Standing against the boards, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound, 21-year-old hockey player. Chinstrap undone, pucks at his feet, focused on the battle ahead. Then come several light taps on the glass. Nervous ones, but hopeful.
Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle maybe due to excellent hearing or just the slightest glimpse out of his peripheral vision found the source of the faint claps to the glass and turned ever so slightly to get a look at a young fan desperate for acknowledgement.
Coyle gave a simple wave to the awestruck little fellow and a wry grin before going back to preparing to do the job he’s paid handsomely to do. It wasn’t much, but it was everything.
As if he had received the gift he had been dreaming about all the way to Christmas morning, the young fan beamed. Hand over his mouth, almost in disbelief. “He saw me? He saw me!” Continue reading
Sunday evening, 29 players from around the United States will gather in Minneapolis, Minn., to begin preparations to defend the gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Only 20 skaters and three goaltenders can make the final roster, meaning six cuts will be made at some point during the camp.
The candidates will spend four days at the University of Minnesota with a series of practices, scrimmages, other activities and one exhibition game, utilized to help in the final decision process for who will make the final roster.
The camp is always a fascinating exercise, especially when there is still a fairly high number of cuts to make as there is this year. Every coach runs this camp differently. With 29 players involved Team USA’s, Don Lucia will have to weigh the value of team cohesion against competition for roster spots.
Based on who has been named to the roster, there’s still a ton left to sort out when it comes to team construction and who will fit what roles. The U.S. has many players that can play multiple positions and fit into a variety of roles. It gives the coaching staff options, but it also leaves a very short time from for things to come together as they’ll need to. Continue reading
The 2014 World Junior Championship is two weeks away. Every country except Slovakia (come on, Slovakia…) has posted their pre-tournament rosters of varying sizes. Most will be pared down to 20 skaters and three goalies by Dec. 26 when the puck drops in Malmo, Sweden.
To help you gear up for the tournament, you can find each team’s (except Slovakia) preliminary roster in this post. Each nation will convene in pre-tournament camps and many will play exhibitions against each other within a week’s time.
If you’ve been following international hockey or the NHL Draft over the last few years, you’ll see a lot of familiar names.
Going just off of the preliminary rosters, it would appear Canada and Sweden have the two strongest camps overall. Russia and Finland will also be able to ice strong teams based on who they are bringing to camp. The U.S. is probably right in that second tier with Russia and Finland.
This may not be the most star-studded WJC in recent memory, but it should be as competitive as any. After the jump, preliminary rosters for competing teams.
The U.S. National Junior Team’s preliminary roster grew by three players Tuesday. Forwards Vince Hinostroza, Zach Stepan and defenseman Jaccob Slavin have been added to the training camp in Minnesota to bring the total roster to a robust 29 players.
With the additions, four forwards will have to be cut, while two defensemen will end up being sent home.
Team USA’s general manager Jim Johansson said additions could be made later after the initial announcement last week. With three new players added to the mix, the roster decisions became a lot more interesting and the camp competitions even more heated.
Both Stepan, of Minnesota State, and Notre Dame’s Hinostroza have battled some injury trouble this year, which is likely cause for the delayed additions. Both were teammates with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL last season.
Colorado College’s Slavin is the real surprise of the group, having not been at Team USA’s summer camp. I haven’t seen CC much this season, but Slavin has gotten a lot of good reviews from folks I’ve talked to. He brings some good size to the table and is a gifted defender with some puck-moving capabilities.
More on each after the jump and what it means for the camp process.
The U.S. National Junior Team will convene in Minneapolis, Minn., in less than a week to begin preparations for the 2014 World Junior Championship and an attempt to defend the gold medal.
We’ve already broken down the roster at length on this site, with many, many words spewed digitally on these pages. So if reading isn’t your bag, or you just need a World Junior fix today, I’ve got some audio for you.
I joined Guy Flaming and Taylor Medak on The Pipeline Show on TSN 1260 in Edmonton. We talked at length about the roster makeup, Team USA’s chances and some of those that didn’t make the camp roster.
You can listen to all of it right here.
U.S. National Junior Team candidate Adam Erne will not be suspended for his check from behind on Jonathan Drouin in Friday night’s game between the Quebec Remparts and Halifax Mooseheads. Drouin was concussed on the play, while Erne was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
This is according to Willy Palov of the Chronicle-Herald.
Here’s another look at the hit.
Drouin’s concussion is not believed to be serious, but recovery times are never certain in situations like these.
I’m moderately surprised the QMJHL is shying away from supplemental discipline here. The league recently suspended Laurent Dauphin for a bad hit from behind in the Subway Super Series against Russia. That wasn’t even a league game.
Erne’s hit was from behind on a league star. The Quebec Remparts forward is incredibly lucky to have not been suspended. Had he been, it could have put his World Junior hopes in jeopardy.
With no suspension looming for Erne, his World Junior hopes remain alive and healthy. He is expected to make the final roster for Team USA, which opens its pre-tournament training camp next Sunday in Minneapolis.
Adam Erne is a virtual lock to make the U.S. National Junior Team ahead of the 2014 World Junior Championship. The same goes for Jonathan Drouin and Team Canada. Both are also Tampa Bay Lightning draft picks. The two met in the QMJHL Friday night in a game between Erne’s Quebec Remparts and Drouin’s Halifax Mooseheads.
In the first period, Erne caught Drouin in a vulnerable position and hit the dynamic forward from behind. Erne, who was immediately jumped after the hit, was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct. He also got five for fighting. You can watch all the angles of the hit here:
Drouin left the game and did not return with what was termed as a possible concussion.
Obviously, the first thought is with Drouin and his health. You hate to see a young player go down with an injury, especially if it is a concussion. Recovery time is so unpredictable at that point. Drouin was on last year’s Canadian junior team and played his way into a more prominent role later in the tournament.
Though this happened in a QMJHL league contest this could have implications not only for Canada and the injured Drouin, but Team USA and Erne as well. Continue reading