2015 World Championships: Jack Campbell Gaining Experience With Team USA

Dallas Stars prospect and Texas Stars starting goaltender Jack Campbell to gain valuable experience during international competition.

Former number one pick Jack Campbell will be competing with Team USA in the 2015 IIHF World Championships.He isn't expected to play much, but he did make the start for Team USA in Monday's 4-2 win over Russia. He stopped 15 of 17 shots faced and seemed to have a good time if this quote from Mark Stepneski is any indication:

"It's even more fun to play than I ever thought it could be," Campbell told IIHF.com. "I've gotten a game in the NHL, but this is another level. Especially hearing their crowd screaming Russia the whole time, it makes you want to beat them all the more. It's a fast game, a lot of great players, and it's an honor to be out here and get the win."

Campbell isn't on the team simply to have a good time though. He's participating in the tournament for the added benefit that comes with the extra experience he will gain by being part of an international competition against mostly professional competition. While these teams aren't Olympic-caliber, they do employ quality players. Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Vladimir Tarasenko are among the quality offensive players Campbell held off in his victory.

Campbell needs to see the habits and routines that make these other players NHL caliber. He's been up and down as a professional, and the Stars need more consistency to justify making a roster spot for him. Sometimes extra exposure through various mediums to desirable traits can make those traits take root. The different organizational approaches taken by the players with whom he will be in contact could add that extra something he needs.

Sometimes a player just need a taste. Go re-read that quote. How excited does Campbell sound to have been able to compete in that one game? if he wants to ever be in that situation again he is going to need to adjust and continue to refine his craft. We call that a teachable (coachable) moment. It goes something like this:

Campbell: Wow that was awesome.

Coach: Do you ever want to do it again?

Campbell: Uh, yeah.

Coach:Then you need to improve x, y, and z. This is how you go about making these changes happen.

Whatever insight he gains about goaltending during the tournament has to materialize into real improvement quickly. He is nearing waiver eligibility.The Stars need a backup goalie for next season. The circumstances should be right for a player in Campbell's position to take an NHL roster spot. Given how little he has shown consistently as a professional the Stars can't reasonably count on him to be that guy, but he can put himself in position to be the next man up. As we've seen the past few years the next man up is usually needed.