5 Rangers to appear in IIHF World Junior Summer Showcase
Part of a rebuild is the excitement when the WJSS rosters are announced. It’s been a long time since the Rangers had 5 players participating in the annual tournament but in 2019 that’s the case.
Kaapo Kakko won’t be appearing on the Finnish team as he is expected to make the NHL team after signing his entry level contract, and Leevi Aaltonen is the only omission from the rosters, Ranger fans could be upset about. The speedy winger who was selected in the 5th round will have his chance to show what he can do on a bigger stage when the season starts in Finland.
Editor’s Note: Finland has a camp before Plymouth that Leevi will be in and could be added to Finland after that.
K’Andre Miller (2018 1st round pick) and Zachary Jones (2019 3rd round pick) were both selected for the U.S. White team on a defensive group that also includes this year’s 2nd round picks Alex Vlasic (CHI) and Drew Helleson (COL). Zachary Jones, who has committed to UMASS Amherst in the NCAA for this upcoming season, represented USA u19 at least year’s World Junior A Challenge and won gold by beating Russia in the final.
The remaining 3 all play for the Swedish team. To no one’s surprise, Nils Lundkvist is one of them. The defenseman, who turns 19 in 2 weeks, spent time on the Rangers prospect development camp earlier this summer to get to know the new prospects. The commitment of Lundkvist is really a great example of how to act as a prospect. While at prospect development camp, Lundkvist got to know Karl Henriksson, the Swedish center drafted in the 2nd round last month in Vancouver. Henriksson will play together with Lundkvist in the Summer Showcase before moving back to Sweden where, like Lundkvist in Luleå, he will start preparing for the group stages in the CHL with Frölunda.
The 5th and final Rangers prospect to appear in this year’s Summer Showcase is Olof Lindbom. The goalie who was drafted in the 2nd round by the Rangers last year started last season with an injury but fought his way back into the SuperElit line-up after recovering. His stellar play even earned him a call up to the SHL team. Lindbom is one of 3 goalies on the Swedish team and he will make the most of his opportunity. Lindbom signed a pro contract with Mora IK during the off-season and is expected to start for the men’s team in Allsvenskan this upcoming season.
The tournament runs from July 27th until August 3rd at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. U.S. White plays Sweden on Sunday July 28th at 4 PM Eastern.