COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey announced today the 42 players that have been invited to the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, July 30-Aug. 7, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. The players will audition for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, December 26, 2016, through January 5, 2017, in Montreal and Toronto, Canada.
For the complete list of players invited to the 2016 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, click here.
Of the 42 players attending, five are returnees from last year's U.S. National Junior Team that claimed the bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Additionally, 31 players have won medals at IIHF events. For a breakdown, click here.
The United States, which has medaled in four of the last seven IIHF World Junior Championships (gold - 2010, 2013; bronze - 2011, 2016), aims to claim back-to-back medal finishes for the second time ever (2010 - gold, 2011 - bronze).
The week-long camp will include 10 international competitions between Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States. For a complete camp schedule, click here.
USA Hockey also announced today its support staff for the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team, including equipment managers Scott Aldrich (USA Hockey/Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Joe Guilmet (Arizona State University/San Diego, Calif.); athletic trainers Jason Hodges (USA Hockey National Team Development Program/New Baltimore, Mich.) and Stan Wong (USA Hockey/Boca Raton, Fla.); team physician Dr. Phil Johnson (USA Hockey/Fargo, N.D.); and communications contact Jon Gomez (USA Hockey/Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Mike Knuble (East Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.) will serve as guest coaches at the 2016 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. A Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings and veteran of 1,068 NHL games, Knuble skated for Team USA on five occasions, including four U.S. Men's National Teams (1995, 1999, 2001, 2005) and the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. Rolston, who spent seven seasons (2004-11) as head coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, most recently served as head coach of the AHL's Springfield Falcons. He is the only coach in U.S. history to guide the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team to three gold medal finishes at the IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship (2005, 2009, 2011).
Notes: Visit teamusa.usahockey.com/worldjuniors for more information ... Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.), who participated in last year's camp, and forward Colin White (Hanover, Mass.), who served as an alternate captain for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team, will both miss camp due to injury. Additionally, three former U.S. National Junior Team players eligible for the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team will not be part of the camp, including forward Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and defensemen Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.). Werenski served as captain of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team while Matthews was an alternate captain. Hanifin was a member of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team ... Of the 42 players invited to the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, 26 are eligible for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, which begins Friday (June 24) ... Fourteen players invited competed in the United States Hockey League during the 2015-16 season, including 11 from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program ... Sixteen players spent time in the college hockey ranks last season while another 14 players are expected to make their collegiate debuts this season ... Eleven of the 42 players participated in last year's camp ... Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.) is the head coach of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team ... The assistant coaches for Team USA are Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), Kris Mayotte (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Steve Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Grant Potulny (Minneapolis, Minn.) ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.