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Posted On Monday, 08.03.2015 / 10:12 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

U.S. forward Tkachuk conjures memories of dad

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Left wing Matthew Tkachuk is a regular chip off the old block.

Tkachuk, son of former NHL player Keith Tkachuk and a potential top-five pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, had three goals and two assists for the United States white team in a 10-4 exhibition win against Sweden on Monday during USA Hockey's national junior evaluation camp at Lake Placid Olympic Center's 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.

The camp will help determine the roster for the United States at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland, to be played from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016. Matthew Tkachuk will play for London in the Ontario Hockey League this season.

"Tkachuk was our best player; he looked like his old man out there, who I coached previously," U.S. coach Ron Wilson said. "He did his dad proud. He looks like he's going to get to stay with us. He was one of the borderline calls [as one of the younger players] but he made up for it and we have no problem keeping him around."

Posted On Monday, 08.03.2015 / 9:38 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Avalanche pick Rantanen eager for Finland to host

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Finland forward Mikko Rantanen, a first-round pick by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2015 NHL Draft, is looking forward to having his country serve as host for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

It will mark the first time since 2004 the tournament will be held in Finland.

The 6-foot-4, 211-pound right wing is confident the Finns will do better than the seventh-place they finished at the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto. Rantanen led Finland with four goals in five games as one of their youngest skaters.

In Helsinki, site of the 2016 WJC from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016, he's determined to be one of the leaders on and off the ice. He showcased a bit of that swagger and ability when he had three assists in a 10-3 exhibition victory against the United States blue team during the national junior evaluation camp at Lake Placid Olympic Center's 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.

The camp, which includes practices and games against Sweden, runs through Saturday.

Posted On Monday, 08.03.2015 / 4:32 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

van Riemsdyk encouraged by Maple Leafs' changes

Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk was 15 years old when he met his new general manager, Lou Lamoriello, for the first time.

It was in December of 2004 and van Riemsdyk was being honored at a luncheon as a New Jersey High School Hockey Player of the Month, an award created and presented by the New Jersey Devils.

Lamoriello, formerly the GM and president of the Devils, was at the luncheon.

"It's kind of cool how it comes full circle," van Riemsdyk said last week in Brick, N.J., where he was tagging along with his brother, Trevor, a defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks, on his day with the Stanley Cup. "Here we go, fast forward almost 12 years later, and he's one of my bosses. That's pretty cool.

Posted On Monday, 08.03.2015 / 11:48 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Capitals could mix and match at third-line center

It appears to be by design that the Washington Capitals don't, at this point, have a defined No. 3 center going into this season.

Instead of slotting someone into the role to play behind top two centers Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said coach Barry Trotz could, at least at the start of the season, decide on his third center based on opponent and strategy for that particular game.

For example, if the Capitals want to use more of a traditional checking line, he would likely choose from Brooks Laich or Jay Beagle to be the No. 3 center. The one who isn't could center the fourth line, or move to the wing.

Posted On Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 9:16 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 Summer with Stanley blog

Keith brings Cup to childhood rink in Ontario

Duncan Keith on Saturday brought the Stanley Cup to the place where his hockey career began: the Memorial Sports Centre in Fort Frances, Ontario.

Keith played minor hockey in the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association until he was 15, when his family moved to Penticton, British Columbia. He brought the Cup to Fort Frances in 2010 but was unable to in 2013.

Posted On Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 5:25 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Zacha won't participate in Czech Republic camp

CALGARY -- Pavel Zacha, the first-round pick by the New Jersey Devils in the 2015 NHL Draft, will not participate in the Czech Republic's national junior team evaluation camp beginning Saturday in Calgary.

Zacha has not signed a contract with the Devils and opted out of the camp for precautionary reasons.

Posted On Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 5:19 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Versatile Benson impressing at Canada's U-18 camp

CALGARY -- According to Vancouver Giants forward Tyler Benson, the expectations have always been there.

But Benson, named to NHL Central Scouting's Futures List for North America and Europe in June, welcomes them as the potential first round pick awaits the 2016 NHL Draft next June.

"I don't think it makes it any easier," Benson told at Canada's National Men's Summer Under-18 Team selection camp at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. "You have to perform this year. You have to go out there and try to be the best every day. If you're playing to the expectations, you're going to do well."

Posted On Friday, 07.31.2015 / 11:31 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 Summer with Stanley blog

Keith brings Stanley Cup to beach in Corvette

Duncan Keith rode in style to surprise some 100 beach-goers with the Stanley Cup on Friday.

The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, in a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, showed up at Lester Beach, Manitoba, with the trophy in the passenger seat.

"He got out of the convertible and he came down to the beach, I guess it's probably 50 meters or something like that, and as he was approaching the beach he lifted the cup above his head and, of course, there was a big cheer from the crowd," resident Bill Shead told CBC.

Posted On Friday, 07.31.2015 / 10:15 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Chychrun out for Canada at Ivan Hlinka Memorial

CALGARY -- Defenseman Jakob Chychrun will not play for Canada at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup following shoulder surgery.

"He’s injured. He had shoulder surgery in April to repair his shoulder," Hockey Canada director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski said Friday. "We thought maybe at one point he might be all right and we wanted to name him. He's going to be unable to participate through the whole thing, through the camp and the Hlinka. He's out."

The U-18 tournament will be played in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Breclav, Czech Republic, from Aug. 10-15.

In 42 games with the Sarnia Sting last season, Chychrun had 16 goals and 17 assists, and was named a third-team Ontario Hockey League all-star. He missed the final five games of the regular season and did not play in the OHL playoffs.

Posted On Friday, 07.31.2015 / 5:57 PM

By Staff -  / - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Gurianov to join Russia at Canada development camp

Right wing Denis Gurianov, a first-round pick (No. 12) of the Dallas Stars at the 2015 NHL Draft, will come to North American to play for Russia during the Canada National Junior Team Summer Development Camp in Calgary, according to Stars Inside Edge.

Russia, Canada and the Czech Republic will practice together and play exhibition games against each other during the camp, which runs Aug. 1-6. Gurianov will be among 22 players attending the camp that will help establish the roster for Russia at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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