A pair of 2010 Pittsburgh Penguins draft picks – forwards Bryan Rust (3rd round, 80th overall) and Kenneth Agostino (5th round, 140th overall) – were among 40 skaters selected to attend the 2011 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp this August in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Additionally, four players with ties to the Pittsburgh amateur hockey system – forwards J.T. Miller (East Palestine, OH/Moon, Pa.), Brandon Saad (Gibsonia, Pa.) and Vince Trocheck (Upper St. Clair, Pa.), and defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) – will also attend the camp. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma will serve as an assistant coach during the camp.
The players will be competing for spots on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton, AB.
Rust, 19, recently completed his first season at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a teammate of Johns. Rust (6-foot, 191 pounds) appeared in 40 games for the Irish, tallying six goals, 13 assists and 19 points. Rust, who also attended evaluation camp last year, added a goal and two assists in five postseason contests for Notre Dame, which advanced to the Frozen Four before losing to Minnesota-Duluth.
Agostino, 19, finished his freshman campaign at Yale University with 11 goals, 14 assists and 25 points in 31 games. Agostino (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) contributed one goal and two points in five postseason games, helping Yale advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Miller, 18, places 23rd overall among North American skaters by Central Scouting heading into the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which will be held June 24-25 in Minneapolis, Minn. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound forward helped the U.S. win a gold medal at the World Under-18 Championships in April by producing a team-leading 13 points (4G-9A).
Saad, 18, is ranked 19th overall among North American skaters by Central Scouting. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound forward recorded 55 points (27G-28A) in 59 games last season with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). This is the second consecutive year Saad is attending evaluation camp.
Trocheck, 17, ranks 42nd among North American skaters by Central Scouting. Trocheck has spent the previous two seasons playing for Saginaw in the OHL, where he teamed with Saad this past season. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward tallied 62 points (26G-36A) in 68 games this past season with the Spirit.
Johns, 19, tallied two goals, 11 assists and 13 points in 44 games during his freshman season with the Irish. The 6-foot-4, 221-pound defenseman, who also attended evaluation camp last year, was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round (60th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Goaltenders invited to the evaluation camp will be announced later this month. Whitehall, Pa. native John Gibson, the No. 1-ranked North American netminder by Central Scouting, is a top candidate to receive a camp invite.