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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

Patrik Laine to make highly anticipated preseason debut for Jets

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Patrik Laine gives an interview after being selected second by the Winnepeg Jets during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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Anticipation has been building since the Winnipeg Jets officially took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

On Friday, Laine, the highly coveted Finnish forward, will make his preseason debut for the Jets when they play the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, as the home fans get the chance to take in the occasion.

The Jets have done a nice job of amassing good young forwards in their organization. Laine, who has the gifts to be a prolific scorer in the NHL, is at the top of that prospect list.

Winnipeg’s roster tonight also includes forward prospects Kyle Connor, Nic Petan and Brandon Tanev, not to mention more NHL experienced forwards like Alex Burmistrov, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.

Laine enters this season with high expectations placed on him from fans and media, after coming to the NHL following a standout career in Finland as a teenager. He’s aware of the expectations, but toned down the hype with the usual statements of just playing his game.

“Just be brave on the ice and show everybody I will earn my spot on the team,” he told reporters.

Laine has already seen game action this month. Not with the Jets, but with Finland’s entry at the World Cup of Hockey.

Following offseason knee surgery, Laine wasn’t happy with his performance in Finland’s first pre-tournament game. In three tournament games, Laine failed to register a point, despite a team-best 10 shots on goal, as Finland was quickly eliminated in the round robin.

Related:

Looking to make the leap: Patrik Laine

Murray: Ristolainen’s good-faith gesture unlikely to sway talks with Sabres

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 22: Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a pass during the game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 22, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray tells The Associated Press he doesn’t believe defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen‘s decision to join the team for practice without a contract will have any effect on thawing negotiations.

With a big laugh, Murray on Friday said the only way Ristolainen could speed up contract talks is if “he got all lovey-dovey” and elected to take the Sabres’ latest offer.

Ristolainen is a restricted free agent whose rights were retained by the Sabres in June. After representing Finland in the World Cup of Hockey, Ristolainen reported to the Sabres on Thursday in what was regarded as a sign of good faith.

Though he’s not allowed to play because he’s not under contract, Ristolainen is practicing with the team and also taking part in meetings. Ristolainen is not making himself available to reporters.

Murray says he didn’t see anything wrong with allowing Ristolainen to practice, saying he’d rather the player be in Buffalo than working out elsewhere.

Murray says the two sides are still negotiating.

In three seasons, Buffalo’s 2013 first-round draft pick has established himself as the Sabres’ top defenseman. Last year, Ristolainen led the team in averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game, and led Buffalo defensemen with 41 points (nine goals, 32 assists).

Contract coming? Rakell’s agent negotiating ‘frequently’ with Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Rickard Rakell #67 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center on November 30, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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More updates from Anaheim, the land of contractual impasses…

Rickard Rakell, the still-unsigned RFA forward, sounds as though he’s closer to an extension with the Ducks than teammate Hampus Lindholm, who’s working out in Sweden.

From the O.C. Register:

Rakell has yet to resume his training after being unable to play for his homeland in the World Cup of Hockey. But it is believed that while the Ducks would prefer to stay lower than Rakell’s six-year, $24 million asking price, they’ve made more headway with the center’s agent, Peter Wallen.

In an e-mail to the Register, Wallen confirmed as much while saying Rakell has slowly started to work out again and will need “a couple of weeks” to get back in top shape. “Back negotiating,” Wallen said. “More frequently now.”

Rakell finished fourth on the Ducks in scoring last year, with 20 goals and 43 points, and led the team in game-winning markers. His emergence over the last two seasons — he had 31 points in 73 contests in ’14-15 — his age (only turned 23 in May) and his versatility (can play center or right wing) are the big reasons why he’s angling for a significant payday.

For Anaheim, it’s one of those problems teams wish they had.

Though they’re stretched thin financially, the Ducks have an arsenal of good young talent up front that will eventually replace the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler. Rakell is chief among them, and he’ll soon be followed by the likes of Nick Ritchie, Nick Sorensen, Julius Nattinen and both of the club’s first-round picks at this year’s draft — Max Jones and Sam Steel.

The key, of course, is keeping all those young guys in the fold.

And that starts with Rakell.

Related: Lindholm seeking eight-year deal from ducks, at least $6M per

Schwartz injury increases focus on Blues who could step up

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 24:  Ty Rattie #18 of the St. Louis Blues passes around Trevor van Riemsdyk #57 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on January 24, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 2-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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It was already going to be interesting to watch the St. Louis Blues without David Backes and Troy Brouwer.

Then came today’s news that they’ll be without Jaden Schwartz for at least the first two weeks of the regular season.

Now the focus really turns to players like Ty Rattie, the 23-year-old winger who’s piled up the points in the AHL but still has to establish himself as a regular NHLer.

Can he help fill the void?

“It’s him, it’s (Kenny) Agostino, it’s (Samuel) Blais, it’s (Magnus) Paajarvi,” said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock, per In The Slot. “These are guys that, man, they can make our team be a little bit different here, quite a bit different and really be one of those teams where we’re dangerous right throughout our lineup if they can make the grade.”

Backes had 21 goals last season, while Brouwer chipped in 18. The Blues did partially answer their departures with the David Perron signing, but they’ll need others to step up as well. That includes veteran Alex Steen, whose goal totals have fallen from 33 to 24 to 17 in three consecutive seasons, and 20-year-old Robby Fabbri, who had 18 goals last season as a rookie, but has the talent to score more. Paul Stastny only had 10 goals last season. He can do better.

Schwartz, too, will need to stay healthy when he returns. He only played 33 games last season after fracturing his ankle in October. He has to be doubly frustrated after sustaining yet another injury in practice.

And, of course, Vladimir Tarasenko will need to keep scoring. He had 40 goals last season, the fourth most in the NHL. Any falloff there would hurt.

The Blues finished 2015-16 with 107 points, then made it all the way to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2001. They still consider themselves Stanley Cup contenders.

But first things first, they have to get back into the playoffs.

“This is my sixth season in the Central Division and this looks like the most challenging year yet,” Hitchcock told The Associated Press yesterday. “The crunching between the top and bottom started last year, and it’s going to be closer this year.”