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Top prospect Compher named to USNTDP U-18 team

by Adam Kimelman

J.T. Compher, a left wing expected to be a first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was one of 23 players named Thursday to the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team for the 2012-13 season.


Goalies -- Thatcher Demko, Curtis Frye, Hunter Miska

Defensemen -- Gage Ausmus, Will Butcher, Connor Clifton, Trevor Hamilton, Clint Lewis, Steven Santini, Scott Savage, Keaton Thompson

Forwards -- Evan Allen, J.T. Compher, Dawson Cook, Shane Eiserman, Hudson Fasching, John Hayden, Tyler Kelleher, Kevin Labanc, Anthony Louis, Sean Malone, Mike McCarron, Tyler Motte

Compher, a 6-foot, 165-pound forward, led the USNTDP U-17 team last season with 27 assists and was second with 42 points in 40 games. He also had six goals and three assists in 14 games with the U-18 team last season.

Compher is one of 19 players from the U-17 team to earn a spot with the U-18 team this season. Also on that list is Tyler Kelleher. The 5-6, 147-pound right wing led the U-17 team last season with 25 goals and 47 points.

Three of the players named to this year's roster also won gold medals with the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship -- Compher and forward Anthony Louis, along with defenseman Will Butcher.

Twenty of the 23 players named to the U-18 team roster are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft. Three of the players -- goaltender Thatcher Demko and forwards Shane Eiserman and Kevin Labanc -- are eligible for the 2014 draft.

The U-18 team will play against NCAA Division I and Division III teams, as well as in the United States Hockey League. It also will participate in three international tournaments, including hosting the 2012 Four Nations Tournament Nov. 6-11 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The team also will take part in the 2013 Five Nations Tournament Feb. 5-10 in Jonkoping, Sweden, and the 2013 World Under-18 Championship, April 7-22 in Sochi, Russia.

Don Granato, who coached the U-17 team last season, will coach the U-18 team this season.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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