On March 23, 2013, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia was named the head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team by USA Hockey. With Lucia behind the bench, the Red, White and Blue will compete at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
In addition to Lucia, five current Gophers are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. Sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, freshman forward Hudson Fasching, freshman forward Taylor Cammarata, freshman defenseman Tommy Vannelli and freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski are currently participating at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid.
Next year, the U.S. program will seek its fourth medal in five years including a gold-medal performance in 2013 with Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly on the roster and assistant coach Grant Potulny on staff. As the tournament approaches, Gophersports.com will provide updates under using "Eyes on Sweden."to a spot to be kept and other guys we just want to get a better read."
USA Hockey trimmed the National Junior Evaluation Camp roster from 44 players down to 31 earlier this morning with four Gophers making the cut for the final week of camp.
Defensemen Brady Skjei and Michael Brodzinski and forwards Taylor Cammarata and Hudson Fasching are among the players who made the cut and will take on Canada (Sat.), Finland (Thurs.) and Sweden (Wed.) later this week.
"The whole point is for us as a staff to have the best evaluation and the best reads on these kids at the end of the week. Even though some kids are getting sent home doesn't mean they aren't candidates to make the team," Lucia said. "Certain guys have played their way to a spot to be kept and other guys we just want to get a better read."