The US opens camp tonight with Devils prospects Stefan Matteau and Blake Pietila competing for spots on the roster. Chris Peters with his fantastic United States of Hockey blog has an in depth preview of the camp with some notes on the Devils players:
Stefan Matteau (NJD) — LW — Blainville-Boisbriand Armada — 29 GP, 15-10–25, 61 PIM
Matteau has that good scoring pop with a heavy shot and good power-forward capabilities. He’s also got a bit of that nastiness in his game. He’ll have to make sure he avoids bad penalties, which he has been prone to take, but his hard-nosed game works at this level thanks to his strong skating.
Blake Pietila (NJD) — LW — Michigan Tech University — 17 GP, 10-2–12, 28 PIM
Not usually known for his offense, Pietila has been scoring at an alarming rate and leads MTU with 10 goals. For Team USA, Pietila will likely be asked to play a checking-line role, but he does that extremely well too. He’s great on the forecheck and if he can contribute a little bit of offense in addition to that physicality, it’s a big bonus.
Future Considerations has been pumping out some fantastic articles on all the draft elgible players that have made the roster of their respective nations or are at least in contention for spots. Here is an article on the three draft elgible players on Canada's roster:
Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin will be joined by undrafted 19-year-old JC Lipon as members of Canada at the World Juniors, the first time Canada will field a roster that includes three draft eligible forwards for the first time in tournament history.
Buzzing the Net is a must read blog for junior hockey news and notes. They have a preview of what should be a dominant Canadian roster here. The lockout has allowed them to have players like Huberdeau, Nugent-Hopkings, and Scheifele up front - pretty damn good. The US will have Galchenyuk as well due to the lockout. As always with Team Canada, goaltender is the big concern.