Mac Carruth will face some stiff competition, but at least he has a chance.
Carruth of Shorewood is one of the four goalies that USA Hockey has invited to the national junior evaluation camp Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The top players in that camp will play on the U.S. team in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships in Alberta which start in late Dec. and end in early Jan.
Carruth, 19, is 6-3, 174 and was taken in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He was the 191st overall pick.
He played for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League in 2010-11. He was 31-13-1 with a 3.08 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage.
Carruth has not played for a Minnesota team in quite a while. As a teen he played for the Chicago Fury, an under-18 midget team and, at 15, committed to Minnesota Duluth for the 2010-11 season.
After the Fury, he played for the Junior A Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL for one season and part of another when he asked to be traded to Portland.
His request came after UMD pushed back his college start one season to 2011-12. That was not what he wanted.
Instead, he joined Portland, a major junior team, thereby giving up his college eligibility.
Two of the other goalies at the evaluation camp played on the U.S. junior team last year. It took the bronze in Buffalo, N.Y. They are Jack Campbell of Port Huron, Mich., and Andy Iles of Ithaca, N.Y.
The other goalie candidate is John Gibson of Pittsburgh who was on the U.S. team which won the goal in the under-18 IIHF World Championships.
* Bill Downey has been named the director of hockey operations to Penn State. He will work with men's and women's hockey. Downey, a PSU alum, has that same position now at Harvard.
* It's still June, but INCH has come out with its early top 10 contenders for the 2012 Hobey Baker. Four are WCHA players: forwards Jack Connolly, UMD; Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College and Danny Kristo of North Dakota, and defenseman Justin Schultz of Wisconsin.
Of those, Schwartz would be my favorite. He is a magician with the puck. Kristo is a bit of a reach. He struggled early last season, then had the frostbite injuries but finished strong.
My question, though, is where is Jason Zucker of Denver? The Wild draftee had 23 goals and 45 points as a freshman and was the WCHA's rookie of the year.
A fifth INCH candidate for the Hobey is Anders Lee, a Notre Dame freshman forward from Edina.