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Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 3:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Miller keeps climbing hockey ladder, succeeding

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- J.T. Miller has been a man on the move the last three seasons. Three different teams at three different levels of hockey, and about the only thing in common has been a high level of success for the New York Rangers prospect.

After scoring 50 points in 56 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2010-11, Miller was selected by the Rangers with the 15th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft. He spent last season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, where he finished fourth on the team with 25 goals and 62 points.

He's also grown to 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, which has better equipped him to climb another rung on the hockey ladder -- to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League. In 26 games, Miller is fourth on the team with 14 points. Not bad for a 19-year-old in the AHL, where most of the first-year players are 2-3 years older.

"To be able to play center on the power play in the American Hockey League speaks volumes as to where his development has gone," U.S. coach Phil Housley told NHL.com. "He's very, very strong. You're going to need grit in this tournament, especially our team -- we're playing four games in five nights -- so definitely we're going to have to have some guys that play with some consistency and I see J.T. doing that."

Miller said every season he's played in a different league, the speed and strength of the players he faces on a nightly basis has gone up. And playing against older, stronger players in the AHL could make him better equipped for anything he'll face in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"It helps with the whole speed and the strength, the thing that's going to help me a lot more," Miller said. "Some of the guys we play against won't seem as strong or fast, and might prepare me that much more to make sure I'm playing my best. Use what I know and everything I've learned in the AHL."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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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.

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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.

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Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 2:05 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

NHL Network-US, NHL.com offer live WJC coverage

The NHL Network-US and NHL.com have all of your World Junior Championship needs covered.

NHL Network-US announced Monday it will broadcast live all four of the preliminary-round games played by the United States, as well as six additional preliminary-round games and the entire medal round of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Ufa, Russia from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Participating nations include Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

NHL Network-US also will air Team USA's two pre-tournament games live from Finland.

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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."

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Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 11:48 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

QMJHL honors for Moncton's Lalonde

Moncton Wildcats left wing Christoph Lalonde, a 2013 NHL Draft prospect, was honored Monday by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as the Second Star of the Week.

In three games last week, the 5-foot-9, 173-pound forward totaled six goals and an assist, even though his team lost two of the three games.

His big week started Tuesday, as he had a pair of goals in a 5-3 win against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan for his first multi-goal QMJHL game. He had an assist and seven shots on goal in a 4-3 overtime loss Friday to the Saint John Sea Dogs. He saved his best for last, however, as he tied a team record with four goals in an 8-6 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday.

Lalonde now has 11 goals in 29 games this season, nearly tripling the four he scored in 65 games last season. His 16 points this season is one more than he scored last season.

Lalonde wasn't the only QMJHL draft-eligible player to have a big weekend. Here is how a few others fared:

* PEI Rocket left wing Victor Provencher had a pair of goals Friday in his team's 5-2 win at the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Then on Sunday he had a goal and two assists in the Rocket's 6-3 win against Saint John.

* Saint John left wing Jakub Izacky scored a pair of goals in his team's 4-3 overtime loss at Moncton on Friday.

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Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 9:56 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Jones ready for the extra attention

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The player most in the spotlight for USA Hockey at this week's World Junior Championship selection camp is defenseman Seth Jones. The 6-foot-4 blueliner is considered by some to be the most talented player in the 2013 NHL Draft class, and after losing a spot on last year's WJC team due to an injury in the final exhibition game, he's considered a lock to fill a major role on this year's team.

"He continues to be a dynamic player that happens to be 6-foot-4 and a defenseman that can do so much in the game. That's rare," U.S. team GM Jim Johansson said. "I think decision-making continues to get better and better. Not that it was poor before, but it seems like his game matures as the competition matures."

He's certainly shown the ability to step up his game to match the competition. In his first season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League this season, he's tied for fifth among WHL defensemen with 28 points, and he recently had a nine-game point-scoring streak.

"At the start I got a little uncomfortable in the league for it being my first season," Jones said. "The first couple games it really took me a while to get comfortable with the speed of play and the type of play in the league. Right now I think I'm doing great. I'm very comfortable with the way I'm playing. My teammates have been great, they've really helped me get comfortable with the league and develop with the speed of play. It's been an unbelievable year."

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Posted On Sunday, 12.16.2012 / 9:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Mini-game fun end to first day of practice

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For their first day on the ice as a full group, U.S. coach Phil Housley focused on drills that got his players' legs moving and blood pumping. And the players afterward said it was just what they needed.

"Everybody's upbeat today, good tempo, try to get the feet moving," forward J.T. Miller said. "It wasn't all that grueling of a practice. We all played [Saturday] for the most part. We've just got to make sure we take every practice like it's a game and come out ready to go."

Most of the drills focused on transition play, which Housley said will be a major part of the team's game plan when they arrive in Ufa, Russia for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

A number of the drills were familiar to most of the 27 players here at the MSG Training Center, as they were the same as the ones Housley ran at the USA Hockey summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.16.2012 / 8:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Murphy healthy, happy heading into WJC for USA

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Saying Connor Murphy has been unlucky the past few seasons would be a major understatement.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is considered one of the best defense prospects in the Phoenix Coyotes' system, but a series of back issues and a knee injury has seen him play about 80 games over three seasons.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.16.2012 / 6:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Noesen's status still unknown

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Stefan Noesen is one of 27 players taking part in USA Hockey's National Junior Team Training Camp here at the MSG Training Center, but his eligibility for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship remains in question.

Noesen, a forward with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, was handed a 10-game suspension by the OHL on Dec. 8 for a hit to the head during a game.

Team USA general manager Jim Johannson said he's hoping to have a resolution either way prior to the team's departure for Finland on Tuesday.

"It's still a pending situation, and in fairness to everybody that's involved in it right now I really don't have much more of a comment," Johansson said prior to the U.S. team's first practice. "In our opinion it's pending. It's a matter that's not closed and we're working on that. We hope to have resolution on that before we leave here.

"There's a lot of conversations. Ultimately he has to be eligible for an IIHF tournament. We're working on it as best we can. It takes a lot of communication with a lot of people right now. It's a little bit of uncharted territory for everybody. All I can say is I'm working on it as hard as I can. And I've been happy with the cooperation but it’s a difficult position for everybody and everyone involved is giving it the right diligence right now."

Noesen, a 6-foot, 187-pound right wing taken by the Ottawa Senators with the 21st pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, was part of the best line at USA Hockey's summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., along with Sean Kuraly and Mario Lucia.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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