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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.

Forsberg, Lindholm off Sweden WJC camp roster

Friday, 07.26.2013 / 2:50 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

As host nation for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, Sweden hopes to assemble the best team possible. However, two of its top forwards might not be available for the elite under-20 tournament.

Filip Forsberg and Elias Lindholm have been removed from the roster Sweden will bring to Lake Placid, N.Y., for USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp.

The camp, to be held Aug. 3-10, will have Sweden practicing and playing exhibition games against teams from the United States, Canada and Finland. It's the first step in the roster makeup for teams taking part in the 2014 World Juniors, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014, and will be held in Malmo, Sweden.

Cooper, Kleinendorst to assist U.S. at WJC camp

Friday, 07.26.2013 / 12:16 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper and Iowa Wild coach Kurt Kleinendorst will serve as assistant coaches during USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp.

The camp, the first step in picking the team that will represent the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, will be held Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Cooper will start his first full season with the Lightning after replacing Guy Boucher in the middle of last season. Cooper has won championships in the American Hockey League and United States Hockey League.

Stars GM: Nichushkin will get chance to make roster

Wednesday, 07.24.2013 / 1:22 PM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

With two first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft, Jim Nill knew he had a unique opportunity to rebuild the Dallas Stars when the club named him its general manager in April. But he didn't know a potential franchise player would fall into his lap at No. 10.

The second-ranked European skater according to NHL Central Scouting, Russian wing Valeri Nichushkin. was a 6-foot-4 man-child in the Kontinental Hockey League last season, earning the Alexei Cherepanov Award as its top rookie. Concerns over his KHL contract likely compelled some teams to pass on him, and the Stars snapped up the 202-pound forward. They now plan on giving him every chance to crack the roster.

"We were excited. I think it's no secret, everybody had him as one of the top three players in the draft," Nill said. "If he was playing [Canadian junior hockey] somewhere in Moose Jaw or Peterborough, he probably would have been a top-three pick. There is risk with the Russian factor, everybody knows that. Where we were picking, he was a player we couldn't pass on. There was just too much there."

Flyers hope trio of prospects spells future on defense

Monday, 07.22.2013 / 7:35 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers finished the 2012-13 season with six defensemen on the injured list, one of the reasons the team missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.

While it gave opportunities to younger players to come up from the American Hockey League and showcase themselves, one of the top items on the offseason to-do list for general manager Paul Holmgren was adding to his defense corps -- in the present and in the future.

He took care of the present by trading for impending free agent Mark Streit and then signing the 35-year-old to a four-year contract.

He also took care of the future with the team's first two picks of the 2013 NHL Draft, selecting Samuel Morin at No. 11 in the first round and Robert Hagg in the second round (No. 41).

Those two, combined with 2012 third-round pick Shayne Gostisbehere, give the Flyers three blueliners they hope will make an impact in the near future.

Adversity spurred Flyers' Cousins to best season

Sunday, 07.21.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Nick Cousins always enjoyed playing hockey, but during the 2012-13 season the rink also provided refuge for him.

Cousins, a 2011 third-round pick (No. 68) of the Philadelphia Flyers, threw himself into the game, and the payoff was a breakout season when he almost led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring.

"With all the off-ice issues it was tough mentally, emotionally, physically even," Cousins told "It was tough, but going to the rink every day, it was my escape from all that other stuff, all the other distractions. … It helped my game, and my play sort of shows with that."

Cousins and two teammates from the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds were arrested in August 2012 and charged with sexual assault. The charges were dropped in April 2013 when the prosecution asked that the charges be withdrawn, citing "no reasonable prospect of conviction."

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