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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Okposo and Rakhshani impressive at Lake Placid

USA Hockey wrapped up their week and a half-long Junior Evaluation Camp at Lake Placid, NY on Monday as preparation for the final 2007 World Junior cuts to be made later this fall.

Following a week of training, Team USA split their 43-player camp into two teams -- Blue and White -- and participated in eight exhibition games versus Finland and Sweden. Each American squad played two games apiece against Finland and Sweden with the final games played on Saturday.

Islanders 2006 draft picks Kyle Okposo and Rhett Rakhshani made strong cases to represent Team USA at the 2007 World Junior Championship in December and January.

Rakhshani tied for the tournament lead in points with Phil Kessel, posting seven assists in four games, while Okposo finished with one goal and two assists in three games. Both played for Team White.

"Things were just clicking all week," said Rakhshani. "It was a good camp, and I'm looking forward to next season."

Rakhshani boosted his assist total in the final game, tallying three assists in a 7-1 rout over Finland. Okposo, meanwhile picked up two assists in White's first game against Finland -- an 8-5 US victory. Team White finished 4-0, while Team Blue finished 3-1.

Okposo the Islanders' 2006 first round draft pick will attend the NCAA powerhouse Minnesota in the fall. Last year, Okposo's Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL took home the championship.

"It was a successful camp," said Okposo. "The competition was top notch, and the experience will help me for the upcoming season at Minnesota."

Rakhshani, chosen in the fourth round of the 2006 Entry Draft, will attend Minnesota rival Denver, in the fall. Rakhshani's Pioneers will visit Okposo's Golden Gophers on January 19 and 20.

The 2007 World Junior Championship takes place from December 26-January 5 in Mora and Leksand Sweden.

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