Rumors from earlier this week that 3 players have been kicked out of the US National Team Development Program have now officially been confirmed to The Pipeline Show from a source within USA Hockey. Goaltender Will Yanakeff, forward Stuart Higgins and projected 2009 1st round NHL pick Kyle Palmieri have all been booted off their respective teams for "breaking team rules".
Palmieri appeared on The Pipeline Show just last week. His CHL rights are held by the Guelph Storm and he has a verbal committment with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish should he choose the pursue the NCAA route. NHL sources have indicated to me that their belief is that the Zach Parise-like forward will head north to the OHL for next season.
Yanakeff and Higgins both played for the U17 team and are not eligible for the NHL draft this year. Yanakeff is slated to join Michigan State two seasons from now, His CHL rights are currently held by the Barrie Colts so the 6'2 goalie has options to consider.
Higgins is a small forward who has indicated that he will play for the Maine Black Bears beginning in 2010-11. He was a 12th round selection by the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
(thanks to Brock Otten of OHL Prospects for supplying the OHL rights and draft info)