USA Hockey announced 43 players that will attend this summer’s World Juniors Summer Series camp, held in Plymouth, Michigan July 24-August 1.
While most of USA Hockey’s summer slate of camps had to be scratched out of precaution for Covid-19, this camp is scheduled to go on, subject to any further restrictions. However, previously scheduled exhibition games at the camp featuring Canada, Sweden, and Finland have all been cancelled.
The roster of players selected can be found here.
Players born in 2001 and later are eligible for this year’s tournament, which will be held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta in late-December/early-January, again, assuming no further restrictions due to Covid-19.
That bodes well for the United States, whose 2001 birth year is considered one of the stronger groups in US hockey history, even after considering that the best of the group, former 1st overall draft pick Jack Hughes, will more than likely not be made available for the tournament. The NHL’s stubborn insistence on completing the 2019-2020 season in some sort of capacity may play to Team USA’s advantage, however. Three players—Trevor Zegras, Alex Turcotte, and Arthur Kaliyev—have already signed NHL contracts, but with the 2020-2021 season not expected to start until possibly some time in January, there will be less time and opportunity for them to potentially work their way into being NHL regulars not available for the tournament.
In all, nine players from last year’s World Juniors team will be at the camp, including goalie Spencer Knight, a first round draft pick of the Florida Panthers expected to lead the team. He is one of eight first round NHL Draft picks that will be at the camp, with a couple more likely to become first round picks when the NHL finally holds their 2020 Draft.
It’s an older group, with just 10 of the 43 players selected coming from the 2002 age group, with nine of those 10 coming from last year’s US NTDP U18 team.
The Summer Series won’t quite hold the same intrigue this year, with no exhibition games against the likes of Canada, Finland, and Sweden. But in this case, we already know the US has a very good team, and it’s gold or bust for them in Alberta this winter. More than anything, it will be good just to see competitive hockey being played again.