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Top '14 picks among WJC summer camp participants

by Adam Kimelman



GOALIES: Kevin Lankinen, HIFK, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Juuse Saros, HPK, FIN (Nashville Predators)

DEFENSEMEN: Erik Autio, Penn State, BIG TEN (2015 draft eligible); Mika Ilvonen, St. Cloud State, NCHC (2015 draft eligible); Miro Keskitalo, TPS, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Alex Lintuniemi, Ottawa, OHL (Los Angeles Kings); Aleksi Makela, Ilves, FIN (Dallas Stars); Atte Makinen, Tappara, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Sami Niku, JYP, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Teemu Vuorisalo, Assat, FIN (2015 draft eligible)

FORWARDS: Hannes Bjorninen, Pelicans, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Waltteri Hopponen, Sioux City, USHL (2015 draft eligible); Juuso Ikonen, JYP, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Joel Janatuinen, Blues, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Kasperi Kapanen, KalPa, FIN (Pittsburgh Penguins); Saku Kinnunen, KalPa, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Juho Lammikko, Assat, FIN (Florida Panthers); Aleksi Mustonen, Ilves, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Niko Ojamaki, Assat, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Jannie Puhakka, Chicoutimi, QMJHL (2015 draft eligible); Otto Rauhala, Tappara, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Aleksi Saarela, Assat, FIN (2015 draft eligible); Teemu Turunen, Jokerit, RUS (2015 draft eligible); Julius Vahatalo, TPS, FIN (Detroit Red Wings)


GOALIES: Fredrik Bergvik, Frolunda Jr., SWE-JR (San Jose Sharks); Jonas Johansson, Brynas, SWE, (Buffalo Sabres); Samuel Ward, Asploven, SWE-2 (2015 draft eligible)

DEFENSEMEN: Sebastian Aho, Skelleftea, SWE (2015 draft eligible); Julius Bergman, Frolunda, SWE (San Jose Sharks); Anton Cederholm, Portland, WHL (Vancouver Canucks); Carl Dahlstrom, Linkoping, SWE (Chicago Blackhawks); Robert Hagg, Lehigh Valley, AHL (Philadelphia Flyers); Niklas Hansson, Rogle, SWE-2 (Dallas Stars); Robin Norell, Djurgarden, SWE (Chicago Blackhawks); Lawrence Pilut, HV 71, SWE (2015 draft eligible)

FORWARDS: Anton Blidh, Frolunda, SWE (Boston Bruins); Axel Blomqvist, Victoria, WHL (Winnipeg Jets); Leon Bristedt, Minnesota, Big Ten (2015 draft eligible); Adam Brodecki, Brynas, SWE (2015 draft eligible); Victor Crus Rydberg, Plymouth, OHL (New York Islanders); Jacob de la Rose, Leksand, SWE (Montreal Canadiens); Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Omaha, USHL (2015 draft eligible); Gustaf Franzen, HV 71 Jr., SWE-JR (2015 draft eligible); Axel Holmstrom, Skelleftea, SWE (Detroit Red Wings); Anton Karlsson, Frolunda, SWE (Arizona Coyotes); Adrian Kempe, Modo, SWE (Los Angeles Kings); Oskar Lindblom, Brynas, SWE (Philadelphia Flyers); Victor Olofsson, Modo, SWE (Buffalo Sabres); Lucas Wallmark, Lulea, SWE (Carolina Hurricanes)

Two players taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft will be among the European players taking part in the USA Hockey national junior evaluation camp being held Aug. 2-9 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The camp is one of the first steps toward building the teams that will play in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Among the players taking part for defending gold medalist Finland is forward Kasperi Kapanen, who plays for KalPa in Liiga, Finland's top professional league. He was picked by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the 22nd pick in the first round.

Kapanen likely would have been on the team that won the tournament last year were it not for a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a month.

Finland will have five players at the camp from last year's team: goaltender Juuse Saros and forwards Juuso Ikonen, Saku Kinnunen, Aleksi Mustonen and Otto Rauhala.

Also taking part in the camp is defenseman Sami Niku, a top prospect for the 2015 draft. The 6-foot, 176-pound defenseman had four goals and 14 points with JYP in Finland's junior league and likely will play this season for JYP in Liiga.

Sweden won the silver medal at the 2014 WJC and will be led by Adrian Kempe, selected at No. 29 by the Los Angeles Kings.

Five Swedish players from last year's tournament team will be at the camp: goaltender Jonas Johansson, defenseman Robert Hagg and forwards Jacob de la Rose, Anton Karlsson and Lucas Wallmark.

Seventeen NHL teams will have at least one prospect on the teams, including seven with two each: the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks.

The camp will feature practices and games against with the United States and the Czech Republic.

The 2015 WJC will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2015, in Toronto and Montreal. Finland is in Group A with Canada, the U.S., Slovakia and Germany, and will play its preliminary-round games at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Sweden is in Group B along with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia and Switzerland, and will play its preliminary-round games at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  

The semifinals and the bronze- and gold-medal games will be played in Toronto.


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