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 Waterloo Black Hawks

Mustard Named USHL's Top Rookie

May 8, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Waterloo Black Hawks News Release

Waterloo, Iowa - John Mustard's 29 goals were the most by any Waterloo Black Hawk last season, spurring the United States Hockey League to name him the 2023/24 USHL Rookie of the Year Wednesday.

Mustard was also chosen for the 2023/24 All-USHL Rookie First Team. The 17-year-old's exceptional season helped to make the Providence recruit one of the league's most prominent college and professional prospects.

"The whole Black Hawks organization would like to congratulate John; it is exciting to be part of a year where a player has so much success," said Black Hawks General Manager Bryn Chyzyk. "He was electric for our fans to watch, and we all look forward to seeing John selected during the NHL Draft this summer."

Mustard found the net for the first time in Waterloo's second game of the season. By mid-November he had produced a ten-game point streak. That run stood up to tie for the league's fifth-longest point streak in 2023/24 and boosted Mustard among the league's scoring leaders. On November 25 th , he completed a hat trick with an overtime-winning score against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Home fans had the chance to see Mustard have an even bigger night on February 3 rd when he scored four times against the Sioux City Musketeers.

Arriving in Waterloo from Oradell, New Jersey, Mustard eventually added 27 assists to his goal total, finishing second on the team with a total of 56 points. He paced Waterloo with seven game-winning goals. Mustard's +15 plus/minus differential ranked fourth on the team.

He placed among the top four USHL rookies in all of those categories. The league defines a rookie as a player in his first year of NHL Draft eligibility who has played 10 or fewer USHL games in prior seasons. For good measure, Mustard led his peers in power play goals (seven), power play points (16), and shots on goal (205).

Mustard also appeared in USA Hockey's All-American game on January 15 th . He scored the winning goal in overtime during Team White's 5-4 victory. The highly-scouted event drew increased attention to Mustard; by April, NHL Central Scouting slotted him 27 th among North American draft prospects in the service's final rankings. That puts him in contention to become just the fifth Waterloo player to ever be chosen in the first round when the NHL Draft begins on June 28 th .

There have been two other Waterloo skaters who have won the USHL Rookie of the Year award: Joe Pavelski was the first at the conclusion of the 2002/03 season, followed by Taylor Cammarata in 2011/12. Emmett Croteau was the last Hawk before Mustard to earn All-USHL Rookie recognition (Second Team in 2020/21), and Vladislav Firstov was the most recent Waterloo player picked for the All-Rookie First Team in 2018/19.

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