WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Defensemen Karl Alzner
and Josh Godfrey (Canada) and goaltender Michal Neuvirth
(Czech Republic) have been named to their respective countries’ teams that will compete in the 2008 World Junior Championship to be held in the Czech Republic Dec. 26, 2007, to Jan. 5, 2008. Alzner, who is making his second World Junior Championship appearance, was named the captain of Team Canada today.
Alzner, 19, was the Capitals’ first choice, fifth overall, in the 2007 Entry Draft. The Burnaby, British Columbia, native is the captain of the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. Alzner leads Hitmen defensemen with 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) and a +10 rating in 33 games.
Godfrey, 19, was Washington’s second-round choice, 34th overall, in the 2007 Entry Draft. A native of Collingwood, Ontario, he is the top defensive scorer for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 32 games. Godfrey ranks third among OHL defensemen in goals and 10th in points after leading league blueliners in goals last season (24).
Neuvirth, 19, was Washington’s second-round choice, 34th overall in the 2006 Entry Draft. The Usi Labem, Czech Republic, native has split this season between the Plymouth Whalers and the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). His combined totals currently rank third in the league in save percentage (.924) and fifth in goals-against average (2.39). Last season Neuvirth led the Whalers to the OHL championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup. He was the Whalers’ rookie of the year and a second-team OHL all-star.
The three Capitals prospects will open the tournament against each other, as they face off in a preliminary round game Dec. 26 at CEZ Pardubice Arena.