COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – One current National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) player and two incoming NCHC skaters were selected to take part in the 2020 World Junior Summer Showcase, as USA Hockey revealed their 43-man roster on Tuesday. The trio will take part in the U.S. National Junior Team’s evaluation camp later this summer, in preparation for the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship.
Making a return trip to the World Junior Summer Showcase is Denver rising sophomore forward Bobby Brink, while he will be joined by North Dakota incoming freshman defensemen Tyler Kleven and Jake Sanderson. The 2020 World Junior Summer Showcase runs from July 24 through August 1 and will take place in Plymouth, Mich., home of the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP).
Brink (Minnetonka, Minn.) had a stellar freshman season at Denver, earning unanimous NCHC All-Rookie Team honors. The Philadelphia Flyers draft pick finished second among NCHC newcomers with 24 points in 28 games this past season, while his 0.86 points per game led all conference freshmen. Brink scored 11 goals and chipped in 13 assists in 2019-20, while he was a two-time NCHC Rookie of the Month (October and January) and a two-time NCHC Rookie of the Week. In addition to the Pioneers, he was also a member of the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team last winter, scoring a goal and adding an assist in five games in the Czech Republic to help the U.S. to a sixth-place finish at the 2020 World Junior Championship.
Kleven (Fargo, N.D.) has been a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program for the last two seasons. This past year with the U.S. U-18 Team, the 6-foot-4 left-shot defenseman appeared in 45 games, totaling 12 points on two goals and 10 assists, along with 63 penalty minutes. He was also selected to participate in the 2020 BioSteel All-American Game. In 2018-19, Kleven played in 52 games on the U-17 NTDP blue line, racking up three goals and eight points to go with 96 penalty minutes. He is ranked 42nd by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters and is expected to be selected in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
Sanderson (Whitefish, Mont.), who was teammates with Kleven in the USA National Team Development Program, earned USA Hockey’s Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award earlier this June. He served as the captain of this year’s U.S. U-18 NTDP team and finished with seven goals and 29 points in 47 games, most among all defensemen. The 6-foot-2 blue liner was also named MVP of the 2020 BioSteel All-American Game, finishing with two assists. In 2018-19, Sanderson was captain of the U-17 NTDP team, totaling 24 points, including 20 assists, in 44 games. He is expected to be one of the top American-born draft picks in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft and is ranked fourth among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
In past years, Canada, Finland and Sweden have all brought teams to the World Junior Summer Showcase for exhibition games, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the evaluation camp will only include the players invited by USA Hockey and will follow a different format. No other countries will participate this summer.
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship is set to take place Dec. 26, 2020 through Jan. 5, 2021 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. The final U.S. National Junior Team roster for the 2021 World Junior Championship will be announced in December.