Thursday, August 13, 2009

Update from the NJEC

Photos clockwise from top left: a.) #8 Jake Gardiner on D during the Aug 7 Blue/White scrimmage, b.) #22 Derek Stepan in front of the net during the Aug 9 Blue/White scrimmage, c.) #22 Derek Stepan at center ice during the Aug 12 USA/RUS game, and d.) #22 Derek Stepan on the draw during the Aug 11 USA/RUS game. All photos from

The roster at the National Junior Evaluation Camp has been cut down from 42 to 29 players, and Badgers Derek Stepan and Jake Gardiner have made it past this cut. The camp started with 2 teams -- Blue and White -- and was cut down to a single team (5 defensive pairs, 5 forward lines, 4 goaltenders) prior to the games v. Russia. USA Hockey says they'll continue to evaluate all original camp participants, including those recently sent home.

In their first 2 games v. Russia, the US has won 8-1 and 6-1. There are 2 games remaining. You can find all game results, photos, and highlight videos here.

There are also a couple of videos of the coaching staff that you might find interesting. In this video, head coach Dean Blais and assistant coach Mark Osiecki talk about evaluating kids that have played for them previously. Oz indicates that rather than having a bias for those plays, they're more likely to have a reverse bias. But he does have some nice things to say about Jake Gardiner. And in this video, John Hynes, Mark Osiecki, and Dean Blais discuss speech strategies.

By the way, I'm not sure if I mentioned this previously, but Badger alum Tony Granato is a camp coach, recently departed Badger equipment manager Steve Castelletti is camp equiment manager, and Badger alum Jim Johannson is team GM.