Thursday, August 12, 2010

Clendening and Nieto to attend NHL camp for top 2011 prospects

For incoming freshmen Matt Nieto and Adam Clendening, the itinerary of summer hockey stops has one more venue before they return to Commonwealth Avenue. The pair, who concluded their stint in the U.S. National Team Development Program by winning a second consecutive World U18 championship in Minsk, Belus, this past April, played in the Chowder Cup Tournament in Boston last month before heading to USA Hockey's Junior National Team evaluation camp in Lake Placid (see below).

Next up is a trip to the Toronto Maple Leafs' training facility in Etobicoke, Ontario, for the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp where Nieto (Q&A interview) and Clendening (photo )are among 33 top prospects for the 2011 NHL draft. Only four players who will play NCAA hockey this season were invited. In an preview of the camp, Central Scouting's Jack Barzee explained why Clendening was a camp invitee:
"He did, however, jump out at you playing on the power play with his high level of finesse and skill. He is an excellent skater and hard to pin down when forechecked. He has a very good shot from the point. He is also very adequate in his own zone."

Clendening's performance in Lake Placid gave him a leg up on making the U.S. squad that will defend the World Junior Championship this winter in Buffalo. He discussed the road ahead with The Buffalo News.

Charley Coyle, another evaluation camp standout, reflected on the evaluation camp for, an L.A. Kings fan site. Coyle explained:

"I thought I was just going to come to camp and be a grinder. I didn't expect to put anything on the board or anything. So, those two goals boosted my confidence. It let me know that I can play with these guys and that I can be a big part of this. Knowing that I could score and contribute definitely helped me out a little bit."

► Ivan Hlinka Tournament update
The U.S. Select U18s defeated Finland on Wednesday, 5-2, to earn a spot in the tournament's semifinals. 2011 recruit Cason Hohmann (AHR scouting report) scored his third goal in three games and leads the team in scoring with six points. Team USA faces Sweden on Friday in an 11:30 a.m. start (live stats).

► A new addition to the list of links in the sidebar: Dan Sallow's Stars of Tomorrow.

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