Last year when the WJC began in Saskatoon, the soon-to-be Dallas Stars first round pick Jack Campbell was not thought of us the main man in the pipes. A year later he's being described by the Canadian media as the one who broke Canadian hearts. He will try to win the starting job (and is favored to do so) in competition with Andy Iles of Cornell Universality.
Those two are part of eight Americans returning from last years gold medal roster and this year they get to try to repeat on United States soil as the tournament will take place in Buffalo, NY at HSBC Arena (the Sabres are going on the road).
Camp is scheduled to start today with lots of practice and several exhibition tune up games along the way. The tournament gets started Sunday, December 26th.
We followed the tournament eagerly last year, overcome with patriotism, or looking forward to the Olympics, or else just kind of wanting to see Team Canada get beat because it's so important to EVERYONE up there, but this year we'll follow along on NHL Network because one of our own, Mr. Campbell, will take center stage for Team USA being the most recognizable name returning.
Dallas has no prospects on team Canada. Reilly Smith was invited to camp but did not make the final roster, and Scott Glennie, Stars first round 2009 pick, was not even invited this year.
When you're not watching Team USA, check out Sweden, whose roster could include two Dallas defensive prospects. Patrik Nemeth and John Klingberg are both on Sweden's preliminary roster, traveling to North America with the team to train at camp. With only 8 defensemen on that roster, it's a good bet at least one of them will see some action in the WJC, adding more Dallas intrigue to the tournament.
More Campbell reading:
And Ralph Strangis was asked on the DMN chat this week about drafting Campbell instead of Fowler:
We should have drafted Fowler. That's my opinion. When you have one glaring need - a financially distressed organization - and no immediate means to fill said need - and that guy dropped to you - you have to take him. I think we made a mistake. But - I will say this - we got Richards because we had a goalie to trade - and nobody else did.