LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- J.T. Compher almost certainly has skated his last shift during the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp this week due to an injury to his left hand sustained Wednesday blocking a shot against Sweden.
But there was no chance Compher was leaving town. Playing or not, the Buffalo Sabres prospect is too important to the process of building the team that will play for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
"With the guys that are here now, you're trying to build more and more identity in the locker room and let [the players] do that," said Jim Johansson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and the general manager of the United States WJC team. "He's got a pretty long history with a lot of guys in that room of being a leader on and off the ice. It's important for him to be here."