Some good prospect news for all of you. According to Corey Pronman, Cristoval Nieves (2nd round pick in 2012) and Brady Skjei (1st round pick in 2012) have been invited to the USA's World Junior Camp.
This isn't much of a surprise. Nieves made serious strides with Michigan this year, scoring eight goals and adding 21 assists for 29 points in 40 games as a freshman. I watched him play a couple of times on TV and each time I wanted him create a plethora of chances for the Wolverines. He's looked really, really good this year. Again, he was just a freshman. More good things to come from him for sure.
Skjei played in 36 games for the University of Minnesota and scored a goal and added two assists. It's tough for a freshman to integrate himself defensively in a school as good as Minnesota, and Skjei does have a lot to learn, but the raw talent is clearly there and he was pretty solid for Minnesota.
This camp will be a fantastic opportunity for the two players to get experience playing against some of the best prospects in the game. I've always used the World Juniors as an early litmus test for prospects and guys like Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh have all stood out for team USA in the past. It's fantastic to see both getting an invitation to the dance.