WILMINGTON, Mass. — The summer hockey grind will only get tougher for a trio of the Bruins’ top prospects, as next month they’ll attend their respective countries’ evaluation camps for this winter’s World Junior Championship.
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton, the Bruins’ 2011 first-round pick, and center Ryan Spooner will attend Canada’s camp, while forward Jared Knight will be in Team USA’s camp for the first time.
Last season, Knight was eligible for the U.S. camp but was passed over. Even a solid start to his season with the London Knights of the OHL couldn’t chnage USA Hockey’s mind. It’s widely believed that Knight’s decision to go to the OHL rather than play college hockey rubbed some people the wrong way. His 70-points, 25-goal season was too strong to ignore this year, however.
“I thought I deserved it. I thought I deserved to be there last year. This year getting invited, I’m really excited,” he said before Bruins development camp ended Monday. “I’m glad they invited me and I’m just going to go in there and work hard.”
Spooner has also never been to a WJC evaluation camp before, although he has international experience with an under-18 team that won gold in Slovakia. The Bruins’ five-day development camp might’ve helped him get ready to impress the folks at Hockey Canada.
“I’m guessing it’ll be something like this. You’ll have testing and then it’ll probably physically demanding,” said Spooner. “It’ll be high-paced, guys will be competing. It’s not necessarily competing for a spot on the team, but you just want to make a good first impression before the year.”