By Matt Calamia
The Rangers' brass will be paying a close eye on Team USA, Team Canada and Team Russia's summer development camps for the 2015 World Junior Championships. 2014 draft picks Brandon Halverson and Keegan Iverson were both invited to Team USA's camp, 2013 pick Anthony Duclair will take part in Team Canada's, and 2013 pick Pavel Buchnevich and 2014 selection Igor Shestyorkin will fight for spots on Russia's roster.
Team USA will begin its camp today in Washington D.C. before two scrimmages against Sweden and Finland on Sunday, while Canada begins Sunday before a scrimmage against the Czech Republic on Monday night. Russia will face Canada during the camp.
Halverson, 18, was the team's second-round selection in June's draft. He completed his first season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League in 2013-14, posting a 12-6-1 record with a .904 save percentage and a 2.96 goals against average to go along with two shutouts as the team's backup.
Iverson, 18, has spent the last three seasons with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. During the 2013-14 season, Iverson posted 22 goals and 20 assists along with 70 penalty minutes in 67 games. In the postseason, Iverson added four goals and four assists in 21 contests.
During his first full season in Portland, Iverson registered six goals and 10 points in 47.
Duclair, 18, turned heads this season with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League after the Rangers took him in the third-round of the 2013 draft. Duclair exploded for 50 goals and 49 assists for 99 points in just 59 games last season before an injury cut his season short. It was quite an increase in production from his draft year when he posted 20 goals and 30 assists in 55 games.
Like Duclair, Buchnevich was considered a steal in the third-round in 2013. Despite not posting similar numbers as Duclair, the 19-year-old forward scored seven goals and 18 points in 40 games last season for Severstal of the Kontinental Hockey League, Russia's equivalent to the NHL. Buchnevich represented Russia in last year's World Junior Championshpi, posted two goals and five assists in seven games.
Gordie Clark, the Rangers Director, Player Personnel, said goaltender Shestyorkin is capable of being a No. 1 goaltender down the road despite being taken in the fifth-round of this year's draft. The 18-year-old went 1-5-2 in his first season with Moscow of the KHL. In 23 games with MHK Spartak — Moscow's junior team — Shestyorkin went an impressive 14-5-4 with five shutouts and a 1.42 goals against average and a .947 save percentage. Central Scouting had him as the draft's ninth-best goaltender.