GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota incoming freshmen Gage Ausmus and Keaton Thompson were among the 16 defensemen named to the 2013 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp roster today by USA Hockey.
The camp takes place Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid, N.Y., where the players will be auditioning for spots on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014 in Malmo, Sweden. In addition to the 16 defensemen, 24 forwards were also named to the evaluation camp roster. Goaltenders will be announced later this month.
Ausmus, a 6-foot-1, 204-pound native of East Grand Forks, Minn., spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP) and is ranked 148th among North American skaters by Central Scouting for the upcoming NHL draft. He played in 66 games with the U.S. Under-18 Team in 2012-13 and registered two goals and 12 assists while ranking second on the team with a +22 rating. He played in 54 games with the Under-17 team in 2011-12 and had two goals and four assists.
Thompson, a 6-0, 185-pound native of Devils Lake, N.D., also spent the past two years with the NTDP and is ranked 53rd among North American skaters for the NHL draft. He appeared in 67 games with the U.S. Under-18 Team in 2012-13 and registered four goals and 16 assists with a +18 rating. He appeared in 54 games with the U.S. Under-17 Team in 2011-12 and scored five goals and 17 assists.
Ausmus and Thompson helped lead Team USA win a silver medal at both the World Under-18 Championship and the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ontario. They also were a member of the 2011 U.S. National Under-17 Team that won the Four Nations Tournament in Balishikha, Russia, and the Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament in Slovakia.
UND has sent 47 players to the World Junior Championship since 1979, including 34 who have represented the United States. Most recently, forward Rocco Grimaldi won a gold medal with the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. He became UND’s 19th medalist at the tournament and the 12th to win gold.
For more information, visit www.usahockey.com.