The U.S. completed its journey to Kamloops in the early hours this morning. The nine-hour trek started in Everett, paused for Customs at the U.S.-Canada Border, and then came to a halt outside of Hope, B.C. There, the bus was required to chain its tires due to the steep highway and the steady snowfall before proceeding the rest of the way to Kamloops.
With camp in Everett drawing to a close, U.S. general manager John Vanbiesbrouck and head coach Mike Hastings spoke to the media to share their thoughts on Team USA's progress.
"I think that they’re bringing it," said Vanbiesbrouck. "We’ve got a lot of guys at the top of their game right now and they’re making it really tough on us."
"We’re trying to make sure that our foundation is as strong as it can be," Hastings added. "We want them to have an understanding of what we’re looking for and how we can make this (tournament) successful."
PRE-TOURNAMENT GAMES ON HORIZON
During its time in Kamloops, Team USA will face off against Russia in a pre-tournament game at Sandman Centre on Dec. 20. The U.S. will then travel to Langley, B.C., to meet the Czech Republic in its final pre-tournament game at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 22. Faceoff for both tilts are set for 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET).
Twenty-five players have been drafted or signed by an NHL team while four are eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, which will take place June 21-22, in Vancouver.
Among the 25 players with NHL Rights are two Vancouver picks in 2018 selections Quinn Hughes (first round, 7th overall) and Tyler Madden (third round, 68th overall). Of the four draft-eligible players is Jack Hughes, brother of Quinn, who is the projected first overall pick and NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked player.
U.S. WOMEN'S WINTER TRAINING CAMP OPENS
Yesterday, the 2018 USA Hockey Women's Winter Training Camp opened at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. The camp, which will run through Dec. 21, includes 44 of the best U.S. Women's players and serves as an opportunity to help the top players prepare for upcoming international events, including the 2019 IIHF Women's World Championship.
Highlighting the roster for the Women's Winter Training Camp are 22 members of the championship-winning 2018 Four Nations Cup roster, as well as 22 Olympians.