For now, at least, it appears there could be some familiar names who have a shot at representing Team USA at one of the world’s most premier tournaments.
Recently former Fargo Force captain Brian Cooper (Nebraska-Omaha) and former teammate and current Western Michigan star Garrett Haar were invited to Team USA’s evaluation camp in August at Lake Placid, N.Y.
The list, which features more than 40 players, was released by USA Hockey this morning.
Cooper was part of a roster which featured a numerous amount of USHL based players while Haar was just one of quite a few players already playing college hockey to make the list.
What’s on the line for both Cooper and Haar is a chance at playing in the IIHF U-20 World Championships, which by all purposes is the largest and most premier amateur tournament in the world.
It also ranks as one of the more important tournaments in all of world hockey on any level.
The tournament has seen current NHL stars such as Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Jonathan Toews make their mark and really announce themselves to a hockey world who may not have followed their previous hockey accomplishments.
Cooper, 18, just finished his third and final year with the Force having led the team to a second-round playoff appearance. He also stands a strong chance at being taken on Saturday at the NHL Draft.
Force coach John Marks, a former No. 1 selection back in the 1960s, recently told NHL.com he expects Cooper could go in the third round. Projections have called for Cooper to go anywhere between the second and fourth rounds
Cooper was invited to Team USA’s camp last season where he was among the youngest players to receive an invite. Though he was one of the first players to be cut, he described it as a good experience which prepared him for any future possible chances he’d have with the national team.
Haar, 18, just finished his first season at Western Michigan, where he helped the program win a conference title and have one of the best seasons in school history
It was this time a year ago when Haar started to gain more visibility. Following his first season in Fargo, Haar impressed in the playoffs and was taken by the Capitals in the seventh round of last season’s draft making him the only Force player to be taken.
Haar went into the Capitals evaluation camp where he was declared to by the “surprise of the camp” by general manager George McPhee. Haar was set to return to Fargo after decommitting from Northeastern, a day after he was drafted.
Weeks before the Force’s pre-season camp, he was offered a scholarship by Western Michigan.