COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey today announced the 40 skaters invited to take part in its National Junior Evaluation Camp this August in Lake Placid, N.Y. The players will be auditioning for a spot 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, Alta.
Among the invitees are three players with local ties: Niagara Falls, NY native Adam Clendening (defenseman, Boston University); Rochester, NY native and former Jr. Sabre Phil Lane (forward, Brampton - OHL); and Spencerport, NY native Shane Prince (forward, Ottawa - OHL). Lane also played in the 2009 Bowman Cup Showcase at HSBC Arena hosted by the Sabres when he was a member of the Jr. Sabres.
The camp includes seven returnees from the bronze medal-winning 2011 U.S. National Junior Team, including defensemen Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn.), Derek Forbort (Duluth, Minn.) and Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.); and forwards Nick Bjugstad (Blaine, Minn.), Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass.), Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Calif.) and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev.). Zucker was also a member of the U.S. National Junior Team that won the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask.
Also attending the camp will be seven members of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team that captured gold last April at the 2011 IIHF World Men's U18 Championship in Crimmitschau and Dresden, Germany, including defensemen Seth Jones (Plano, Texas), Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) and Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.); and forwards Tyler Biggs (Cincinnati, Ohio), Reid Boucher (Grand Ledge, Mich.), Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) and J.T. Miller (East Palestine, Ohio).
For the full list of players invited to the 2011 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, click here.
The camp, which will take place at Lake Placid's Olympic Center from Aug. 6-13, includes practices, intrasquad scrimmages and international games featuring Finland, Sweden and the United States. A full schedule is below.NOTES:
Goaltenders invited to the 2011 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp will be announced later this month ... Eighteen of the 40 invited skaters participated in last year's camp ... The 2012 U.S. National Junior Team will be selected in late December following a pre-tournament camp to be held in Alberta, Canada ... Dean Blais, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Nebraska Omaha, will serve as head coach of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team. He will be assisted by Scott Sandelin, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth; Tom Ward, head ice hockey coach of the Shattuck-St. Mary's School's boys' prep team; and Joe Exter, goaltender coach at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program ... Dan Bylsma, head coach of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins, and Mike Sullivan, assistant coach of the NHL's New York Rangers, will also participate in Lake Placid as camp coaches ... Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the third consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.), former U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team head coach and longtime Yale University men's ice hockey team head coach, is also serving his third straight year as Team USA's director of player personnel.