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Butcher makes great case in USA Blue loss to Sweden

Monday, 08.05.2013 / 4:58 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- For the 43 players at USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp, Monday marks their final chance to showcase themselves and give coach Don Lucia and his staff a reason for them to survive the round of cuts that will be announced Tuesday morning.

For USA Blue defenseman Will Butcher, there wasn't much more about his game for him to showcase in a 4-3 loss to Sweden on Monday at Herb Brooks Arena.

Want to see his skating? Butcher went end-to-end to set up a goal in the third period. How about his shot? He showed touch and accuracy on a second-period shot from the point that floated past Sweden goalie Marcus Hogberg, and then brought the heat with a rocket from the top of the left circle that got past Hogberg in the third.

Teravainen provides offense, leadership for Finland

Sunday, 08.04.2013 / 9:16 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- More than eight months after his team finished a disappointing seventh at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, Finland center Teuvo Teravainen still is at a loss to explain what happened.

"I don't know. Different team now, different guys here," he said. "There were many small things that got thrown into that tournament. We just played bad. I know we had a good team and had a good chance to win. It's a [short] tournament and sometimes it goes bad."

Finland's first step toward making things go right for the 2014 WJC started Sunday with a 6-5 overtime win against a split-squad USA Blue team on the first day of games at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

McDavid, Reinhart hope to make Canadian junior team

Sunday, 08.04.2013 / 7:33 PM / Prospects

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec -- When you're an underage junior player, just being invited to attend the Canadian national junior team development camp can be considered a great honor.

But in the case of Sam Reinhart and Connor McDavid -- two players projected to be the top pick in the 2014 and 2015 NHL drafts, respectively -- the invitation to this week's camp is not the only achievement they hope to put on their respective résumés.

Each has an excellent shot at making the Canadian team that will compete at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held in Malmo, Sweden from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.

"They're special players in their own right," Canada coach Brent Sutter said Sunday, after the first day of camp. "There's a reason why they're here. They're obviously exceptional players. They're not ranked where they're ranked right now for the next two years by not being that."

Ekblad named captain of Canada's U-18 squad

Sunday, 08.04.2013 / 7:22 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, one of the top 2014 draft-eligible prospects on the board next June, was named captain of Canada's National summer Under-18 Team that will compete at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Canada's U-18 coach Dale Hunter made the announcement Sunday, one day prior to the start of the tournament.

Canada's National U-18 Team will begin its quest for a sixth consecutive gold medal against the Czech Republic in Group A in Breclav, Czech Republic, at 1 p.m. ET. It will be the first of three games in three days for Canada, which faces Sweden on Tuesday and Switzerland on Wednesday during the preliminary round.

Sieloff takes on leadership role for U.S.

Sunday, 08.04.2013 / 5:15 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The last time Patrick Sieloff saw a Swedish junior team, he ended up with a gold medal draped around his neck after his United States finished as champions at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Sieloff faced a Swedish junior team again Sunday, but this time the setting was markedly different -- the 1980 Rink at Herb Brooks Arena in the opening game at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

The outcome was different as well. Sweden took advantage of nine power plays to earn a 4-2 win against a split-squad USA White squad.

The teams were tied after two periods, but a pair of Sweden power-play goals by Lucas Wallmark and Oskar Sundqvist proved to be the difference.

Lucia learned lessons from U.S. World Junior camp

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Don Lucia got a first-hand look at how USA Hockey runs its national junior evaluation camp last summer. This year, he'll go from passenger to the driver's seat.

The camp, which will be held Aug. 3-10 at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the first step in picking the team that will play in the 2014 World Junior Championship, scheduled for Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden. The United States is the defending champion.

The week in Lake Placid will feature practices and exhibition games against teams from Canada, Finland and Sweden.

"I had a chance to go through it last year to see how it all worked, which was beneficial heading into this year," Lucia told "I enjoyed it a lot, being there and being in that type of hockey environment."

Canada returns to Sutter seeking WJC success

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

After a third straight third-place finish at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2004, it marked seven years Canada had gone without a gold medal at the elite under-20 international tournament.

For the 2005 WJC, Hockey Canada chose Brent Sutter as coach. The subsequent changes Sutter helped bring about led to a run of five straight gold medals.

Now, mired in another slump -- no gold since 2009; no medal of any kind last year, the first time that happened since 1998 -- Hockey Canada has turned back to Sutter for the 2014 World Juniors, to be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.

Teravainen to lead Finland roster at WJC camp

Thursday, 08.01.2013 / 2:37 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Teuvo Teravainen, one of Finland's top scorers at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, is one of 24 players who will take part in the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, scheduled for Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The camp, which will see Finland join the United States, Sweden and Canada for practice and exhibition games, is the first step in teams picking their squads for the 2014 WJC, which will be played Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.

Teravainen, chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks with the 18th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, had five goals and six assists in six games.

Stolarz gained experience, resolve in trying season

Monday, 07.29.2013 / 3:25 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

When Anthony Stolarz arrived at the Philadelphia Flyers' prospect development camp in July 2012, he was less than a month removed from being a second-round pick in the NHL Draft and was preparing for his freshman year at college.

A year later, Stolarz returned far more experienced from a season that had highs and lows that opened his eyes and steeled his resolve.

Stolarz started last season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, but as the youngest player in a three-goalie rotation, playing time became an immediate issue. By the December holidays, he had played eight of 18 games and the experience was becoming less than desirable.

"Right around when I got back from Christmas, right after the Quinnipiac series [Dec. 29-30], I went a while without playing," Stolarz told "I said to myself, 'Do I really want to go through this, not playing games?' As a goalie, it's tough. As a forward, you're going out there every three shifts. As a goalie, there's only one guy that can have the net and there's three of us."

Blues happy Rattie picked hockey instead of baseball

Monday, 07.29.2013 / 10:10 AM / Prospects

Louie Korac - Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Before tearing up the Western Hockey League with 347 points in four seasons -- including 231 over the past two -- St. Louis Blues prospect Ty Rattie had an incredibly arduous decision to make before becoming a Portland Winterhawk.

The 32nd pick in the 2011 NHL Draft turned a simple phone call into a blossoming career in the Western Hockey League.

In 2012-13, he had 110 points, a season that culminated with a 36-point postseason that led the Winterhawks to the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions. He also led the team with six goals and 12 points in five games at the Memorial Cup.

Life was good for Rattie, but looking back, he almost never gave the Winterhawks a chance.

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Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

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