Every August, USA Hockey convenes its best under-20 players in Lake Placid, N.Y. for its annual National Junior Evaluation Camp. The purpose of the camp is to evaluate players for the upcoming 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will take place in Malmo, Sweden beginning right after Christmas.
Three of the Washington Capitals’ 2012 draftees will be in attendance at this summer’s camp, which will take place from August 3-10.
Defenseman Connor Carrick and forwards Thomas Di Pauli and Riley Barber are among 40 skaters (16 defensemen and 24 forwards) who have been extended an invitation to this summer’s evaluation camp.
Chosen with the 100th overall pick, Di Pauli was the first of two Capitals picks in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. After two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team, Di Pauli played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as a freshman in 2012-13, totaling five goals and a dozen points to go along with 31 penalty minutes in 41 games. The 19-year-old Di Pauli is a native of Woodridge, Ill.
Carrick was Washington’s fifth-round choice (137th overall) in 2012. The Orland Park, Ill. native spent the 2012-13 season as Tom Wilson’s teammate with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. The blueliner had a dozen goals and 44 points along with 79 PIM in 68 games with Plymouth. He added two goals and 18 points in 15 Memorial Cup playoff games.
The 19-year-old Carrick was a teammate of Di Pauli’s with the U.S. NDTP for two seasons before skating for the Whalers last season.
Barber was the Caps’ sixth-round (167th overall) choice last summer. A 19-year-old native of Livonia, Mich. who grew up in Pittsburgh, Barber played for the U.S. NDTP along with Di Pauli and Carrick in 2011-12. Last season, Barber played for the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. As a freshman, he totaled 15 goals and 39 points in 40 games, coming within a single point of leading the club in scoring.
Barber was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. squad at the 2013 IIHL World Junior Championship. He totaled three goals and six points in seven games during the tournament.
The 2013 evaluation camp will consist of intrasquad games as well as exhibition contests against Finland, Sweden and Canada. Those three countries will each be conducting their own evaluation camp at the Lake Placid facilities at the same time.
In other news, ex-Caps winger Todd Krygier was named head coach of the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks on Thursday. Krygier’s nine-year NHL career included two separate stints with the Capitals, and he concluded his NHL career as a member of the Caps’ only Stanley Cup final team in 1998.
Krygier had 100 goals and 243 points to go along with 533 penalty minutes in 543 regular season games during his NHL career. His last NHL goal was an overtime game-winner in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final series against the Buffalo Sabres on May 25, 1998.
The only NHL player ever to come from the University of Connecticut to the NHL, Krygier has coached at the high school level in Michigan for the last decade.
Caps 2011 draftee Patrick Koudys played for Muskegon last season, and current Capitals John Carlson (Indiana) and Jack Hillen (Tri-City) both played in the USHL. Current Capitals prospects Barber (Dubuque), Stanislav Galiev (Indiana), Garrett Haar (Fargo), Caleb Herbert (Sioux City) Cameron Schilling (Indiana) and Patrick Wey (Waterloo) have also toiled in the USHL.