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McCoshen among 15 cuts from U.S. junior camp

by Adam Kimelman

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Defenseman Ian McCoshen was one of 15 players released from the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp on Tuesday.

McCoshen, a Florida Panthers prospect, was released for what USA Hockey called precautionary reasons.

Also sent home were defensemen Michael Brodzinski (San Jose Sharks), Connor Clifton (Arizona Coyotes), Clint Lewis, Scott Savage and Thomas Vannelli (St. Louis Blues), and forwards Taylor Cammarata (New York Islanders), Ryan Hitchcock, Connor Hurley (Buffalo Sabres), Keegan Iverson (New York Rangers), Vinni Lettieri, Sean Malone (Buffalo Sabres), Ryan MacInnis (Arizona Coyotes), Michael McCarron (Montreal Canadiens) and Austin Poganski (St. Louis Blues).

"That's the toughest part of it," United States coach Mark Osiecki said. "There's a lot of good hockey players. Every kid here is a talented hockey player and they're going to be talented hockey players in the future. It's the unfortunate part of it right now, you're trying to trim it down a bit to look at other players. The players sent home, not by any means are they off and not an option. They'll definitely be looked at. They're tremendous hockey players."

Among the 27 players left in camp are three players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft: forwards Jack Eichel and Kyle Connor, and defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Eichel, likely to be a top-two pick at next year's draft, has been one of the more impressive players at camp.

"He'd be fun to coach for a long period of time," Osiecki said. "He's so talented, a great kid. I think he's developed some leadership skills. High-level skater; he'd probably be a top-10 skater in the NHL right now. His skating is effortless. He's fun to watch and a fun kid to be around.

"I think those high-level players, they're special players. You can't teach that. He knows where everything is on the ice at any given point, not only his own players but the opponent. He has a great knack for understanding where everyone's at. He has a great feel for the game, great hockey sense."

Also still with the team is center Auston Matthews, at 16 the youngest player in the camp.

"He's fun to watch, isn't he?" Osiecki said. "We're going to look forward to watching him here the rest of this week."

All four goaltenders, Brendan Burke (Arizona Coyotes), Evan Cowley (Florida Panthers), Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks) and Brandon Halverson (New York Rangers) remain with the smaller group for the final three games, starting against Sweden on Wednesday.

The remaining group also includes eight defensemen. The play of the defense group during the first three days of camp has been uneven, but Osiecki chalked some of it up to the time of the year.

"I think that's summer hockey," Osiecki said. "You're used to doing and trying different things. You don't have coaches telling them and reminding them to move it quickly. But also there's not options at times and we haven't given them structure for them to have an option. So what's their first thought when they look up the ice? Sometimes it's not there because we haven't given them direction in what they should be looking for. The concern would be if we were giving them some direction and they weren't doing it, but we haven't given them direction."

The United States also has games left against Finland and the Czech Republic. Osiecki said he'll use that time to continue to identify line combinations and defense pairings that are starting to form chemistry.

"We're trying to identify who our centers could be," Osiecki said. "We're fortunate because we have so many centers, who can play and move to the wing, and from there we'll start developing some chemistry in what some of the [defense] pairs can be and what some of the lines can be."



GOALTENDERS: Brendan Burke, Portland, WHL (Phoenix Coyotes); Evan Cowley, Denver, NCHC (Florida Panthers); Thatcher Demko, Boston College, H-EAST (Vancouver Canucks); Brandon Halverson, Sault Ste. Marie, OHL (New York Rangers).

DEFENSEMEN: Louis Belpedio, USNTDP, USHL (Minnesota Wild); Will Butcher, Denver, NCHC (Colorado Avalanche); Brandon Carlo, Tri-City, WHL (2015 draft eligible); Ryan Collins, USNTDP, USHL (Columbus Blue Jackets); Jack Dougherty, USNTDP, USHL (Nashville Predators); Michael Downing, Michigan, BIG TEN (Florida Panthers); Anthony Florentino, Providence, H-EAST (Buffalo Sabres); Steven Santini, Boston College, H-EAST (New Jersey Devils).

FORWARDS: Anders Bjork, USNTDP, USHL (Boston Bruins); J.T. Compher, Michigan, BIG TEN (Buffalo Sabres); Kyle Connor, Youngstown, USHL (2015 draft eligible); Chase DeLeo, Portland, WHL (Winnipeg Jets); Jack Eichel, USNTDP, USHL (2015 draft eligible); Hudson Fasching, Minnesota, BIG TEN (Buffalo Sabres); John Hayden, Yale, ECAC, (Chicago Blackhawks); Dylan Larkin, USNTDP, USHL (Detroit Red Wings); Anthony Louis, Miami, ECAC (Chicago Blackhawks); Auston Matthews, USNTDP, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Sonny Milano, USNTDP, USHL (Columbus Blue Jackets); Tyler Motte, Michigan, BIG TEN (Chicago Blackhawks); Nick Schmaltz, Green Bay, USHL (Chicago Blackhawks); Alex Tuch, USNTDP, USHL (Minnesota Wild); Dominic Turgeon, Portland, WHL (Detroit Red Wings).

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