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

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Report: Flames might have interest in Jagr

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We’re mere weeks away from the start of training camp, but Jaromir Jagr remains unsigned. Even at the age of 45 he can still contribute as he did last season with Florida, but is there a team out there that ultimately will pay the future Hall of Famer to extend his NHL career?

That remains to be seen, but it sounds like there is some interest out there for his services.

“I know some teams that have kind of talked and taken a look at it,” said Elliotte Friedman on the NHL Network (H/T to FanRag Sports). “I think Calgary has been one that has kind of looked at it. One of his former coaches, Glen Gulutzan, is coaching up there.”

Friedman also heard teams suggesting that Anaheim might be interested in Jagr, but based on his own investigation that doesn’t appear to be the case. Ultimately Jagr might end up starting the season in the Czech Republic and would have the option of playing in the Olympics if that happens, but even if he does begin the year in Europe, he could still re-sign with an NHL squad later on in the 2017-18 campaign.

Jagr is the second all-time player in terms of total points and third in goals behind Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. If he did play another season, the main statistical achievement that he could chase would be fourth place on the assists list as he’s 20 behind Ray Bourque.

He finished the 2016-17 campaign with 16 goals and 46 points in 82 contests.

Related: The case for Hurricanes signing Jaromir Jagr

Under Pressure: Ryan Murray

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This post is part of Blue Jackets Day on PHT…

The Blue Jackets were naturally hoping for great things when they took Ryan Murray with the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, but he’ll turn 24-years-old in September and so far he hasn’t consistently lived up to those early expectations.

To be sure, he’s had some bad luck along the way. He suffered a torn labrum while playing in the juniors during the 2012-13 campaign and in the years that’s followed he’s been limited at times by knee and ankle problems. Most recently he missed the last 15 games of the regular season and the Jackets’ playoff run due to a broken hand.

Injuries haven’t been Murray’s only issue though. While they’ve resulted in setbacks along the way, when he was healthy last season he still wasn’t living up to expectations. Seth Jones, David Savard, Jack Johnson, and rookie phenom Zach Werenski served as Columbus’ defensive core while Murray was relegated to more of a supporting role.

That top-four core isn’t particularly old either as Johnson is the most senior member at the age of 30. Johnson is on the final season of his contract, but unless the Blue Jackets can’t re-sign him, Murray has no simple path back into prominence. He’ll have to get there through merit alone and he’ll want to demonstrate his ability to do so this season given that he’ll be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2018.

“It’s a big summer for Ryan; for him and for us,” Blue Jackets president John Davidson noted to the Columbus Dispatch in April. “He knows it. We’ve had good talks with him. He’s had good talks with our strength and conditioning people, our doctors.

“He’s a good hockey player, and we’ve seen some good things from him. He’s had bad injury luck without question, but he’s going to overcome that. He’s at the age now where he’s not a young pup.”

Players at his age are still typically regarded as having upside, but also beginning to transition away from the point where they’re regarded as prospects. There won’t be many more years where Murray will be looked at as a potential top defenseman if he doesn’t force himself into that role soon.

Alfredsson left front office job with Sens to be ‘stay-at-home dad for a while’

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Many people were surprised to see Daniel Alfredsson leave his role as senior advisor of hockey operations with the Ottawa Senators.

The reason for his departure was unclear at the time (he walked away in July), but he finally spoke to the Ottawa Sun during a golf tournament on Monday.

“I have a couple of projects on the go, but nothing major,” said Alfredsson, who added that he wants to be a “stay-at-home dad for a while.”

“Once school starts, it’s full on with activities with the kids. We’re moving into a new house here in the fall, so we have a lot of planning to do with that. So, it’s going to be a quiet year for me, overall.”

The 44-year-old, who has four boys, is moving into a new house in Ottawa, and says the family will live there for the foreseeable future.

Despite stepping away from the NHL for now, he also admitted that he wouldn’t mind jumping back into a team’s front office if the right opportunity presented itself.

“If that opportunity would come back again, I would look at it very hard. It’s what I know best. It’s what I love, as well. I can see that in the future at some point. But when, I don’t know.”

Alfredsson spent all but one of his 17 seasons playing for the Sens. He put up 444 goals and 1157 points in 1246 contests with Ottawa and Detroit.

Poll: Will the Blue Jackets get past the first round of the playoffs?

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This post is part of Blue Jackets Day on PHT…

The Columbus Blue Jackets have made the playoffs three times in their franchise’s history, but they’ve never been able to make it out of the first round.

In 2009, when they were still in the Western Conference, the Blue Jackets were swept by the Detroit Red Wings. They scored one goal or less in three of four games.

During the 2014 postseason, they were tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven series against the Penguins, but they dropped Games 5 and 6, and they were eliminated.

Last spring, again, they went up against the Penguins. After a solid regular season, the Jackets dropped the first three games of the series before being knocked out in five.

Despite picking up 108 points during the regular season, Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen made some major changes in the off-season. They bought out Scott Hartnell, and they traded Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and a draft pick for Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and a draft pick.

There’s no doubt that Panarin adds another dynamic to the Jackets’ attack.

“Artemi Panarin was the best rookie in the NHL two years ago, a second team All-Star this past season and is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NHL,” Kekalainen told the team’s website. “There is a cost to adding a player like Artemi, as well as a very good NHL prospect in Tyler Motte, but we believe this is a very good move for our team.”

Panarin struggled to produce during the playoffs, but the entire ‘Hawks team seemed to be lacking in the scoring department. He finished the postseason with one assist and a minus-4 rating in four games.

The previous year, he managed to score seven points in seven playoff games, but the Blackhawks were still knocked out in the first round.

The 25-year-old will be surrounded by some other quality forwards on his new team. Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner, Josh Anderson and Alexander Wennberg are all expected to be back.

On defense, Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, David Savard and Jack Johnson provide the Jackets with a solid top-4.

The biggest difference-maker is between the pipes, as Sergei Bobrovsky will look to win his second consecutive Vezina Trophy. Bobrovsky was outstanding throughout 2016-17, and if he can do it all over again, his team will be better for it.

With the Penguins and Capitals still strong options to win the division, any first-round matchup will be tough. Have the Blue Jackets done enough to make a run next spring?

It’s your turn to have your say. Vote in our poll and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section below.