Jack Eichel highlights Team USA’s national junior evaluation camp roster, which was unveiled on Thursday.
Eichel, who captained the 2015 U.S. world junior squad, is one of 11 players from this year’s tournament invited to the camp, which takes place Aug. 1-8, in Lake Placid, New York.
Rangers’ prospect Brandon Halverson returns in goal while Brandon Carlo, Ryan Collins, Noah Hanifin and Zach Werenski were all a part of the Americans’ blue line at the 2015 tournament.
Dylan Larkin, Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano, Nick Schmaltz and Alex Tuch along with Eichel were among the U.S. forward group at this year’s tournament.
Eichel is also one of 18 invited players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft next week in Florida.
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Matthews, who will likely spend the 2015-16 season playing professionally in Europe, is the top rated prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft. Five players invited are eligible for next year’s draft.
The Americans have medaled in three of the past six world junior tournaments. The U.S. took home gold medals in 2013 and 2010, and bronze in 2011. Team USA finished fifth at the 2015 event.
The 2016 world junior championship takes place in Helsinki, Finland from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Related: Here’s the full 2015 NHL Entry Draft order
We know there’s not a lot in the way of hockey going on, but the World Junior Evaluation Camp is going on in Lake Placid, NY for Team USA.
Potential 2015 NHL Draft top pick Jack Eichel was a big part of Team USA’s 7-1 win against Sweden. The future Boston University forward had three assists and helped Minnesota Wild 2014 first-round pick Alex Tuch bag a hat trick in the blowout win.
NHL fans haven’t had much of a look at Eichel while all the talk about next year’s draft has focused on Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid. His appearance at the Lake Placid camp is the first real opportunity for fans to get an idea what he’s all about. As he told Adam Kimelman of NHL.com, he’s anxious to prove he’s right there with McDavid.
“I think it’s in everyone’s competitive nature that they want to go No. 1,” Eichel said. “If I sat here and told you I didn’t want to go No. 1 I’d be lying.”
He may get a couple more chances to prove himself at the WJC Camp with games against Finland and the Czech Republic still to go this week. Expect to hear a lot more about both Eichel and McDavid all season leading up to the 2015 Draft in Sunrise, Florida.