On Tuesday, USA Hockey announced its 30-man roster for the National Junior Team evaluation camp that’ll take place at Boston University from Dec. 16-19.
And, fittingly, it’s a BU star that highlights the roster.
Terriers freshman sensation Jack Eichel — expected to be one of the top two picks at next year’s NHL Entry Draft — tops the list, along with six first-rounders from the last two drafts: Nick Schmaltz (Chicago, 20th, 2014), Michael McCarron (Montreal, 25th, ’13), Sonny Milano (Columbus, 16th, ’14), Alex Tuch (Minnesota, 18th, ’14), Dylan Larkin (Detroit, 15th, ’14) and Anthony DeAngelo (Tampa Bay, 19th, ’14).
The list of invitees also includes Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin — another projected top pick at next year’s draft — and one really intriguing name to keep an eye on: Auston Matthews.
Matthews, 17, is the youngest player invited to camp (he only turned 17 in September) and projected to be a candidate for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The Arizona native has athletics in his bloodlines — his great-uncle, Wes Matthews, played for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins — and is currently playing for the U.S. National U18 team, scoring 20 goals and 45 points in 24 games this season.
The U.S. team will be coached by AHL Rockford associate Mark Osiecki. Following the BU camp, the team will play a series of pre-tournament games before heading to the Worlds, which take place in Toronto and Montreal from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.