From August 3-10, USA Hockey hosted the 2013 National Junior Evaluation Camp. Four countries participated, including Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States. Five Nashville Predators prospects participated in the outing showing off their skills to scouts, while representing their respective countries in international play.
The Predators' prospect who made the most impact in Lake Placid, New York was Finnish netminder Juuse Saros. In three appearances, totaling nearly two-hundred minutes — 198:07 to be exact — Saros had a 2-1-0 record with a .866 save percentage and 3.33 goals against average. Of course, his stats could have looked a bit better, but according to those who were there, he played well and his flexibility was impressive.
Nashville selected Saros ninety-ninth overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark on June 30.
Teammate and fellow countryman Mikko Vainonen had a bit of a lesser impact in the Camp. Appearing in all five of Finland's games, the 6'3 defenseman totaled two assists and four penalty minutes.
American forward Zach Stepan was fortunate enough to make the cuts on August 6 that didn't allow twelve players to continue the tournament. Prior to the cuts, the US split into White and Blue teams that played each other, Sweden and Finland.
Stepan, who was drafted one-hundred-twelfth overall in 2012, totaled a goal and an assist in five games.
A pair of future-Preds, Felix Girard and Brendan Leipsic, played for Team Canada at the NJEC. Surprisingly, it was Girard who had the better camp scoring a goal and an assist in his first outing against Finland, but going scoreless in his second game versus the Americans.
Leipsic had a disappointing camp going scoreless in two games, while taking minors in each contest.
Although Teuvo Teravainen is not a prospect in the Predators' system, he should be taken note of for the future after his impressive camp for Finland. In five games, he totaled eight points (3g, 5a). Take a look at this .gif by The Score when Teravainen (#19) setup a beautiful goal against the US while on the powerplay.
Teravainen was drafted by divisional rival Chicago Blackhawks eighteenth overall in the 2012 Entry draft. Ironically enough, according to Chris Peters of UnitedStatesofHockey.com, one scout told him, " "best I've seen at NJEC since Patrick Kane."
Look out everyone, the Blackhawks have another weapon awaiting his call to the NHL.