It's the first day of games for the U.S. squads here at the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, B.C. Both teams will hold pre-game skates before their games, as USA Blue will take on Sweden at 4 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) while USA White faces Finland at 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET). Game updates will be provided on Twitter @USAHockey.
ROSTER TIDBIT: 30 AAPG ALUMS IN ATTENDANCE
Thirty players here at this year's Showcase have skated in the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, which provides the best U.S. players eligible for next year’s NHL Draft the opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage. To date, 155 players who have participated in the event have gone on to be selected in the NHL Draft, including 36 first-round selections. Last year's Most Valuable Player of the game, Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) is here in Kamloops and was the first American selected in the 2018 NHL Draft when he was taken fourth overall by the Ottawa Senators. It marked the second straight year the game's MVP was the first American selected, as Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.) was chosen eighth overall by the Buffalo Sabres at the 2017 NHL Draft.
In 2018, the seventh annual contest will be staged in Minnesota for the very first time as it will be hosted by the Minnesota Wild and Xcel Energy Center. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. CT on Wed., Sept. 19. For tickets, visit allamericanprospectsgame.com.
CAMP TIDBIT: LASSONDE'S COACHING TIES
U.S. assistant coach David Lassonde (Durham, N.H.), current associate head coach at Dartmouth College, has unique coaching ties here at the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase. In his first collegiate coaching stint at the University of New Hampshire, Lassonde coached Ellen Weinberg-Hughes, who is the mother of U.S. players Quinn and Jack Hughes. In 2012, Weinberg-Hughes, who went on to win a silver medal with the U.S. Women's National Team at the 1992 IIHF Women's World Championship, was inducted into the University of New Hampshire Athletics Hall of Fame. After his stint with New Hampshire, Lassonde spent three seasons at the University of Wisconsin alongside the late U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame head coach Jeff Sauer, before serving as an assistant coach at Miami University, where he coached Marc Boxer in 1994-95, USA Hockey's director of junior hockey who is here assisting Team USA in Kamloops, B.C.