Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday:Americans On The Rise

USA hockey is holding it's Olympic team summer camp right now and it's clear with the 2010 team that youth will be served in Vancouver. Players like Patrick Kane, Erik Johnson and Kyle Okposo were born in 1988, the same year that elder statesman Mike Modano was drafted. Here's 5 players who might be ready for the 2014 games in Sochi Russia. You should see most of them at the World Junior Championship in Saskatoon/Regina this year and can catch glimpses of them with their respective junior and college programs, as well as hear from them this year on The Pipeline Show.

5. Zach Budish-Minnesota Golden Gophers
He missed almost all of his final high school season in Edina, Minnesota but was still a 2nd round pick of the Nashville Predators. Budish is a beast at 6.03, 230 pounds who will play for his home state Gophers this season. He gives the U.S.A some beef who can skate up front. A more skilled version of Dustin Byfuglien might not be ready for prime time in 2014 but is certainly one to watch at this year's WJC.

4. John Carlson-London Knights
This is one guy I think will end up being a absolute steal in a few years. The Washington Capitals snagged him 27th in the first round of 2008. Last year with the Knights he quarterbacked their pp and put up 16 goals, 76 points in just 59 games. Carlson is close to being physically ready to play pro, and has 16 games of AHL hockey under his belt, including helping Hershey win the Calder Cup championship this spring. Providing he doesn't make the caps this year, he'll be team USA's top blueliner in Saskatchewan. At their summer camp he scored a power play goal along with 7 assists in 6 games.

3. Kyle Palmieri-Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Will USA hockey forgive and forget? They kicked Palmieri off their U-18 team last year for off ice issues. Some say he wouldn't rat out teammates, but the official reason has never been revealed. This year he'll attend Notre Dame instead of playing in Guelph where some thought he might end up after being turfed from the team last year. In 4 plus years, I'm sure USA hockey will welcome him back into the fold, after all he was at their World Junior summer camp. At 5.10 and 190 pounds he was nearly a point per game player with the U18 team while putting up 51 pim.

2. John Moore-Kitchener Rangers
John Moore and John Carlson have 2 things in common. The same first name and the potential to be the guys in their drafts that makes people wonder how they slipped so far. Moore was drafted by Columbus 21st in 2009, right before where the Oilers were hoping to draft him, if they could have snagged another first round pick. He was slated to play for Colorado College, but is heading north to Kitchener and might instantly be the best skating defenceman in the entire CHL. After 2 years in the USHL it will be interesting to see if he can have the success that Carlson had in his first OHL season.

1. Jordan Schroeder-Minnesota Golden Gophers
We started with a Gopher on this list and we'll end with one. Schroeder will certainly have plenty of experience wearing the stars and stripes should he be on the radar for the Olympics in 4 plus years. The offensive dynamo will represent the States for the 3rd time this year in Saskatoon/Regina. The 5.08, 175 pound centre might be small but he oozes skill with 45 points in 35 games as a freshman with Minnesota last year. At the summer evaluation camp for team USA's world junior team he racked up 14 points in 6 games. The Canucks grabbed him 22nd overall last June and in 4 years he might be playing on a line with fellow prospect Cody Hodgson, as well as getting set to face Hodgson on the international stage again.

Tune in tonight as we may speak to one of the above players, as well as Oilers forward Patrick O'Sullivan, Air Force head coach Frank Serratore, and Jaden Schwartz who helped Canada win the Ivan Hlinka tournament. As well as BAD ASS trivia and your questions to the ST. ALBERT SOURCE FOR SPORTS inbox, pipeup@thepipelineshow.com.

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