Rangers prospects Christoval “Boo” Nieves (2012 – 5th) and Brady Skjei (2012 – 1st) survived the first cuts at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp this morning. They are now part of the final evaluation camp roster that will play its first game tomorrow against Sweden.
The final U.S. World Junior Team roster will be finalized in December.
Yesterday, both players were held scoreless for the second straight day of international competition at evaluation camp.
Despite the lack of scoring, Skjei is said to be having a solid camp, however Nieves has been more uneven.
Here's Chris Peters at the United States of Hockey on Skjei's performance yesterday…
"I thought Skjei was pretty solid for the most part. His skating was especially evident as he did a good job closing gaps, using his feet to get pucks out of trouble and was really strong when he needed to recover. He is starting to jump up into plays a bit more, but is picking his spots a lot better than he has in previous years. He still looks pretty good to get on the final roster."
Peters added this on Nieves…
"Jake Guentzel and Boo Nieves also were kind of in and out of visibility. I’m not sure there was a lot between the two to make any definitive calls. Both clearly have some skill and speed that would be helpful, but it’s not materializing enough consistently in camp."
…with Skjei being one of the last players cut from last year's gold medal winning team, the only way he won't make the final roster is if he gets caught sleeping with the coach's wife. If he can keep up this level of play he's a shoo-in.
…Nieves on the other hand is likely going to need an impressive camp to go along with a superb sophomore season at Michigan to earn a spot. He's a bubble player and if he doesn't start playing with more consistency soon he could end up suffering the same fate as Skjei last season.
Here's Skjei discussing what it's like going through his second evaluation camp…