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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

Devils confirm Matteau released by junior team

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

Robin Lehner certainly has swagger

ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 24:  Robin Lehner #40 of the Buffalo Sabres stretches during the first period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on February 24, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Robin Lehner is a big goalie, and barring possible language barrier issues, sure seems to have a pretty big personality.

That at least seems to be the case with the Buffalo Sabres’ top guy, who provided the Buffalo News’ John Vogl with a great quote:

“There’s a lot of pressure on me, and that’s fine. … I know I’m a good goaltender,” Lehner said.

Hey now.

As much as the Sabres feel like a work in progress, acquiring Lehner was one of GM Tim Murray’s boldest moves. Murray was able to observe Lehner in Ottawa, and despite some struggles, the big Swede (6-foot-5, 240 lbs.) was sneaky-good in 2015-16.

Twenty-one games serves as a limited sample size, yet a .924 save percentage seems quite promising. His 107 career regular season games are spread over six seasons, so to some extent, the 25-year-old is still something of an unknown entity.

If nothing else, it looks like he could provide some Bryzgalovian entertainment.

Back in March, Ben Scrivens admitted he was happy to avoid a fight with a guy he called a “bit of a psycho.”

Sounds like a guy to watch.

Clarke MacArthur helped off ice during Sens scrimmage

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 8: Clarke MacArthur #16 of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center on October 8, 2015 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/ Getty Images)
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Rough news for the Ottawa Senators on Sunday: forward Clarke MacArthur needed help off the ice following a big hit during a team scrimmage.

The hit was delivered by Patrick Sieloff, prompting an immediate response from Bobby Ryan, according to The Hockey News’ Murray Pam.

MacArthur has been hoping to return to NHL action after some serious concussion issues, so this is a troubling situation. More than a few people wonder if this might end his career.

Team Europe is happy to play underdog role

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TORONTO (AP) When the World Cup of Hockey started, Team Europe was not picked as a team to beat.

In fact, the unique team made up of eight nations outside of the continent’s traditional hockey powers was expected to be out of the best-on-best tournament.

Team Europe had other plans.

The blended group of players opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over the U.S. and then beat the Czech Republic in overtime to seal a spot in the semifinals before losing to Canada.

“I know nobody really expected us to be here right now,” Danish and Detroit Red Wings forward Frans Nielsen said Saturday. “But when you look in the room and go over the team, there’s not a lot of players better than (Anze) Kopitar in this tournament. We got (Marian) Hossa. We got some good guys on the backend and good goaltending.”

The Europeans will face Sweden on Sunday for a spot in the best-of-three finals against the winner of Saturday night’s Canada-Russia game.

When Team Europe players have faced Sweden for their countries – Switzerland, Denmark, Slovakia, France, Germany, Slovenia, Austria and Norway – in previous, they didn’t have a legitimate chance to win.

They do now.

A veteran group of skaters and a star in Kopitar along with Slovak and New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak give them a shot on any sheet of ice.

“He’s the kind of goalie that almost every night, he gives you a chance to win,” said Nielsen, who played with Halak in New York. “And, he’ll make that save when you need it.”

Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said he’ll likely save his rah-rah speeches for another team because this one simply doesn’t need it.

Krueger began to sense something special was in store for Team Europe nearly a year ago when several candidates to be on the team met when Boston and the New York Islanders played. When the entire group gathered nearly three weeks ago in Quebec, Krueger got even more excited about the natural chemistry the team already had from their shared experiences.

“We didn’t have to do a lot of extra team-building,” Krueger said. “It just happened with a combination of leadership and personalities and character and will – of pure will – of these eight nations that are forever underdogs, forever going home when the final four is staged, forever watching other teams play in finals of best of best. That opportunity has fueled the fire that taken us here.”

Follow Larry Lage at http://www.twitter.com/larrylage and follow his work at http://www.bigstory.ap.org/content/larry-lage

Sadly, Crosby praise still comes at Ovechkin’s expense

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Alex Ovechkin #8 and Sidney Crosby #87 shake hands following Team Canada's  5-3 victory to move on to the finals during the World Cup of Hockey at the semifinal game during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at Air Canada Centre on September 24, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
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Here’s a homework assignment for you: praise Sidney Crosby‘s incredible work without downgrading Alex Ovechkin.

Yes, it’s not easy.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun presented an interesting column that spotlighted an admittedly “tired narrative” while still ultimately pumping up Crosby at Ovechkin’s expense.

LeBrun quoted anonymous executives who, yes, trotted out tired narratives. One executive did the baseball thing in making it Crosby (“five-tool guy”) vs. Ovechkin (“home run hitter”) while another equated it to a full-court player vs. a “half-court” player.

It’s all … well, tiresome.

Ovechkin may not have had the greatest game of his life on Saturday, but watching that game, was the takeaway really that he let Russia down? That the difference between the two teams was, in any way, about Crosby over Ovechkin?

You can throw out all sorts of stats or lean on the eye test to note how over-matched Russia really was in that game. Or you can consider the defensemen Russia dressed in a best-on-best clash:

Dmitry Kulikov, Dmitry Orlov, Nikita Zaitsev, Alexey Marchenko, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov and Nikita Nesterov.

Yikes.

Search your soul for a second and ask: how uneasy would an NHL team feel about that group of blueliners? Such a collection would struggle against one of the league’s 30 squads, let alone against a virtual All-Star team.

Is Crosby better than Ovechkin? There’s a strong chance that is the case, because of the whole “Crosby probably being the best player of his generation” thing.

How about this for a daring idea, though: why not enjoy the work of both players?

Ovechkin is easily the best sniper of his generation, and with 82 points in 84 career playoff games, sure seems like a strong big-game player. As we all know, hockey is a team sport, yet the blame falls on Ovechkin again and again.

Instead, let’s give Crosby and the rest of his brilliant teammates our attention, as we’ve seen here, here and here.