Devs’ Matteau highlights US junior camp roster

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USA Hockey announced its list of invitees for the National Junior Evaluation Camp — to be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., this August — and the roster has a decidedly NHL feel.

New Jersey Devils forward Stefan Matteau headlines the list, and is joined by two other first-round picks from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft: Brady Skeji (Rangers, 28th overall) and Henrik Samuelsson (Coyotes, 27th overall).

All told, there are 17 NHL draftees attending camp.

The US will return two players from the gold medal-winning side at the 2013 tournament — Riley Barber and Patrick Seiloff — and be coached by University of Minnesota bench boss Don Lucia, who takes over for newly-appointed Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley.

Matteau, along with Samulesson and Skeji, failed to make the final cut for the ’13 American team.

Here’s the full camp roster, minus goalies:

DEFENSEMEN (16)

Name
Ht (cm)
Wt (kg)
Birthdate
Shoots
Hometown
2012-13 Team (League)
NHL Rights
Gage Ausmus 6-1 (185) 211 (96) 1995-04-22 L East Grand Forks, N.D. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Dylan Blujus 6-3 (191) 198 (90) 1994-01-22 R Amherst, N.Y. North Bay Battalion (OHL) TBL (‘12, 2nd rd., 40th overall)
Mike Brodzinski 5-11 (180) 193 (88) 1995-05-28 R Ham Lake, Minn. Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) 2013 Draft Eligible
Will Butcher 5-11 (180) 175 (79) 1995-01-06 L Sun Prairie, Wis. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Connor Carrick ^ 5-11 (180) 190 (86) 1994-04-13 R Orland Park, Ill. Plymouth Whalers (OHL) WAS (‘12, 5th rd., 137th overall)
Connor Clifton 5-11 (180) 175 (79) 1995-04-28 R Matawan, N.J. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Anthony DeAngelo 5-11 (180) 167 (76) 1995-10-24 R Sewell, N.J. Sarnia Sting (OHL) 2014 Draft Eligible
Nick Ebert 6-1 (185) 207 (94) 1994-05-11 R Livingston, N.J. Windsor Spitfires (OHL) LAK (‘12, 7th rd., 211th overall)
Matt Grzelcyk ^ 5-9 (175) 171 (78) 1994-01-05 L Charlestown, Mass. Boston University (HEA) BOS (’12, 3rd rd., 85th overall)
Ian McCoshen 6-2 (188) 207 (94) 1995-08-05 L Hudson, Wis. Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) 2013 Draft Eligible
Brett Pesce 6-3 (191) 175 (79) 1994-11-15 R Tarrytown, N.Y. University of New Hampshire (HEA) 2013 Draft Eligible
Steve Santini 6-2 (188) 207 (94) 1995-03-07 R Mahopac, N.Y. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Patrick Sieloff *^ 6-0 (183) 197 (89) 1994-05-15 L Ann Arbor, Mich. Windsor Spitfires (OHL) CGY (’12, 2nd rd., 42nd overall)
Brady Skjei ^ 6-2 (188) 197 (89) 1994-03-26 L Lakeville, Minn. University of Minnesota (WCHA) NYR (’12, 1st rd., 28th overall)
Keaton Thompson 6-0 (183) 187 (85) 1995-09-14 L Devils Lake, N.D. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Tommy Vannelli 6-2 (188) 165 (75) 1995-01-26 R Minnetonka, Minn. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible

FORWARDS (24)

Name
Ht (cm)
Wt (kg)
Birthdate
Shoots
Hometown
2012-13 Team (League)
NHL Rights
Justin Bailey 6-3 (191) 186 (84) 1995-07-01 R Buffalo, N.Y. Kitchener Rangers (OHL) 2013 NHL Draft Eligible
Riley Barber * 5-11 (180) 185 (84) 1994-02-07 R Pittsburgh, Pa. Miami University (CCHA) WSH (’12, 6th rd., 167th overall)
Taylor Cammarata 5-7 (170) 156 (71) 1995-05-13 L Plymouth, Minn. Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) 2013 NHL Draft Eligible
J.T. Compher 6-0 (183) 165 (75) 1995-04-08 R Northbrook, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Andrew Copp 6-0 (183) 188 (85) 1994-07-08 L Ann Arbor, Mich. University of Michigan (CCHA) 2013 Draft Eligible
Thomas DiPauli ^ 5-11 (180) 185 (84) 1994-04-29 L Woodbridge, Ill. University of Notre Dame (CCHA) WAS (‘12, 4th rd., 100th overall)
Adam Erne 6-0 (183) 210 (95) 1995-04-20 L New Haven, Conn. Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) 2013 Draft Eligible
Hudson Fasching 6-2 (188) 189 (86) 1995-07-28 R Burnsville, Minn. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Jake Guentzel 5-9 (175) 153 (69) 1994-10-06 L Woodbury, Minn. Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) 2013 Draft Eligible
John Hayden 6-2 (188) 220 (100) 1995-02-14 R Greenwich, Conn. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Vince Hinostroza 5-9 (175) 170 (77) 1994-04-03 R Bartlett, Ill. Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) CHI (‘12, 6th rd., 169th overall)
Nicolas Kerdiles ^ 6-2 (188) 196 (89) 1994-01-11 L Irvine, Calif. University of Wisconsin (WCHA) ANA (‘12, 2nd rd., 36th overall)
Matt Lane 5-10 (178) 175 (79) 1994-03-15 L Rochester, N.Y. Boston University (HEA) 2013 Draft Eligible
Jimmy Lodge 6-0 (183) 166 75) 1995-03-05 R Downington, Pa. Saginaw Spirit (OHL) 2013 NHL Draft Eligible
Stefan Matteau ^ 6-1 (185) 215 (98) 1994-02-23 L Chicago, Ill. Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL) NJD (’12, 1st rd., 29th overall)
Michael McCarron 6-5 (196) 228 (103) 1995-03-07 R Macomb, Mich. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Tyler Motte 5-10 (178) 175 (79) 1995-03-10 L St. Clair, Mich. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Cristoval ‘Boo’ Nieves 6-3 (191) 200 (91) 1994-01-23 L Baldwinsville, N.Y. University of Michigan (CCHA) NYR (‘12, 2nd rd., 59th overall)
Dan O’Regan 5-10 (178) 176 (80) 1994-01-30 R Needham, Mass. Boston University (HEA) SJS (‘12, 5th rd., 138th overall)
Henrik Samuelsson ^ 6-3 (191) 208 (94) 1994-02-07 R Scottsdale, Ariz. Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) PHX (‘12, 1st rd., 27th overall)
Quentin Shore 6-1 (185) 185 (84) 1994-05-25 R Denver, Colo. University of Denver (WCHA) 2013 Draft Eligible
Zach Stepan 5-11 (180) 166 (75) 1994-01-06 L Hastings, Minn. Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) NSH (‘12, 4th rd., 112th overall)
Brady Vail 6-1 (185) 194 (88) 1994-03-11 L Palm City, Fla. Windsor Spitfires (OHL) MTL (‘12, 4th rd., 94th overall)
Dominic Toninato 6-1 (185) 168 (76) 1994-03-09 L Duluth, Minn. Fargo Force (USHL) TOR (‘12, 5th rd., 126th overall)

* 2013 U.S. National Junior Team Member
^ 2012 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp Attendee

Related

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Matteau’s junior team dismissal ‘unfair,’ says father

These 2017 NHL Draft picks lacked hype … but not swagger

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The interview process for draft prospects must be a real beating. Then again, it’s also an opportunity for hopefuls to push back.

In the case of two smaller prospects, it meant providing some swagger in their answers, possibly impressing their new teams. If nothing else, Kailer Yamamoto and Michael DiPietro generated some refreshingly confident quotes.

One would assume that the Edmonton Oilers picked Yamamoto with the 22nd choice for more than just a great answer alone … but still.

Nice, right?

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek related a similar story about DiPietro, who the Vancouver Canucks nabbed with the 64th pick.

Funny story: When one team at the NHL told him “We don’t think you can play in the NHL with our team, you’re too small” at the combine, he fired back with “well, I guess you have a problem with winning, then.” How do you not like that?

If nothing else, those two aren’t shy.

As a bonus story, check out the bumpy path Will Reilly – aka the “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2017 NHL Draft – took to being chosen last overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, via Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy. From the sound of things, there are worse feelings than going 217th.

The 2017 NHL Draft may have been “pumped down” from a hype perspective, yet it sounds like many of these prospects at least bring some moxie to the table.

Kings, Golden Knights labeled 2017 NHL Draft winners; Bruins, not so much

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It’s nearly certain that we won’t be able to determine the “winners and losers” of the 2017 NHL Draft until, say, 2022. If not later.

Still, what fun is that?

Quite a few outlets pegged some winners and losers, though sometimes the choices were more about themes like nations or player types than specific teams.

For example: Puck Daddy gives a thumbs down to the “green room” experiment.

Let’s take a look at some of the consensus picks.

Winners

Vegas Golden Knights

GM George McPhee was dealt a bad hand when it comes to the lottery draft, so he instead made his own luck. And then he selected three players who could improve this team going forward.

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek especially liked the last two of their three first-rounders (Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom), viewing Cody Glass as more of a no-brainer. Plenty of others were on board.

Los Angeles Kings

Gabe Vilardi fell to Los Angeles, whether it was because of shaky skating or some other reason. That potential steal (and some other shrewd moves) impressed the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy, who assembled draft profiles for PHT.

Again, Vilardi’s loss was considered the Kings’ gain, as slower skaters were considered losers by the likes of Post Media’s Michael Traikos.

Philadelphia Flyers

Boy, Ron Hextall is good at this thing, isn’t he? Philly drew high marks even beyond the layup of landing Nolan Patrick. The main area of disagreement revolved around the Brayden Schenn trade, though plenty came out on Hextall’s side there, too.

Arizona Coyotes

Boy, that negative press didn’t last long, did it? Between landing Niklas Hjalmarsson, Derek Stepan, and Antti Raanta in trades and savvy picks, they were a popular choice.

Themes

Smaller players, Sweden, and Finland drew semi-serious mentions as “winners.”

Losers

Boston Bruins

The perception is that they played it too safe.

Colorado Avalanche, for now?

OK, this was more about draft weekend than picks, but people are criticizing Joe Sakic for standing pat. That could change, but the negative sentiment is there.

Detroit Red Wings

Another common choice. Some believe that their draft was the worst of them all, which isn’t great considering the declining opinion of GM Ken Holland overall.

New York Rangers

Lias Andersson was viewed as a reach by plenty, and his connection to the trade to Arizona might intensify the scrutiny.

Themes

Not a great draft for Russian-born players and/or guys who don’t skate quite swiftly.

***

So, those are some of the near-consensus choices for winners and losers, via the brave souls who made rapid reactions to the 2017 NHL Draft.

Ducks ink D Holzer to two-year deal reportedly worth $1.8M

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As the dust settled on the expansion draft, the Anaheim Ducks’ defense is coming into focus.

Sunday continued that pattern; the Ducks signed Korbinian Holzer to a two-year contract worth $1.8 million, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

You can break down the Ducks defense as more expensive players (Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler, and Kevin Bieksa) and cheaper ones (Holzer, Brandon Montour, and Josh Manson).

Only Vatanen, Lindholm and Holzer see contracts that go beyond 2017-18 – at least without an extension yet for the likes of Fowler and Manson – so Holzer provides a little bit of certainty.

Is the $900K a minor overpay, though? Holzer played in 32 games for the Ducks this season after appearing in 29 in 2015-16. His impact has been pretty minimal, generating seven points while averaging 13:31 in ice time per contest (down from 14:45 the previous season).

Granted he may get more opportunities to show what he’s capable of if the Ducks lose another piece. Then again, at 29, the Ducks likely know what they have.

2017 Hockey Hall of Fame class to be named Monday; Selanne + who?

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The 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame class is expected to be announced on Monday, and every indication is that Teemu Selanne will be on the list. Beyond that, well, there are a lot of question marks.

NHL.com notes that there’s at least a possibility that Selanne will be the only NHL name to be part of this class, which would mark a first since 2010 (when Dino Ciccarelli was the lone addition).

It’s a nice way to continue what’s been a buffet for hockey fans: the 2017 Stanley Cup Final’s conclusion, the expansion draft and then the 2017 NHL Draft. The HHOF announcements are a nice appetizer before free agency gets, well, frenzied?

“The Finnish Flash” was also an obvious top choice in last year’s poll to see who should be in the class.

Now, that doesn’t mean he is the only interesting name.

For one thing, Daniel Alfredsson will be eligible for the first time, much like Selanne. “Alf” falls in the “Maybe” category with some interesting, debatable other options: Mark Recchi, Dave Andreychuk, Alex Mogilny, Jeremy Roenick, Paul Kariya, Chris Osgood, and more.

The 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class included Eric Lindros, Rogie Vachon, Sergei Makarov, and Pat Quinn.