LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Don't tell goaltender Brandon Halverson he has a good shot at being named starter for the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland, to be played from Dec. 26, 2015 through Jan. 5, 2016.
Halverson, picked in the second round (No. 59) by the New York Rangers in the 2014 NHL Draft, is the only goalie at this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp with experience at the prestigious tournament. He was the backup to Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko at the 2015 WJC, and earned a 6-0 victory against Germany with 14 saves in his only start.
Halverson, who became the first Rangers draft pick in franchise history to earn at least 40 wins in a season of junior hockey with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League, has made 34 saves on 38 shots in two exhibition games for the United States at the evaluation camp.
"I've been here and backed up [Demko] at the World Junior tournament last season," Halverson said. "For me, it doesn't really matter right now. I'm just trying to focus on playing the best I can every game because these are all new coaches, new players. Last year was last year and it doesn't matter and I think I have to re-prove myself. I really want to show everyone that I can be the starting goalie."