The Los Angeles Kings were privileged enough to have four prospects attend this year’s Team USA World Junior Championship evaluation camp.
That’s quite the step up from the quality and depth they’ve had in recent years with American-born prospects.
Unfortunately, today was cut down day and only half of the crop will be staying.
Defenseman Kevin Gravel (a fifth round draft pick in 2010 and student-athlete at St. Cloud State State University) and recently selected forward Michael Mersch (2011 fourth round draft pick, who plays at the University of Wisconsin) were not included once the roster was trimmed from the initial 44, down to 29.
Sticking around for the international portion of camp are defenseman Derek Forbort (2010 first rounder, University of North Dakota) and center Nick Shore (2011 third round, Denver University).
The remaining team will now play three games – one against Finland (Thursday) and two against Sweden (tomorrow and Saturday). All of them can be viewed for free via a live stream provided by Fast Hockey on facebook.
The ‘final’ camp roster can be found here.
For the record, this is not necessarily the final roster that will take the ice when the tournament begins just after Christmas. USA Hockey will host a ‘selection camp’ in early December and any of the players cut today could be invited back to that camp to go through the process again, pending their play over the early part of next season. So, there’s still hope.
Within the next few days, Gravel and Mersch are expected to stop by MayorsManor with full reports of their experience at camp.
In the meantime, here’s the original article talking about the Kings history with Team USA and down below there are links to several previous MM articles on all four of the American-born Kings prospects.
Post-season interview with Derek Forbort – includes NCAA playoff preview
DevCamp 2011: Pre-camp interview with Kevin Gravel
DevCamp 2011: Pre-camp interview with Michael Mersch
Wisconsin asst coach Gary Shuchuk talks LA Kings 2011 draft pick M. Mersch