Today is arrival day for nearly 200 players set to take part in the Boys Select 16 Player Development Camp here in Amherst, New York. Following check-ins at the dorms and equipment drop-offs at the rink, the players will meet fellow camp attendees, coaches, team leaders and other staff members during a welcome reception this evening.
ABOUT THE CAMP
The camp provides the United States’ top players born in 2003 with age-appropriate on- and off-ice training and coaching from elite-level instructors, as well as the opportunity to compete against their peers from across the country. The camp is also used to select the roster for the U.S. Under-17 Select Team that competes at the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
ABOUT THE UNDER-17 FIVE NATIONS TOURNAMENT
Each year, the Boys Select 16 Player Development Camp serves as a selection camp for determining the U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team that competes in the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament. This year's tournament will take place in Fussen, Germany, and feature the U.S. skating against Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.
Notable NHL and international players who have represented the U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team include Brock Boeser (2013), Dustin Brown (2000), Patrick Kane (2004), Ryan McDonagh (2005) and Troy Terry (2013). Last year, Team USA skated to its 12th consecutive top-three finish, posting two wins and two losses to take third place. Since 2007, the United States has claimed first place at the Five Nations tournament seven times, the most recent championship coming in 2017. The team also placed first in 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010. For more history on the U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team and the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, click here.
STAFF ICE BREAKER
Yesterday, the camp staff -- including coaches, equipment managers, team leaders and athletic trainers -- convened at Northtown Center for dinner, introductions and overall expectations throughout the week. Leading the introductions were Kenny Rausch, USA Hockey's director of youth hockey, and Rich Hansen, USA Hockey's American Development Model regional manager.
Following a spirited competition of Rock, Paper and Scissors - which ended with Pat Mikesch, head coach of the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers, as the ultimate champion - each staff member introduced themselves. Among the group are individuals across all ranks of hockey, including college, professional and junior leagues, as well as others who entered the hockey world later in life. While a select few are taking part in a USA Hockey Player Development Camp for the first time, several are long-time participants who have been involved for more than 15 years.