U.S. World Junior Spotlight: Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell (Photo: Dave Arnold, USA Hockey)

Jack Campbell — Goaltender
Hometown:
 Port Huron, Mich.     Birthdate: January 9, 1992
Height/Weight: 6’2″ / 182
Current Team: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
NHL Rights: Dallas Stars (2010, 1st Rd., 11th Overall)
National Team Experience: National Team Development Program (2008-2010), U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team (gold, 2009; gold, 2010); U.S. National Junior Team (gold, 2010; bronze, 2011); U.S. Men’s National Team (2011)

Team USA won the bronze medal at the last World Junior Championship, and without Jack Campbell, it might not have. In Team USA’s semifinal loss to Canada, Campbell made 37 stops, doing everything he could to keep his team in the game. The goaltender then had to shake off the agony of defeat to make 34 saves to help the U.S. secure bronze against a crazy talented Team Sweden.

For his efforts, he received the directorate award as the tournament’s best goaltender. No question, he was Team USA’s best player throughout the entire WJC. Campbell’s numbers were filthy. In six appearances, he posted a 4-1-0-1 record (W-OTW-OTL-L), 1.70 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.

That’s been par for the course with Campbell throughout his international career. He has dressed in five IIHF-sanctioned World Championship events (he did not play a game for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the IIHF Worlds last May). In two World Juniors and two World Under-18s combined, Campbell has produced the following numbers:

Record: 14-2-1-2 — In case you don’t have a calculator handy, that’s an .842 winning percentage in the Stars and Stripes. As these young kids are saying, that’s cray-cray, which I believe loosely translates to: crazy. And it is.

GAA: 1.17 — 20 appearances, 19 decisions, an average of just over a goal allowed per game. See also: .842 winning percentage. These just may be related.

SV%: .949 — Speaks for itself, right? If not, that means Campbell has stopped nearly 95% of the shots he’s faced in four international tournaments. Maybe that’s why the kid’s got three gold medals and a bronze (hey, how’d that bronze get in there?).

SO: 6 — Five of these shutouts have come in the World Under-18 Championships, including the 2009 gold-medal game as an underager (5-0 win over a Russian team featuring Kirill Kabanov, Evgeni Kuznetsov, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Burmistrov. Hello, offense.)

Needless to say, Campbell’s got the goods. Not only has Campbell had success on the international stage, he’s beginning to find more luck in the OHL this season, despite playing on a very young team in Windsor.

Through Thursday night, Campbell has yet to lose a game in regulation with the Spits this season, posting a 6-0-2 record, 2.31 GAA, .931 SV%, and a shutout. He’s off to a much faster start in his second OHL season.

As long as he’s healthy, Campbell should be between the pipes for all of Team USA’s tilts in Alberta. He’ll get another crack at Team Canada in the preliminary round and will have to be every bit as good as he was in the semis last year, and a little bit better.

Head coach Dean Blais obviously knows who he’s dealing with as he had no problem tapping an under-age Campbell on the shoulder in the second period of the gold-medal game against Canada in 2010. It proved to be the best of many great coaching decisions of the tournament for Blais, as the U.S. earned its first WJC gold since 2004.

Will this duo recapture the magic in 2012?

Notes on Campbell:

– Product of the vaunted Honeybaked hockey club, based in Michigan.
– Spent two seasons at the National Team Development Program, setting the following records: Career GAA (2.14); Career Shutouts (10); Single-Season GAA (2.08, 2009-10);  Single-Season shutouts (6, 2009-10; tied with Jeff Frazee).
– Was the first American-born player selected in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft
Jack Campbell’s Complete USA Hockey Bio

Every week, until the U.S. National Junior Team’s pre-tournament camp roster is announced, United States of Hockey will highlight a candidate for the team. We’ll be taking a look at players from the near locks to the dark-horse candidates to the out-of-left-field possibilities.

Previous Player Spotlights:
Emerson Etem 

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About Chris Peters

Editor of The United States of Hockey. Contributor to CBSSports.com, USA Hockey Magazine and more. Former USA Hockey PR guy. Current Iowan.
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