USA Hockey's 2015 World Junior evaluation camp continues this week in Lake Placid, as some of the best young American players practice, scrimmage, and play in exhibition games against Sweden, the Czech Republic and Finland in an attempt to impress the coaching staff and earn their spot in this year's tournament.
While the roster decisions made during evaluation camp are not final - a strong first half of the 2014-2015 season can catapult someone back in to contention who was previously on the outside looking in - you'd certainly like to be on the right side of the bubble going in to the year.
15 players were sent home yesterday from the initial roster of 42 selections. Boston College's Ian McCoshen and Scott Savage were among the cuts, as was Minnesota's Taylor Cammarata and Notre Dame's Connor Hurley.
Four Eagles did make it through to the final camp roster: goaltender Thatcher Demko, who is considered by many to be the favorite to win the starting job; defenseman Steve Santini; and incoming forwards Sonny Milano and Alex Tuch. Other notable players on the roster for BC fans include BU freshman Jack Eichel, along with Notre Dame freshman and Bruins draft pick Anders Bjork.
Santini and Demko were on the US's roster last year, as was McCoshen. Quite a few BC players have worn the red white and blue on the World Junior stage in recent years, with Johnny Gaudreau and Chris Kreider being among those who have starred and taken home gold medals.
From a BC perspective, it's looking likely that the Eagles roster will take a bit of a hit during the tournament - even more of a hit than it did last year. The two games during the break for BC are both part of the Dartmouth holiday tournament, facing Brown and Dartmouth on January 3 and 4. If the Americans progress as far as the semifinal, BC's players in the WJC are likely to miss both of those games.
The USA plays Sweden today at 4 PM, Finland tomorrow at 4 PM, and the Czech Republic Saturday at 1 PM before breaking camp and heading off to get ready for their junior and college seasons.