CALGARY, AB -- When the topic of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships is brought up, Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster can't help but smile.
After all, a plethora of 2011 and 2012 draft picks have been named to preliminary rosters this week.
USA Hockey will have bruising blueliner Patrick Sieloff, netminder Jon Gillies and sniper Johnny Gaudreau attending their training camp in Tarrytown, NY. Hockey Canada has invited defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon, who leads the CHL with a plus-32 rating, and 2012 WHL Championship series MVP Laurent Brossoit to their selection camp next week. Markus Granlund is looked upon as a lock for Team Finland by many.
"It speaks volumes to the work Tod Button (director of amateur scouting), his staff and John Weisbrod have done."
Six prospects named to preliminary World Junior rosters for their respective countries isn't too shabby for a club which has been lambasted in the past for a lack of depth in their system.
"It matters a great deal to us that we have as many of these guys get invited to the camps as possible. The next important thing for us to have them make the team," Feaster said. "That's a goal we set out for them. Playing at that level, getting that kind of international experience. Playing with that kind of pressure. Having to deal with the media. For the Canadian players, having to deal with the expectations that always come.
"It's very, very important. The guys know that. We'll be watching the guys who have been invited to the Team Canada selection camp here in Calgary. We'll have people watching Team USA as they prepare in New York. They know that we're there. They know that the organization takes this very seriously and that we want them to be on the team and we want them to compete on that stage."
The Flames will be keeping a close eye on the tournament proceedings as well. European scouts will be taking in games, sending reports back to Calgary, and members of hockey operations will be watching throughout the duration of the tournament as those games are a valuable tool for player development strategies.
"Certainly from the standpoint of will we be taping those and will we be watching them in them in their entirety? Absolutely. We won't miss any of those games."
The organization is already looking ahead to the 2014 tournament and the role their 2012 first round draft pick will play for Team Canada.
"You go back last year to Team USA - we would have liked to see Johnny Gaudreau make the team at that time. This year, we have Mark Jankowski. A true 18 year-old college freshman and he's finding his way at Providence College. He didn't get invited this year but certainly we would expect next year he's going to figure prominently just as we figure Johnny Gaudreau to figure prominently now this year for Team USA."
The 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship kicks off on Dec. 26. A full broadcast schedule can be found HERE.
|Back to top ↑|