Five North American Rangers prospects are on the World Junior Championship training camp rosters recently released by Hockey Canada and USA Hockey. All five will have a chance to be named to their respective countries' rosters for the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament in Sweden.
Canada's National Junior Team Development Camp, taking place this week in Calgary, includes four of the nine players drafted by the Rangers in 2005, while the U.S. camp boasts a fifth player from that draft.
First-rounder Marc Staal
, named the top defenseman at last year's World Junior event, is a leading candidate for the Canadian team set to defend the gold medal. Joining him on the development camp roster are fourth-rounder Tom Pyatt, another member of the 2006 team, as well as second-rounder Marc-Andre Cliche and seventh-rounder Ryan Russell.
Team USA's camp features defenseman Michael Sauer
, the Rangers' first of two second-rounders in 2005. Sauer will be looking to compete in his first World Junior tournament after having a stellar season for the Portland Winter Hawks in 2005-06. The native of St. Cloud, Minn., was among Portland's top performers in the WHL playoffs.
Another Rangers prospect, David Kveton
of the Czech Republic, is also a candidate for the 2007 World Junior Championships. Earlier this week, the Rangers' fourth-round pick in last month's 2006 NHL Entry Draft got the jump on his many of his countryman by being named to the Czechs' preliminary roster for next month's four-nation U20 Summer Hockey Challenge tournament in Huttwil, Switzerland.
A total of four Rangers prospects competed in the 2005 World Junior tournament last season. They were Staal and Pyatt for Canada, Zdenek Bahensky
for Slovakia and Lauri Korpikoski for Finland.