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Posted On Wednesday, 08.13.2014 / 11:53 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

McLennan impressed with crop of U.S. goaltenders

NHL Network analyst Jamie McLennan spent parts of 11 seasons playing goalie in the NHL with five teams from 1993 to 2007. And at 6-foot and 207 pounds, he said he considered himself "a big guy."

But while watching the goaltenders USA Hockey invited to Lake Placid, N.Y., last week for a summer evaluation camp geared toward picking the players that will play for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, he didn't feel so big.

"Being a 6-foot goaltender I thought I was a big guy," McLennan said. "Today I'd be a shrimp. Everyone is 6-2 and up and that's what teams draft."

All four goaltenders at the camp each stood 6-foot-3 or taller, but it was Thatcher Demko, the biggest of the four at 6-4 and 192 pounds, who stood out the most to McLennan.

Posted On Saturday, 08.09.2014 / 11:13 PM

By Staff -  / - World Junior evaluation camps

U.S. wraps up camp by beating Czech Republic

The United States finished its weeklong National Junior Evaluation camp with a 3-0 victory against the Czech Republic on Saturday. It was the third win in a row for the United States, which beat Sweden 7-1 on Wednesday and routed Finland 9-1 on Thursday.

Tyler Motte, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect who combined with Jack Eichel and Alex Tuch (Minnesota Wild) for five goals and 12 points in the win against Finland, opened the scoring against the Czechs 10:51 into the game by converting a diagonal feed from Ryan Collins (Colorado Avalanche).

Posted On Saturday, 08.09.2014 / 12:48 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

U.S.-Czech WJC camp game delayed

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Citing travel problems for the Czech Republic team, a game between the United States and the Czechs scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The Czechs had been in Montreal taking part in the junior evaluation camp hosted by Hockey Canada. They beat Canada 5-2 on Thursday, with Boston Bruins 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak scoring two goals and adding an assist. The game also featured 101 penalty minutes, including 79 for Canada.

The game Saturday between the Americans and Czechs will close a week-long junior evaluation camp run by USA Hockey here that included games and practices for the United States, Sweden and Finland.

The United States has been off since Thursday, when it beat Finland 9-1. The Americans also played Wednesday, beating Sweden 7-1.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 7:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Saros' goaltending leads Finland past Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Even while coaching in Russia for the past three seasons, Finland national junior coach Hannu Jortikka knew exactly what kind of player he has in goaltender Juuse Saros.

Saros, a Nashville Predators prospect who helped backstop Finland to the gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, was outstanding in stopping 24 of 26 shots in Finland's 4-2 defeat of Sweden on Friday.

Janne Puhakka had a goal and an assist and Julius Vahatalo, Sami Niku and Aleski Mustonen had goals, but it was Saros who kept things under control in the Finnish end.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 6:51 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

McDavid accomplishes goals at Canada's junior camp

MONTREAL -- Connor McDavid had humble goals for the Canadian national junior team's summer development camp that wrapped up Friday.

"Right now," McDavid said Sunday after the first practice of camp, "I'm just worried about making this team and leaving a good impression on these coaches."

Mission accomplished.

And then some.

McDavid scored a highlight-reel goal and was a threat just about every time he stepped on the ice in a 5-2 loss to the Czech Republic on Friday. McDavid, a center for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, was the youngest player at Canada's camp and the only one who has not been drafted by an NHL team. That will change next June, when McDavid is likely to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft to be held in Sunrise, Fla.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 5:57 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Lack of discipline hurts Canada in loss to Czechs

MONTREAL -- Canada's biggest weakness at the IIHF World Junior Championship has generally been a lack of discipline, or at least an inability to adjust to the standards of international officials.

Coach Benoit Groulx has been clear throughout Canada's summer development camp this week that no one will make the team or get cut in August, but the final scrimmage of the camp against the Czech Republic on Friday might have hurt the chances of some players because of their inability to maintain discipline.

With the Czechs leading 5-2 in the third period, Canada took 11 minor penalties, one major penalty and four misconducts during the final 13:40 of the game in its only loss of the four-game exhibition tournament that also included Russia.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:38 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Projected lineups for Finland, Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- One day after losing 9-1 to the United States, Finland will look for a better effort Friday against Sweden.

That includes a change in goal, with Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros starting. Kevin Lankinen, a 2015 NHL Draft prospect, allowed nine goals on 42 shots Thursday.

Sweden, which hasn't played since losing to the United States 7-1 on Wednesday, will have a few changes to its lineup. Axel Blomqvist (Winnipeg Jets) will play right wing on the top line, alongside left wing Jacob de la Rose (Montreal Canadiens) and center Lucas Wallmark (Carolina Hurricanes).

Fredrik Bergvik (San Jose Sharks) will start in goal. He allowed one goal on four shots in 16:59 of ice time in relief of Jonas Johansson (Buffalo Sabres) on Wednesday.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:32 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Fabbri leaves Canada game following open-ice hit

MONTREAL -- St. Louis Blues forward prospect Robby Fabbri left a Canadian national junior team scrimmage against the Czech Republic in the third period Friday after taking an open-ice hit from undrafted defenseman Marek Baranek.

Fabbri was skating through the neutral zone at 6:20 of the third when Baranek stepped up and laid an unpenalized hit on him. Fabbri lay on the ice for a few minutes as a scrum ensued and Canada trainers went out on the ice to check on him.

Fabbri eventually got up and needed help to reach the Canadian bench before departing immediately to the dressing room. He did not return to the game.

Canada coach Benoit Groulx had no update on Fabbri's status after the game, which the Czechs won 5-2 to hand Canada its lone defeat in four games of its summer development camp. However, Fabbri was seen using crutches when he left the Ed Meagher Arena on the Concordia University campus.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 1:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Sabres prospect Fasching 'MVP' of soccer tournament

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Hudson Fasching has accomplished a lot in his athletic career. But Friday might have been the high point.

Fasching, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, was the self-proclaimed MVP of the winning soccer team during a fun morning away from the rink for the players competing at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

After beating Sweden and Finland by a combined score of 16-2 the previous two days, the players had earned a break from practice but still wanted to get some kind of a workout in. So after stretching for a bit at the Olympic Training Center, they went next door for a four-team soccer tournament on the field in front of Lake Placid High School.

Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 8:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Eichel is more than meeting expectations

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Before he arrived at the National Junior Evaluation Camp this week, United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki said there would be high expectations placed on center Jack Eichel.

"Jack Eichel is an offensive player and we have to hold him accountable offensively," Osiecki said. "He's a special player and we have to lean on him offensively to be that difference maker, be a player that can make everyone around him better; offensively for sure."

Eichel has done just that in the past two days. He had one goal and four assists in a 9-1 win against Finland on Thursday, one day after he had three assists in a 7-1 defeat of Sweden. In the game against Sweden he helped linemate Alex Tuch to a hat trick. He did the same for his other linemate, Tyler Motte, against Finland.

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