The 2012 first round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils, Stefan Matteau has been invited to take part in the National Junior Evaluation Camp, which is sponsored by the United States Hockey Federation.
Forty forwards and defensemen have been given invitations to attend the camp which will be held Aug. 3 through Aug. 10 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The goalies who will be offered invites will be announced later this month.
From this group, the team that will compete at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship will be chosen. The tournament will be held in Malmo, Sweden from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5.
Matteau was one of the final cuts from the 2013 squad which went on to win the gold medal in last year’s World Junior Championships. The United States also brought home the gold in 2010 and won bronze in 2011.
The 19-year-old forward was the 29th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. After the lockout ended, Matteau played 17 games for the Devils before being returned to his junior club on Saint Patrick’s Day, scoring one goal and notching two assists. He would later be released from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL after he had a disagreement with his coach following a benching incident after taking a retaliation penalty.
Devils’ General Manager Lou Lamoriello has never commented publicly on Matteau’s release from the team. He only acknowledged it and has said that the youngster could still play for another junior team in the fall if that was necessary.
If Matteau participates and makes the final cut for the 2014 World Junior Championship, he will play in a group which will also feature Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia.
The Evaluation Camp will be open to the public and will have practices as well as games against Sweden, Finland and Canada. For a full schedule of all the events and the other players who will be attending, you can visit the USA Hockey website.
In addition to Matteau, three other players with a Garden State connection have also been invited to show off their American-born talent. Connor Clifton of Matawan, who is eligible for this year’s draft, which will be held in New Jersey at the Prudential Center on June 30, Anthony DeAngelo of Sewell, who could be chosen in the 2014 draft, and Nick Ebert who hails from Livingston and was a seventh round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2012 draft will be participating as well.