Three of the Blackhawks' 2010 draft picks –
first-round pick Kevin Hayes
and second-rounders Justin Holl
and Stephen Johns –
are set to compete with 40 of the best under-18 hockey players in the country for a spot on Team USA's 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship squad when they take part in the 2011 National Junior Evaluation Camp this August in Lake Placid, N.Y. The Hawks are the only NHL team with more than two prospects invited.
The eight-day evaluation camp includes practices, intrasquad scrimmages and international games featuring Finland, Sweden and the United States. Team USA coach Dean Blais and his staff will build their roster for the annual International Ice Hockey Federation event, which will be held in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta., this December.
Hayes, who just completed his freshman season at Boston College, was selected 24th overall by the Blackhawks in 2010. The 19-year-old forward tallied 13 points (4G, 9A) in 30 games with the Eagles this year and recorded one assist in his only NCAA tournament appearance.
Freshman defenseman Holl tallied 7 points (G, 6A) in 25 games with the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2010-11 and accrued a +3 plus/minus rating. The Tonka Bay, Minn., native was selected 54th overall by Chicago after finishing his high school career as a finalist for Minnesota's Mr. Hockey Award his senior season.
Johns, the 60th overall pick in 2010, completed his first season with Notre Dame with a trip to the Frozen Four and appeared in 41 games for the Irish, recording 12 points (G, 11A) and a team-high 98 penalty minutes. The Wampum, Penn., native previously won a gold medal at the 2009 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
USA Hockey has made some strong showings in recent international competitions, winning gold at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship and taking home bronze in 2011.