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9 returnees head U.S. 2011 Junior evaluation camp

by Adam Kimelman
Nine members of the team that memorably won gold at the 2010 World Junior Championship will take part in USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp, which will help set the roster for the 2011 WJC.

In all, 44 players in all will attend the camp, which will be held July 30-Aug. 7, at the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Olympic Center.

Among the players returning is goaltender Jack Campbell, who was in net in Saskatoon when the U.S. snapped Canada's five-year winning streak with a 6-5 overtime victory in the gold-medal game. Campbell is the No. 2 North American goaltender in NHL Central Scouting's rankings for the 2010 Entry Draft, June 25-26 in Los Angeles.

Also returning from last year's team are defensemen Cam Fowler and John Ramage, and forwards Ryan Bourque, Jerry D'Amigo, Chris Kreider, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Palmieri and Jason Zucker.

Fowler, No. 5 on Central Scouting's list of the best North American skaters eligible for the draft, was second on last year's WJC team with a plus-8 rating, and he had 2 points in seven games.

Zucker, a rambunctious left wing ranked No. 51 by Central Scouting, had 2 goals in limited ice time. Ramage, No. 131 on Central Scouting's list, had 3 assists, including the only one on John Carlson's overtime winner that gave the U.S. just its second gold medal ever in the IIHF under-20 event.

D'Amigo, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, led last year's team with 6 goals, including a pair in the semifinal victory against Sweden. Kreider, the New York Rangers first-round pick last year, also had 6 goals. Bourque, another Rangers prospect, was a leader and strong defensive presence. Palmieri, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, was second on the team with 8 assists, while Morin, a 2009 second-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers, had 2 goals and 7 points.

Campbell and Fowler aren't the only highly regarded 2010 Entry Draft prospects invited to the camp. Nine other players ranked in Central Scouting's top 30 received invitations -- Medicine Hat Tigers right wing Emerson Etem (No. 8); U.S. National Team defenseman Derek Forbort (No. 9); Blaine (Minn.) High School center Nick Bjugstad (No. 13); Peterborough Petes center Austin Watson (No. 14); Minnesota State center Tyler Pitlick (No. 18); U.S. National Team defenseman Jonathan Merrill (No. 21); South Shore Kings (EJHL) center/right wing Charlie Coyle (No. 24); Warroad (Minn.) High School center Brock Nelson (No. 25); and Nobles School (Mass.) right wing Kevin Hayes (No. 26).
Four players eligible for the 2011 draft were invited based on their strong play in helping the U.S. win gold at the 2010 World Under-18 Championship. Defenseman Adam Clendening, who tied for the team lead with 10 points and made the tournament all-star team, earned an invitation, as did forward Nick Shore, who also had 10 points. Forward Brandon Saad had 6 points and a plus-6 rating, and forward Matt Nieto had 3 assists and 4 points.  

This will be coach Keith Allain's first look at the group that will try to defend the gold medal in Buffalo, starting Dec. 26. The tournament runs through Jan. 5, 2011.  

"It will be a very competitive camp and give our staff a good opportunity to evaluate players as we start our preparations to defend the gold medal in Buffalo," said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations and general manager of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team.

Contact Adam Kimelman at


GOALTENDERS: Jack Campbell (2010 Draft eligible), Zane Gothberg, (2010 Draft eligible), Michael Houser (2010 Draft eligible), Andy Iles (2010 Draft eligible).

DEFENSEMEN: Mark Alt (2010 Draft eligible), Brandon Archibald (2010 Draft eligible), Adam Clendening (2011 Draft eligible), Brian Dumoulin (Carolina), Justin Faulk (2010 Draft eligible), Derek Forbort (2010 Draft eligible), Cam Fowler (2010 Draft eligible), Stephen Johns (2010 Draft eligible), Nick Leddy (Chicago), Jonathan Merrill (2010 Draft eligible), John Ramage (2010 Draft eligible), Philip Samuelsson (Pittsburgh), Jared Tinordi (2010 Draft eligible), Patrick Wey (Washington).

FORWARDS: Beau Bennett (2010 Draft eligible); Nick Bjugstad (2010 Draft eligible); Ryan Bourque (N.Y. Rangers); Connor Brickley (2010 Draft eligible); Chris Brown (Phoenix); Zach Budish (Nashville); Charlie Coyle (2010 Draft eligible); Jerry D'Amigo (Toronto); Emerson Etem (2010 Draft eligible); Kevin Hayes (2010 Draft eligible); Chris Kreider (N.Y. Rangers); Phil Lane (2010 Draft eligible); Kevin Lynch (Columbus); Tyler Maxwell (2010 Draft eligible); Jeremy Morin (Atlanta); Brock Nelson (2010 Draft eligible); Matt Nieto (2011 Draft eligible); Kyle Palmieri (Anaheim); Tyler Pitlick (2010 Draft eligible); Bryan Rust (2010 Draft eligible); Brandon Saad (2011 Draft eligible); Drew Shore (Florida); Nick Shore (2011 Draft eligible); Austin Watson (2010 Draft eligible); Steve Whitney (2010 Draft eligible); Jason Zucker (2010 Draft eligible).
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