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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:52 PM

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

U.S. forward Compher sustains hand injury

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States forward J.T. Compher, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, sustained an injury to his left hand during a 7-1 win against Sweden on Wednesday and is doubtful to return to the ice for the duration of this week's national junior evaluation camp.

Compher was hurt blocking a shot during a late 5-on-3 penalty kill. His left hand and thumb were heavily wrapped when he arrived at the rink for the United States' game Thursday against Finland.

USA Hockey would not reveal the full nature of the injury.

"We got him looked at and we'll leave it at that for now," Jim Johansson, the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and the general manager of the United States for 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, told NHL.com.


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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:36 PM

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

Projected lineups for United States, Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Finland will have a new top line when it faces the United States on Thursday.

Juuso Ikonen, who sat out a 4-3 win Monday against the USA White split squad, will play left wing on the top line with center Aleksi Mustonen and right wing Kasperi Kapanen (Pittsburgh Penguins).

Teemu Turunen was the top-line left wing Monday, the last time Finland played.

Kevin Lankinen, a 2015 NHL Draft prospect, will start in goal for the Finns.

The U.S. will have the same top line, with top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel between Tyler Motte (Chicago Blackhawks) and Alex Tuch (Minnesota Wild).

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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 10:25 AM

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

U.S. junior coach ready for 'great test' against Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki said he's hoping his team plays the same strong, 200-foot game against Finland on Thursday that it featured in a 7-1 defeat of Sweden on Wednesday.

"We have to stick to what we can do, stick to our game plan, so to speak," Osiecki said after a U.S. practice that saw 11 players on the ice. "It's really not putting a lot in there and throwing a lot at them. But if you get away from what we're trying to do Finland will take advantage of it. It'll be a great test."

In goal for that test will be New York Rangers prospect Brandon Halverson. In parts of three games earlier in the camp he allowed four goals on 34 shots, but stopped all eight shots he faced in 30:29 of ice time for the USA Blue split squad against Finland on Sunday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 8:21 PM

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

Demko turns in his best performance of camp

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki said after the morning skate Wednesday that the decision was made to play goaltender Thatcher Demko for the entire game against Sweden with the hope that he could show why he arrived for this week's junior evaluation camp as the frontrunner to be the No. 1 goaltender for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

It was no surprise that Demko's first 60-minute outing turned into his best performance at the camp. Demko, a Vancouver Canucks prospect, stopped 20 of 21 shots in the United States' 7-1 win against Sweden.

"The first three games I played I wasn't happy with it," he said. "I wasn't seeing the puck too well, wasn't playing very well. ... Today I was fortunate enough to play the whole game and I felt like I started to play more like myself. Shook the rust off a little bit and we were fortunate enough to win."

Demko had allowed eight goals on 27 shots while playing parts of three previous games. While the workload was harder Wednesday,

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 8:06 PM

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

Eichel and Tuch power U.S. rout of Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It's summer hockey, but Jack Eichel and Alex Tuch already look like they're in midseason form.

Linemates last season with the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team, Eichel had the primary assist on two of Tuch's three goals in a 7-1 defeat of Sweden on Wednesday.

Eichel, a likely top-two pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, finished with three assists; the other came on Michael Downing's first-period goal.


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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:54 PM

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

Projected lineups for USA White, Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden will use almost the same lineup it went with Tuesday in its 6-2 win against USA White with the exception of a change in goaltender.

Jonas Johansson, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, will start, with Fredrik Bergvik (San Jose Sharks) serving as the backup.

The U.S. lineup will feature its likely top two centers for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in the middle of the top two lines. Jack Eichel, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, will center Tyler Motte (Chicago Blackhawks) and Alex Tuch (Minnesota Wild), while 16-year-old Auston Matthews will be between Nick Schmaltz (Blackhawks) and John Hayden (Blackhawks).

Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks) will start and play the whole game in goal for the U.S., with Brandon Halverson (New York Rangers) the backup.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:05 PM

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

USHL/NHL 2015 Top Prospects Game set for January

The United States Hockey League revealed Wednesday that the USHL/NHL 2015 Top Prospects Game will be held Jan. 13 at Mystique Community Ice Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

The USHL and host club Dubuque Fighting Saints made the joint announcement during a press conference at the Mystique Community Ice Center.

The game will feature 40 of the top blue-chip prospects from the USHL eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26-27. Players will be chosen for the event based on a selection process that includes the input of USHL general managers, NHL Central Scouting, and NHL team scouts and decision makers.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:45 PM

By Chris Stevenson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Ekblad sustains concussion at Canada camp

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Aaron Ekblad, the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers, sustained a concussion in an exhibition game against the Czech Republic on Tuesday night and has been sent home from Hockey Canada's summer world junior development camp.

"He was re-evaluted this morning. He's got a concussion. He'll miss the remainder of camp. He's going to head home today. We worked with the Panthers and we expect a full recovery," said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada's vice-president of operations, national teams, said Wednesday.

Ekbland was injured late in the third period of Canada's 6-2 win against the Czech Republic when he collided with Czech defenceman Lukas Klok just outside the Czech blue line.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Ekblad leaves Canada's game vs. Czechs with injury

MONTREAL -- Defenseman Aaron Ekblad, taken by the Florida Panthers with the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, left a Canadian national junior team scrimmage against the Czech Republic late in the third period Tuesday after taking a heavy open-ice hit.

Wednesday morning, Ekblad was ruled out for the rest of Canada's evaluation camp, which runs through Friday, according to a report by TSN.

Ekblad was stickhandling through the neutral zone when he was met head-on at the Czech blue line by defenseman Lukas Klok and from the side by another Czech player. He was sandwiched, went down in a heap, wobbled as he got up and slowly made his way to the Canadian bench before leaving for the dressing room.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 10:46 AM

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

U.S. coach Osiecki to return to bench against Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki will get his first up-close look at his roster Wednesday when the United States plays Sweden.

It's the first game for the U.S. since rosters were trimmed Monday, and Osiecki said he's looking forward to being behind the bench. He watched the split-squad games during the early part of camp from off the ice.

"It's going to be interesting for us, Donny [Granato, assistant coach] and I," Osiecki said. "It'll be our first time on the bench and seeing that."

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Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center