulder and take it deeper into the zone. 

Mustard, a forward for the Waterloo Black Hawks, nearly scored multiple times in regulation for Team White in the 2024 Chipotle All-American Game Monday at USA Hockey Arena, so it was fitting when his speed ended the game during the 3-on-3 overtime period.

Mustard picked up a pass near his own blue line, hit the afterburners, and sped past a Team Blue defender to drive the net and fire a wrist shot for a 5-4 victory. 

“It was a good feeling, really rewarding and I felt like I could have had one earlier in the game,” Mustard said. “So, it was really nice to get one and finish it off that way.”

For Mustard, the All-American Game was a chance to show a wider audience of fans and scouts what he’s achieved in his first USHL season. 

“This is my first year in juniors and I haven’t gotten a ton of exposure, so I think it was a really big game for me, a big opportunity,” he said. “To just try and get scouts to open their eyes.”

In 29 games with Waterloo, Mustard has 16 goals and 15 assists. The Oradell, New Jersey, native leads all USHL rookies in scoring. 

Pretty good for a player whose goal going into this season was to simply make the USHL team. 

“I didn’t really have much clarity on what path I was going to go until the Phase I draft [of the USHL] and then I made it a real goal of mine to make the league as a 17-year-old,” Mustard said. “It was definitely something I had to work hard for, I don’t think it’s something that was given to me, I really had to earn it.”

Mustard’s USHL season really started taking off in the middle of October when he scored in three straight games. He had his first USHL hat trick a month later on Nov. 25 against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and started to get on the radar for potential selection to the All-American Game. 

“First couple games were a little rough, but then it really picked up,” Mustard said. “For any young kid in this league, there are going to be some ups and downs, but my coaches in Waterloo have worked with me a lot and helped me round out my game a lot.”

Mustard’s skating — which was on full display in the All-American Game —has been drawing rave reviews. 

“My skating has always been important to my game, but I think the big thing about it isn't my speed, it’s how I show my shot and it opens up other options that I can attack with my skating,” Mustard said.

For Mustard, the NHL Draft has been a motivating factor in the back of his mind. He said it doesn’t stress him out, but rather fuels him to build his game to hopefully get selected when the draft is held in Las Vegas thisJune. 

Scoring a big goal, in overtime, with all of USA Hockey watching on Monday, certainly isn’t going to hurt those visions. 

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.



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