Emerging from USA Hockey’s Boys Select 17 Player Development Camp, the United States Under-18 Men’s Select Team has competed in August showdowns against international competition since the mid-1980s.
In 2000, the U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team, led by Zach Parise, visited Slovakia for its first foray into what was then known as the Four Nations Tournament. By 2002, the event had a new name – the Junior World Cup – and in 2003, the U.S. Under-18 Select Team won its first-ever summer championship with a roster that included rising stars like goaltender Cory Schneider, who was selected in the first round of the subsequent NHL Draft.
The Junior World Cup became the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in 2007, but its status as one of the most important events on the NHL scouting calendar – the first major international tournament of the scouting season – remained the same.
Typically, the U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team roster does not include players from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, meaning it provides a valuable platform for yet another group of talented American prospects to showcase their skills for hundreds of NHL scouts who attend the Hlinka Cup each year.
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Tag(s): Hlinka Gretzky Cup