RETURNING TOP PLAYERS: Each of the top four point-scorers from last year’s USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp are competing at the Select 17 camp this week, led by John Farinacci (Chatham, N.J.), who paced all skaters with 10 points (4G, 6A) last year. Dylan Wendt(Grand Haven, Mich. – 4G, 5A) and Robert Christy (St. Paul, Minn. – 3G, 6A) followed close behind, tallying nine points apiece, while Carter Primo Self (Grand Rapids, Mich.) finished camp with eight points (4G, 4A). Arthur Kaliyev (New York, N.Y.) returns as the top goal scorer from the 2017 Select 16 Camp, having potted six in the five games.
The top goaltender from the 2017 Select 16 camp, Kyle Chauvette (Goffstown, N.H.), is also back as a participant in this week’s action and will look to repeat last year’s performance, which saw him post an impressive 1.44 GAA and .955 save percentage.
LINEUP NOTE: Team Black defenseman Ryan Johnson (Irvine, Calif.), son of 1994 U.S. Olympian Craig Johnson, did not dress for Wednesday’s tilt against Team Orange due to injury. In April, Johnson helped lead Santa Margarita High School to a USA Hockey High School national championship.
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS: Five players are celebrating their 17th birthdays during this week’s camp: the aforementioned Kaliyev (June 26), as well as Carson Riddle (Holly, Mich. – June 26), Michael Mancinelli (Detroit, Mich. – June 28), Will Gilson (Old Greenwich, Conn. – June 28) and Christian Sarlo (Lynbrook, N.Y. – June 29).
BUSY WEEK FOR DAD TOO: While Team Red’s Brendan Brisson (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) laces up the skates in Amherst, N.Y., for this week’s development camp, his father, Pat, will be stationed across the country in Los Angeles, Calif., settling what has been the most compelling story of the current NHL offseason. The elder Brisson, renowned NHLPA agent, represents an impressive stable of NHLers under the CAA Sports umbrella – a group that happens to be headlined by John Tavares, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Throughout this week, Brisson and Tavares have been at CAA headquarters meeting with various NHL clubs during the league’s annual “courting” period for upcoming UFAs, which began on June 24. Should Tavares opt to move on from the New York Islanders, Brisson will be free to negotiate a contract with any of the additional 30 teams as beginning this Sunday. Other notable clients of Brisson and CAA Sports include Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Nathan MacKinnon and Anže Kopitar.
WHO WILL BE ALBERTA BOUND? At the conclusion of USA Hockey’s Select 17 camp, approximately 22 of the participating players will be chosen for the 2018 U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team that will compete Aug. 6-11 at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup (formerly Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup) in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. In addition to the United States, the tournament will feature seven other countries – Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Team USA has earned a medal 13 times since the tournament’s inception in 1991, highlighted by its 2003 championship. Eight members of the 2017 U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team that competed for the Hlinka Cup were chosen in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.