March 11, 2014 – ANN ARBOR, Michigan – USA Hockey announced the roster of 52 of the top American hockey players who were born in 1998 that have been invited to participate in USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp. The camp will help select the 2014-15 U.S. National Under-17 Team and will take place March 21-25, at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

“We’re excited to welcome another talented crop of players to our tryout camp,” said Peter Ward, director of player personnel for the NTDP. “The entire scouting staff puts in days, months and years of hard work to identify what we believe are the nation’s top players in this age group.”

The group of 52 players consists of 19 defensemen, 27 forwards and six golatenders who will be divided into three teams: Red, White and Blue. Participating in both on- and off-ice training as well as practice sessions, the three teams will also play two full games.

This year’s coaches are NTDP alumni Blake Geoffrion (Brentwood, Tenn./2004-06), Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich./2004-05) and David Tanabe (White Bear Lake, Minn./1997-98). In addition two NTDP intern assistant coaches, Josh Brown and Dan Naurato, will also work behind the bench.

The players invited to the NTDP Evaluation Camp, representing 17 different states, will be fortunate to be coached by three impressive alumni. The 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Geoffrion, who was forced to retire from playing as a result of a horrific accident, now serves as a scout for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Geoffrion represented the United States three times.  Lawson, who played four seasons for the University of Notre Dame and now serves as College Hockey, Inc.’s Director of Education Recruitment, represented the USA twice. Tanabe was in the inaugral group of athletes trained at the NTDP during 1997-98 and became the first NTDP alumnus to play in the NHL; ultimately playing 449 NHL games with Carolina, Phoenix and Boston.

For a full list of the roster and the Evaluation Camp game schedule, click here.

Many of these top players will go on to impressive hockey careers both in college and even professionally. And many of the things they learn while at the National Training Development Program will assist them in those endeavors.

A family historian by profession, Rhonda R. McClure has loved hockey since she was a child in New Hampshire. Any opportunity to combine her love of writing, hockey and research is something she looks forward to with much enthusiasm. She's been accused of seeking out shinny games when there are no other hockey events taking place. She is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research. Follow her on Twitter at @HockeyMaven1917.

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