The road to the 2015 U-20 World Junior Championship this December and January begins next week in Ann Arbor.
Seven goaltenders will take part in the 2014 US National Junior Goaltender Evaluation Camp June 9-11, USA Hockey announced Tuesday. That includes three goalies with collegiate ties - Boston College sophomore Thatcher Demko (2014 Draft eligible), Denver sophomore Evan Cowley (Florida Panthers draft pick) and incoming Michigan State freshman Edwin Minney (2014 Draft eligible).
Demko, listed as NHL Central Scouting's top NA goalie, helped lead BC to this year's Frozen Four. The 6'4", 185 lbs Cowley, meanwhile, spent most of his freshman season behind Mike Richter Award nominee Sam Brittain and only made three starts. He will be depended upon more this upcoming year as Brittain has graduated.
Minney, who played in Ann Arbor for the USNDTP Under-18 team and NHL Central Scouting has as the 7th-best NA goalie, was part of Team USA's 2014 gold medal winning U-18 squad in April.
The three day camp is a chance for goaltenders to make an impression before the full NJEC in Lake Placid, NY August 2-9.
It is likely just three or four will be invited in what has to be an open competition. Only Demko, who didn't play a tournament game, remains from last year's squad, which lost to Russia in the quarterfinals. Both Providence's Jon Gillies (Calgary Flames) and former Nebraska-Omaha netminder Anthony Stolarz (Philadelphia Flyers) have aged out of the competition.
In addition to the three with college ties, 3 OHL goalies - Soo Greyhounds' Brandon Halverson, Plymouth Whalers' Alex Nedeljkovic and Erie Otters' Devin Williams - and Portland Winterhawks (WHL) netminder Brendan Burke were also invited.
The 2015 WJC will be held in Toronto and Montreal, Canada from December 25, 2014 to January 5, 2015. Former Ohio State head coach and current Rockford (AHL) assistant Mark Osiecki will coach Team USA.