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Posted On Tuesday, 12.18.2012 / 11:20 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Jones looks to be first African-American to go No. 1

It's no wonder Seth Jones doesn't just throw his arms in the air and confess to the hounding media that the decision to ultimately choose hockey over basketball is the one question he's answered a million times in recent months.

Truth is, though, the 18-year-old defenseman realizes it isn't often that a potential first-overall NHL draft pick also happens to be the son of a former NBA superstar and current assistant coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

"I've been bombarded with questions about that, which is normal I guess," Jones said on the final day of U.S. National Junior Team selection camp on Tuesday. "But my dad [Popeye Jones] didn't encourage me to play hockey; we knew nothing about hockey. He asked Joe Sakic what we needed to do to get involved and I was hooked."

It was actually during Popeye's tenure with Denver Nuggets in 1999-2000 when he approached Sakic about Seth and his desire to give hockey a shot. The rest is history.


Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 2:32 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Bardreau would embrace grinding role for U.S.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Forward Cole Bardreau might be the only undrafted NHL free agent on the U.S. National Team Junior camp roster this week here at the New York Rangers' practice facility during selection camp, but his international success is just too good to be ignored.

The 5-foot-10, 181-pound center, a sophomore at Cornell University this season, played a part in the United States' gold medal-winning performance at the 2011 Under-18 World Championship in Germany and a first-place showing at the 2011 U-18 Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic.

In 2010, he was on the U.S. National U-18 Team that was first at the Four Nations Cup in Sweden while also earning gold at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario.

Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 2:08 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Gibson set in net for Americans

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- If there's one player on the U.S. National Junior Team selection camp roster with a good idea what players for Canada might expect from coach Steve Spott, it's Kitchener Rangers goalie John Gibson.

Gibson just so happens to be Spott's starting goalie in Kitchener. He's currently second in the Ontario Hockey League with a 2.13 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Spott, of course, is the coach for the Rangers when he's not instructing the Canadian National Junior Team.

Originally chosen by Kitchener in the 11th round of the 2009 OHL priority draft, Gibson would later be selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of 2011 NHL Draft. Gibson, who was signed by Spott to an OHL contract on July 27, 2011, is already penciled in as the U.S. starter for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 12:21 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Noesen ruled ineligible to play for USA

Watch WJC on NHL Network-US

NHL Network-US is the home of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with coverage of over 15 games as well as highlights and analysis.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson confirmed Monday that he has no intention of inviting another player to U.S. National Junior team training camp here at the Rangers' practice facility in the absence of suspended forward Stefan Noesen.

Johannson confirmed Monday that Noesen's 10-game suspension by the Ontario Hockey League for a hit in a Dec. 8 contest against the Oshawa Generals has forced him from participation in the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russa, Dec. 26-Jan. 5. The 6-foot-1, 206-pound center is not eligible to return to the OHL until Jan. 11.

"We wanted to let the process go full and, in the end, we do not feel it's an equitable process," Johannson said. "We did send this to the [IIHF] for [its] determination since there's an opportunity for them to read and review. That was done. In the end, that suspension is behind upheld."

Posted On Friday, 12.14.2012 / 2:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Nugent-Hopkins named Canada's captain for WJC

Watch WJC on NHL Network-US

NHL Network-US is the home of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with coverage of more than 15 games as well as highlights and analysis.

Less than 24 hours after solidifying the roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month, Canadian National Junior Team coach Steve Spott named his captain.

Not surprisingly, forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will don the "C" on his Canadian jersey when he represents his country at the WJC for the first time. Nugent-Hopkins, the first selection of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, is in his last year of WJC eligibility.

Additionally, defenseman Scott Harrington (Pittsburgh Penguins) and forward Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers) were named alternates. Spott made the announcement Saturday prior to Canada's departure for Helsinki, Finland, for a pre-competition camp.

Posted On Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 7:20 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Struggling Subban rebounds, named to WJC team

Entering this week's selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, there were several players considered to be virtual locks as starters for the Canadian National Junior Team at the 2013 World Junior Championship later this month.

Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League -- one of four goalies invited to the camp -- was among the "locks." Fact is, however, Subban's lackluster performance through the first two exhibition games was rather un-Subban-like.

During the four-game series in the Canada-Russia Challenge in August, Subban was superb, allowing four goals for a 1.97 goals-against average in two victories. In five appearances for Canada's Under-18 National Team, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound goalie sported an impressive 2.98 GAA and .913 save percentage.

Perhaps that's why coaches and fans were willing to give Subban the benefit of a doubt through the first two days of selection camp. But there's no question Subban realizes he must play better. After all, the 2013 WJC will be the biggest event of his hockey career.

Posted On Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 7:16 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada sets final 23-man roster for WJC

The last day of Canada's National Junior Team selection camp at Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary also provided the final round of cuts as coach Steve Spott trimmed his roster in preparation for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month.

The eight players released Thursday were forwards Mark McNeill (Chicago Blackhawks) of the Prince Albert Raiders, Daniel Catenacci (Buffalo Sabres) of the Owen Sound Attack, Tom Wilson (Washington Capitals) of the Plymouth Whalers and Hunter Shinkaruk (2013 draft eligible) of Medicine Hat Tigers; defensemen Mathew Dumba (Minnesota Wild) of the Red Deer Rebels, Frank Corrado (Vancouver Canucks) of the Sudbury Wolves, Ryan Sproul (Detroit Red Wings) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds; and goalie Laurent Brossoit (Calgary Flames) of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Spott's 23-man roster consists of 13 forwards, seven defenseman, two goalies and one emergency goalie in case of injury. The club will depart for pre-competition camp in Finland on Saturday.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.12.2012 / 2:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada sets camp lineup against University of Alberta

Hockey Canada released the names of a dozen players not participating in Wednesday's game against the University of Alberta on Day 2 of World Junior selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

Forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Scheifele, Phillip Danault, Brett Ritchie, Charles Hudon, Boone Jenner, Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Strome are healthy scratches, along with defensemen Dougie Hamilton, Scott Harrington, Morgan Rielly, and Xavier Ouellet (ankle sprain).

It's interesting to note that six of the players are returnees from last year's bronze medal-winning club at the 2012 World Junior Championship, including Hamilton, Harrington, Scheifele, Jenner, Huberdeau and Strome.

Goalies Laurent Brossoit, Jordan Binnington, Jake Paterson and Malcolm Subban will be playing. Binnington and Subban will split duty for Canada and Paterson and Brossoit share the cage for Alberta.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.12.2012 / 10:18 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

MacKinnon and Drouin impress at Canada camp

Even when they're not performing their magic together for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, linemates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin are inseparable.

The dynamic duo, who have combined for 41 goals and 100 points with the Mooseheads this season, were again in the spotlight on Tuesday during Hockey Canada's selection camp intrasquad game for Team Red against White.

"I think they were both nervous early," Canada head coach Steve Spott said after Red's 3-1 win. "Both kids made plays with the puck that they didn't look like [17-year-old] kids to me. They looked like 19 or 20 year olds out there, so I thought both kids played real well."

Posted On Friday, 12.07.2012 / 6:53 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sissons to miss Canada WJC camp with injury

Hockey Canada announced Friday that forward Colton Sissons of the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Hockey League will be unable to attend Canada's selection camp next week for the World Junior Championship due to an upper-body injury.

Sissons will not be replaced on the roster, which now has a total of 36 invitees, including four goaltenders, 12 defensemen and 20 forwards. The 19-year-old Sissons was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the second round (No. 50 overall) of the NHL Draft last June. He had 10 goals and 27 points in 27 games for Kelowna in 2012-13.

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