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Junior camp begins U.S. roster-build for 2011 WJC

by Adam Kimelman
Keith Allain said the 44 players who suit up for the first day of USA Hockey's national junior evaluation camp July 30 will have a "clean slate" in their quest to make the U.S. roster for the 2011 World Junior Championship.

The coach for the defending champions will get his first look at the players competing for roster spots for this year's WJC at the camp, held at the U.S. Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., and running through Aug. 7.

The 2011 World Junior Championship will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2011, in Buffalo.

Allain, the coach at Yale University, said his goal for the camp is to start developing relationships with the players, as well as begin teaching the way he wants his team to play. Allain said it won't look much different than the way coach Dean Blais had the U.S. playing en route to a gold medal in Saskatoon in January.

"I think some of the hallmarks of that team was the speed they played with, the way they played in the transition game, the work ethic, the grit, the one-on-one play," Allain told "Those are all things we think embody winning hockey."

Allain knows about winning hockey. He's won 72 games in four seasons at Yale, including three Ivy League titles, two ECAC regular-season championships and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. Yale's .700 winning percentage is the best in NCAA Division I hockey.

He also has experience at the international level, having coached the U.S. to back-to-back fifth-place finishes at the 2001 and '02 World Junior Championships.

"There are so many things you learn," he said of his past experiences. "The one thing you learn is the team that wins is usually the team that pulls together as a team the quickest. And then having said that, you also need to have a little bit of adversity in the tournament and overcome that to succeed as a hockey team. You don't know how you're going to do that until you hit that bump in the road. The margin of being successful and not being successful are so tiny. Every shift, every faceoff could be the determining factor."

Of the players he'll be looking at during the camp are nine players from last year's championship team -- goaltender Jack Campbell, defensemen Cam Fowler and John Ramage, and forwards Ryan Bourque, Jerry D'Amigo, Chris Kreider, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Palmieri and Jason Zucker.

"The one thing I learned about them as a group is they sacrificed individual achievement for team success," said Allain. "That was a great team … they blocked shots, they were disciplined but physical. If they come to camp ready to compete, that's a group you can use to build upon, because they've been there and done that. We have to see if that success bred hunger for more success or more complacency."

Fourteen of the players attending the camp are first-round NHL draft picks, including 11 taken in the opening round of the 2010 Entry Draft -- goaltender Campbell (Stars, No. 11), defensemen Fowler (Ducks, No. 12), Derek Forbort (Kings, No. 15) and Jarred Tinordi (Canadiens, No. 22), and forwards Beau Bennett (Penguins, No. 20), Nick Bjugstad (Panthers, No. 19), Charlie Coyle (Sharks, No. 28), Emerson Etem (Ducks, No. 29), Kevin Hayes (Blackhawks, No. 24), Brock Nelson (Islanders, No. 30) and Austin Watson (Predators, No. 18).

This year's camp will feature three days of intrasquad scrimmages, after which the roster will be trimmed. The smaller group then will play two exhibition games each against Finland and Sweden, which will bring teams stocked with players who could be their respective 2011 WJC squads.
"I think some of the hallmarks of that team was the speed they played with, the way they played in the transition game, the work ethic, the grit, the one-on-one play. Those are all things we think embody winning hockey." -- Keith Allain
Finland features high-scoring Edmonton Oilers prospect Toni Rajala and goaltender Jonathan Iilahti, a Vancouver Canucks prospect who backstopped Finland to a bronze medal at last spring's World Under-18 Championship.

Sweden's entry is led by another Oilers prospect, left wing Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson. If he's not playing in the NHL, the 2009 first-round pick would be playing in his fourth World Juniors, and would look to add to a medal collection that already includes two silvers (2008, '09) and a bronze (2010). Three other '09 first-round picks will be playing for Sweden -- defensemen Tim Erixon (Calgary) and Oliver Ekman-Larson (Phoenix), and center Jacob Josefson (New Jersey). Also included are a pair of highly regarded 2011 Draft-eligible players, defenseman Adam Larsson and center Gabriel Landeskog.

Contact Adam Kimelman at

GOALTENDERS: Jack Campbell (Dallas), Zane Gothberg (Boston), Michael Houser (2011 Draft eligible), Andy Iles (2011 Draft eligible).
DEFENSEMENMark Alt (Carolina), Brandon Archibald (Columbus), Adam Clendening (2011 Draft eligible), Brian Dumoulin (Carolina), Justin Faulk (Carolina), Derek Forbort (Los Angeles), Cam Fowler (Anaheim), Stephen Johns (Chicago), Nick Leddy (Chicago), Jonathon Merrill (New Jersey), John Ramage (Calgary), Philip Samuelsson (Pittsburgh), Jarred Tinordi (Montreal), Patrick Wey (Washington).
FORWARDS: Beau Bennett (Pittsburgh), Nick Bjugstad (Florida), Ryan Bourque (N.Y. Rangers), Connor Brickley (Florida), Chris Brown (Phoenix), Zach Budish (Nashville), Charlie Coyle (San Jose), Jerry D'Amigo (Toronto), Emerson Etem (Anaheim), Kevin Hayes (Chicago), Chris Kreider (N.Y. Rangers), Philip Lane (Phoenix), Kevin Lynch (Columbus), Tyler Maxwell (2011 Draft eligible), Jeremy Morin (Chicago), Brock Nelson (N.Y. Islanders), Matt Nieto (2011 Draft eligible), Kyle Palmieri (Anaheim), Tyler Pitlick (Edmonton), Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh), Brandon Saad (2011 Draft eligible), Drew Shore (Florida), Nick Shore (2011 Draft eligible), Austin Watson (Nashville), Steve Whitney (2011 Draft eligible), Jason Zucker (Minnesota).

GOALTENDERS: Robin Lehner (Ottawa), Fredrik Petterson-Wentzel (Atlanta).
DEFENSEMEN: Adam Almqvist (Detroit), Peter Andersson (Vancouver), Simon Bertilsson (Philadelphia), Oliver Ekman-Larson (Phoenix), Tim Erixon (Calgary), Adam Larsson (2011 Draft eligible), Fredrik Styrman (2011 Draft eligible).
FORWARDSPatrick Cehlin (Nashville), Jesper Fasth (N.Y. Rangers), Calle Jarnkrok (Detroit), Jacob Josefson (New Jersey), Martin Karlsson (2011 Draft eligible), Carl Klingberg (Atlanta), Anton Lander (Edmonton), Gabriel Landeskog (2011 Draft eligible), Oscar Lindberg (Phoenix), John Norman (2011 Draft eligible), Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (Edmonton), William Wallen (2011 Draft eligible), Sebastian Wannstrom (St. Louis).

GOALTENDERSJonathan Iilahti (Vancouver), Christopher Gibson (2011 Draft eligible)
DEFENSEMENMikael Aaltonen (2011 Draft eligible), Jani Hakanpaa (St. Louis), Jyrki Jokipakka (2011 Draft eligible), Tommi Kivisto (Carolina), Nico Manelius (2011 Draft eligible), Rasmus Rissanen (Carolina), Miihkali Teppo (2011 Draft eligible), Jesse Virtanen (2011 Draft eligible).
FORWARDS: Joonas Donskoi (Florida), Erik Haula (Minnesota), Julius Junttila (2011 Draft eligible), Janne Kumpulainen (2011 Draft eligible), Joonas Makinen (2011 Draft eligible), Joonas Nattinen (Montreal), Iiro Pakarinen (2011 Draft eligible), Toni Rajala (Edmonton), Teemu Rautiainen (2011 Draft eligible), Mikael Salmivirta (2011 Draft eligible), Topi Taavitsainen (2011 Draft eligible), Teemu Tallberg (2011 Draft eligible), Valtteri Virkkunen (2011 Draft eligible).

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