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Three Prospects Eye U.S. World Junior Team

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
The Rangers organization will have three prospects at the 2009 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, which begins on Friday at Lake Placid, N.Y.

First-round pick Chris Kreider, selected by the Rangers with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, will be joined by third-rounder Ryan Bourque and 2008 second-rounder Derek Stepan at the nine-day camp to help USA Hockey determine the makeup of Team USA for the 2010 World Junior Championship tournament in Saskatchewan.

Kreider, Bourque and Stepan will look to become the first Rangers prospects to make Team USA's World Junior squad since Bobby Sanguinetti in 2008. A long list of current and former Rangers players has participated in past World Junior tournaments, including Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan, Corey Potter, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter.

Kreider, an incoming Boston College freshman, and Stepan, a University of Wisconsin sophomore, will both play college hockey in the upcoming season.

Bourque, who was recruited by the University of New Hampshire, opted to go the major-junior route and will spend 2009-10 with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. The son of Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, Ryan will be coached by his dad's former NHL teammate, Patrick Roy.

A total of 43 players from 18 states, ranging in age from 17 to 19, will take part in the evaluation camp. Many NHL draftees will participate, including Kreider's fellow 2009 first-round picks Nick Leddy, John Moore, Jordan Schroeder and Kyle Palmieri. Also on hand will be former Rangers defenseman Ulf Samuelsson's son Phil, who was drafted by Pittsburgh this summer.

Players will be split into two squads during the camp, with Bourque and Stepan playing for Team Blue, and Kreider playing for Team White. There will be Blue-White scrimmages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, and cuts will be made after the final scrimmage. The remaining American players will then face the Russian National Under-20 Team in a four-game series on Aug. 11, Aug. 12, Aug. 14 and Aug. 15.

Players in Lake Placid will be evaluated by 2010 U.S. National Junior Team General Manager Jim Johannson, Director of Player Personnel Tim Taylor, and Head Coach Dean Blais.
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