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By the numbers: Hlinka Cup and the NHL Draft

By USA Hockey, 08/01/17, 4:00PM EDT


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.

By the numbers:

  • Three of the six American players selected in the first round of this summer’s NHL Draft played for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team at the Hlinka Cup (Casey Mittelstadt, Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan Poehling). In all, NHL teams selected 13 players who represented the U.S. in Hlinka Cup play.
  • The U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team and the Hlinka Cup has been a stepping stone for players who were selected in the first round of the NHL Draft in each of the past four years.
  • In the past three NHL drafts, 25 percent of the U.S.-born first-round picks played in the Hlinka Cup.
  • Since 2013, more than 40 percent of the U.S. players who competed at the Hlinka Cup were subsequently selected in the NHL Draft.

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