Forty forwards and defensemen have been invited to attend USA Hockey's junior evaluation camp.  The players will try out for the U.S. team which will play in the World Junior Champinships in late December and early January in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.

Sophomore forward Nick Bjugstad and sophomore defenseman Justin Holl of the Gophers are among those invited. (Goalie invitations will be released later.)

Bjugstad is one of  seven players back from the 2011 team, which earned a bronze medal in the World Juniors in Buffalo, N.Y.  Camp dates are Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Besides the two Gophers, the only other Minnesotans invited were  Justin Faulk, a defenseman who played on UMD's national championship team before signing with Carolina, and Derek Forbort, a defenseman for North Dakota. Faulk is from South St. Paul, Forbort from Duluth.

Nebraska-Omaha coach Dean Blais will be the team's head coach, assisted by UMD's Scott Sandelin and Tom Ward, head of the boys' prep team at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribualt..

The other six players who were on  2011 team are Faulk, Forbort, Wild draft choice Jason Zucker of Denver, Jon Merrill of Michigan, Charlie Coyle of Boston University and Emerson Etem of Medicine Hat (WHL).

Among other players invited forwards Nick Shore of Denver and Michael Mersch of Wisconsin and defenseman Kevin Gravel of St. Cloud State.

Two incoming Sioux freshmen, forwards Rocco Grimaldi and J.T. Miller, also were invited to the camp. They played for the under-18 U.S. national development team this past season. 

The complete roster is here


Jamie Russell, who resigned as coach at Michigan Tech this spring, has been hired as an assistant coach at Providence. And new Tech coach Mel Pearson has hired former Michigan All-America and ex-NHL Bill Muckalt as an assistant.