USA Hockey's Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations Jim Johannson took some time to talk about Islanders prospect Brock Nelson's performance at last week's National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY.
Nelson, who was selected in the first round (30th overall) of this year's draft, finished with 2 goals and 1 assist in 3 games to put himself in good contention of landing a spot on the roster that will compete for Team USA at this year's World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY.
Here's what Johannson had to say about the 18-year-old center:
"He had a good camp for us. He's a very smart player and really aware of the play. From our perspective, he has very good hockey sense in how he reads the play and uses other players. He's a legit 6-foot-3 guy with size and range. He's still filling out, but he's strong on his skates and he carries himself real well on the ice."
On the role Nelson fulfilled:
"He played center for us; he was a good puck distributor and played well. He measured up against the other guys playing center for us, so if he earns a spot for us it's going to be at center ice."
On his potential:
"Long term, he's got great potential. He skates well and distributes the puck well. He put points up for us at camp this week and we look at him as a guy now that, at the World Junior level he could play on one of our top 3 lines. He'll be competing with several guys for those spots, but he carried himself well."
On his ability to compete at that level coming straight out of high school:
"That was the first time seeing him play at that level. He came from Minnesota high school hockey and and dominated there. For a player of his potential and abilities, he did well in terms of playing against good players at a higher level."