Seven players from Michigan's 2008-09 roster recently completed tryouts for the U.S. and Canadian national junior teams.
From July 25-30, sophomore forward Louie Caporusso (pictured above) attended Hockey Canada’s national junior team evaluation camp in Ottawa, Ontario. He was one of 24 forwards and 44 players overall who attended the tryout for Canada’s 22-man roster for this winter’s 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. In three intrasquad scrimmages, Caporusso had one goal while skating for Team White. Prior to selecting its final 22-man roster, Hockey Canada will have a final tryout with a smaller group of players in early December.
“Being at the World Junior Canada camp was a real honor and opportunity for me as a hockey player,” Caporusso said. “Being able to play with the best teenagers in Canada was a great experience. The days at camp were very intense and full of development. Having three games in a row really tested everyone’s physical conditioning and Michigan hockey helped prepare me for that. The first game I was on a line with (John) Tavares and (Kyle) Turris, which was pretty fun, but the players I played with switched up every game. I had a great time and hope I will again be able to represent Canada.”
On the heels of the Canadian camp, USA Hockey held its own evaluation exercises and scrimmages Aug. 1-9 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The Maize and Blue was represented well among the 53 American players under the age of 20 as six Wolverines were in attendance: freshman forward Robbie Czarnik, sophomore forward Aaron Palushaj, freshman defenseman Greg Pateryn, sophomore forward Matt Rust, freshman forward David Wohlberg and sophomore defenseman Scooter Vaughan.
The U.S. split its players into two teams (Blue and White) for the latter portion of the camp, pitting each squad against fellow under-20 teams from Finland and Sweden. Over four games, Palushaj’s five points (3-2-5) tied for third-best among all U.S. players. Rust and Wohlberg had one assist each, while Czarnik was held without a point. Pateryn and Vaughan did not compete in the games versus Finland and Sweden. Combined, Team Blue and Team White finished the camp with a 4-1-2-1 record.
The final 22-man roster for Team USA will be selected between the end of the tryout camp and early December. The 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is scheduled to run Dec. 26, 2008, to Jan. 5, 2009, in Ottawa.
Photo courtesy UM Photo Services