BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Phil Housley, who will coach one of the teams at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Saturday, also will coach the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. So you can be sure he'll be taking lots of notes on potential candidates for the team he takes to Ufa, Russia for the event.
The World Juniors generally is a tournament for 19- and 20-year-olds, but Housley said he would keep an open mind for any player to make the team. Of the 45 players USA Hockey invited to its junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid in August, two -- defenseman Seth Jones and forward Ryan Hartman -- were first-time draft eligible, and both made the initial cut-down and played well in exhibition games against Finland and Sweden.
"Certainly we're going to keep an open mind," Housley said. "We haven't picked our team yet. There's always two or three guys that catch your eye in October and November heading into December that make the team that weren't at Lake Placid. Certainly I'm going to be watching. I've seen Seth Jones and Ryan Hartman, but there's a lot of other prospects here that certainly have a chance to make the team."
Jim Johannson, who will serve as general manager of the team, also will be in attendance and keeping an eye open for players not just for the 2013 WJC, but for future tournaments.
"The majority of the players here, the under-20 is a year out," Johannson told NHL.com. "There are some guys, Seth [Jones] and Ryan [Hartman] were at the [summer] camp. … Now, we have another event here which is, especially from Tim [Taylor, director of player personnel] and my perspective, it's another hands-on with the players and get them around us and us around them and just get a feel for how they fit in the big picture."
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