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Posted On Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 2:51 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. National Junior Team set for game action

BOSTON -- United States National Junior Team coach Mark Osiecki realizes practices and drills can only keep a player's interest for so long.

It's one reason why he feels the players are champing at the bit for a little game action to prove their ability against Boston University at Walter Brown Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be the first of three pre-tournament exhibition games for the United States prior to the start of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship beginning Dec. 26 at Bell Centre in Montreal.

It will also mark Boston University's first men's ice hockey game at the storied arena since Jan. 2, 2005, a 2-1 loss to the University of Minnesota. The Terriers opened Agganis Arena the following day with a 2-1 victory against the Golden Gophers.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Compher determined to earn place among junior elites

BOSTON -- University of Michigan sophomore JT Compher has certainly experienced his share of untimely injuries.

In December 2013, the hard-nosed wing sustained a foot injury while attempting to block a shot in a practice during the United States National Junior Team selection camp in Minneapolis, Minn. The injury left him in a walking boot and gave the managerial team no other choice but to leave him off the U.S. roster headed to Sweden for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 12:59 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Osiecki discusses requirements in forming U.S. lineup

BOSTON -- Mark Osiecki realizes the importance of having players that are tough to play against in big situations at the World Junior Championship.

Osiecki, coach of the United States National Junior Team, is not only looking for players capable of providing an offensive push but those grinders who are willing to pay the price in getting them the puck. Osiecki has seen his share of hard-nosed competitors as a three-time assistant for the U.S. National Junior Team, including gold medal-winning performances in 2010 and 2013.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. players take proactive steps to mumps outbreak

BOSTON -- The mumps outbreak that has infected more than a dozen NHL players is not being taken lightly by the managerial team at USA Hockey during the four-day selection camp on the campus of Boston University this week.

USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson said that while he hasn't received any instruction from the International Ice Hockey Federation with regard to the virus that now has affected six NHL teams, he made it a point to tell all 30 players just prior to camp to remain vigilant about their hygiene.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 4:51 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Eruzione shares high praise for U.S. hopeful Eichel

BOSTON -- Mike Eruzione knows a little something about coming up big in clutch situations.

He did it for the United States against Russia in "The Miracle on Ice" during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. Eruzione, who serves as Boston University's director of special outreach at his alma mater, was on hand Tuesday to witness the new breed of American hopefuls looking to earn a roster spot for their country at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

One player he didn't have to think too hard about was Boston University freshman Jack Eichel. On the way to leading the NCAA in scoring over the first half of the season with 27 points, Eichel has been coming up pretty big himself.

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 5:36 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Capitals honor Central Scouting's Al Jensen

Al Jensen, who has served as the head goalie scout the past 14 years at NHL Central Scouting, was honored as one the top 40 players in the history of the Washington Capitals during a commercial break midway through the first period Saturday at Verizon Center.

Jensen was introduced to the fans in the company of his daughters, Leah and Shannon.

"Al Jensen started with NHL Central Scouting in 2001," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "Al is responsible to identify, evaluate and rank goaltenders each year for the NHL Draft. Throughout the NHL, the scouting fraternity and amongst his Central Scouting colleagues, Al's opinions on goaltenders is well respected and often sought after. He is very thorough, conscientious and always an ultimate professional in performing his unique and valuable role with Central Scouting for the benefit of the 30 NHL clubs."

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid vs. Eichel showdown looms at 2015 WJC

Residents of the United States may have heard that sigh of relief coming North of the Border last week after Canadian hockey fans learned their junior hockey phenomenon Connor McDavid will indeed be ready for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

McDavid, projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, has been skating for the past three weeks after sustaining a broken pinky finger in his right hand on Nov. 11 in a fight. He is targeting Canada's pre-tournament exhibition game on Dec. 21 against Sweden at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa as an initial tune-up. He expects to be in the lineup when Canada plays its first preliminary-round match against Slovakia at Bell Centre in Montreal five days later.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 3:13 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Germany releases preliminary roster for 2015 WJC

The German Ice Hockey Federation has revealed the preliminary camp roster of players who will compete for spots in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship later this month.

German National Junior Team coach Pat Cortina has invited 27 players, including three goalies, nine defensemen and 15 forwards to camp that is scheduled to begin in Fussen, Germany, from Dec. 15-18. The German Ice Hockey Federation will cut four skaters before departing for Canada.

Germany will have two pre-tournament exhibition matches against the United States on Dec. 21 at K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario, and Denmark on Dec. 23 at Centre D'Excellence Sports Rousseau in Blainville, Quebec.


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Posted On Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 10:29 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Reway, Cehlarik named to Slovak WJC select roster

Forwards Martin Reway and Peter Cehlarik, both selected in the 2013 NHL Draft, highlight the list of players invited to selection camp for Slovakia ahead of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Reway, a fourth-round choice (No. 116) of the Montreal Canadiens, had four goals and 10 points in five games for eighth-place Slovakia in the 2014 WJC. Cehlarik, a third-round pick (No. 90) of the Boston Bruins, had three assists in five games for the Slovaks last year.

Slovakia, which will be coached by Ernest Bokros, hasn't placed higher than sixth at the WJC since 2009, when it finished fourth.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 9:22 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Ehlers, Bjorkstrand named to Danish junior team

Forwards Nikolaj Ehlers and Oliver Bjorkstrand highlight the list of players selected to the Denmark National Junior Team preliminary roster for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal. The tournament starts Dec. 26.

Ehlers, selected by the Winnipeg Jets with the ninth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, has 16 goals and 47 points in 23 games this season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Bjorkstrand, a 2013 third-round choice (No. 89) of the Columbus Blue Jackets, has 21 goals and 40 points in 28 games as an assistant captain for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

They played significant roles in leading Denmark to a first-place finish in the 2014 WJC Division I-A tournament, which earned Denmark promotion to the top level for this year's WJC. Ehlers had two goals and six points in five games while Bjorkstrand had four goals and six points in five games.

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Quote of the Day

Hockey means everything to people here [Winnipeg]. They take their team's success to heart. We've had an incredible year and they've given us incredible support.

— Jets center Mathieu Perreault after losing to the Ducks in Game 3 of their playoff series on Monday