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DEV CAMP: Kemp gets World Junior redemption

"It definitely felt good when I made the team but I didn't want to just make the team. I wanted to be a crucial player," said Oilers defence prospect Phil Kemp of his 2019 World Junior experience

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - Last year at Oilers Development Camp, defence prospect Phil Kemp was fired up.

The 2017 seventh-rounder entered 2018's Camp with a chip on his shoulder for the 2018-19 season after getting a last-minute snub from Team USA's World Junior roster.

This time, it's not like that. 

The Yale University defender has since gotten his redemption, making the USA squad and helping the club win a silver medal at the 2019 World Juniors.

Kemp spoke to at Day 3 of Oilers Development Camp and commented on his World Junior experience.

"It definitely felt good when I made the team," Kemp, who notched three goals and five assists in 30 games with Yale last season, said. "But I didn't want to just make the team. I wanted to be a crucial player on the team. I played my role to the best of my ability and tried to contribute to my team."

Indeed, the 6-foot-4 rearguard did. In the semifinal match against Russia, Kemp made a game-changing defensive effort to stop a puck from crossing the goal-line. Team USA went on to win the match then earn silver in the final. 

Video: DEV CAMP | Phil Kemp

Kemp recalled the play on Wednesday.

"(Dmitri) Samorukov has actually been giving me some flak for it," he said. "It's been awesome. It was a great play, I guess, but I kind of just got lucky. We had a great goalie so I was just trying to do whatever I could to help him."

Although he didn't complete the circuit with a gold medal around his neck, participating in the tournament was a valuable experience and benefitted the blueliner going forward.

"I definitely gained a lot out of it," Kemp said. "It was heartbreaking at the end but we had a great group of guys and it was a great tournament to be a part of."

Kemp will return to the NCAA for 2019-20 and is using this Dev Camp as a precursor for the upcoming campaign.

"I'm just trying to be a sponge out there," he said. "I'm just trying to apply everything I can from this camp to my upcoming season to try and have a big year."

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