USA Hockey on Monday revealed the U.S. National Under-18 Team roster that will represent the country at the 2012 U-18 Four Nations Tournament scheduled Nov. 6-10 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.
The roster for the United States will include forward Hudson Fasching, who was recently given an A rating by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for this year's draft. J.T. Compher, another NTDP player given an A-rating prior to the season, is still recovering from an undisclosed injury suffered last month and will not be available.
Fasching, who had missed the last two games with an upper body injury, has three goals and eight points in 13 games.
The United States Hockey League on Friday announced that the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game would be held Jan. 23 at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Mich.
This is the second year the USHL will be staging a top prospects game, which features 40 of the top NHL Draft-eligible players from the league. The process of choosing players, who will be named sometime in early January, includes input from the 16 USHL general managers, NHL Central Scouting and NHL team scouts and decision makers.
"We're excited to have the prospects game return to Muskegon, one of the proudest and longest-standing hockey markets in the United States," USHL president and commissioner Skip Prince said. "These are America's best, gathered together for a special night with the Muskegon Lumberjacks as host and all of hockey as spectators."
Quebec Remparts right wing Nick Sorensen, who earned a B rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list for players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be sidelined this weekend with a bruised foot.
Sorensen had been on fire this season, hitting for four goals and 11 assists in 14 games. He also sports a plus-7 rating. The 6-foot-0.5, 168-pound forward missed almost all of his rookie season in 2011-12 after suffering a knee injury in the eighth game of the season.
Hockey Canada on Thursday announced the 22 players who will represent Canada East at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge to be held Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
The roster was named following a four-day selection camp, Oct. 28-31, at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto. Greg Walters, who coaches the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, will coach the team.
Heading the roster is Matt Buckles, a center with the St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL). The 6-foot-1.25, 205-pound forward leads the team with 12 goals and 25 points in 18 games. He was most recently given a C rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft.
Three other players on the roster earned C rankings from Central Scouting, including defenseman Christian Weidauer of Carleton Place Canadiens of the Central Canada Hockey League; and forwards Blaine Byron of Kemptville 73's (CCHL) and Troy Josephs of St. Michael's (OJHL).
Two players on the roster are returning from the 2011 WJAC -- forwards Justin Danforth of the Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) and Michael Neville of St. Michael's (OJHL).
"Getting down to 22 players was no easy feat, especially considering the talent we had in Toronto this week," Walters said. "As a coaching staff, we're confident we've assembled the best roster and we look forward to getting to Nova Scotia and getting started."
Canada East, which has appeared in four of the six gold medal games at the WJAC, won silver in 2006, '07, '10 and '11. The team will compete in Group B, along with Switzerland and the United States. Canada West, the Czech Republic and Russia will comprise Group A.
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While the battle for top honors at the 2013 NHL Draft will likely be between North American prospects Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads and Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks, the distinction as top European prospect is just as intriguing.
|Alexander Barkov, Tappara (FINLAND)|
Make no mistake, the battle for European prominence appears to be between center Elias Lindholm of Brynas in Sweden and center Alexander Barkov of Tappara in the Finnish Elite League.
Lindholm has four goals and 10 points in 16 games this season for Brynas while Barkov has produced nine goals and 17 points in 15 games.
"Lindholm and Barkov are outstanding with their league teams and both could be top five at the [NHL] Draft," said Goran Stubb, European Director of NHL Central Scouting.
Lindholm had 14 goals, 49 points and a plus-24 rating in 36 games with Brynas in Sweden's junior league last year.
NHL Central Scouting on Thursday upgraded four players to A status on its preliminary players to watch list of prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft.
In addition to the upgrades, Central Scouting identified several players who happen to be tracking higher and will receive considerable attention in anticipation of its preliminary rankings list, which will be released in November and rank the top 25 prospects in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League and United States Hockey League, as well as various Europena nations.
Forward Anthony Mantha of the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is proving to be quite the offensive force to open the 2012-13 season.
The 18-year-old connected for his third hat trick of the year -- scoring four goals and one assist -- in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Rimouski Oceanic on Wednesday to move into a tie with Rouyn-Noranda's Jean-Sebastien Dea for the league scoring lead with 28 points. Mantha, who is regarded as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list from the QMJHL, has 15 goals and 13 assists for the season.
Highly regarded 2013 NHL Draft prospect Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads returned to the lineup with a vengeance on Wednesday before 6,634 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre.
Drouin, who was sidelined the previous six games with an upper-body injury, connected for two goals and two assists to help lead the Mooseheads to a 6-2 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
Hockey Canada on Wednesday released the 60-man roster attending training camp for team Canada West that will participate in the World Junior A Challenge, to be held Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
The Canada West camp will be held Oct. 28-31 at the Markin MacPhail Center in Calgary. Players for the camp were selected from the Canadian Junior Hockey League's five western Junior A leagues: the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
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I think when you build a team, you look at pairs, and I think the pair of [Voracek and Giroux] is very good, certainly one of the top pairs in the League.