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Three Stampede Players invited to USA National Junior Evaluation Camp

June 16, 2008 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Sioux Falls Stampede News Release

Sioux Falls, SD- USA Hockey announced today that former Stampede forwards, Jack Connolly, Jake Hansen and Corey Tropp have been invited to the 2008 U.S. National Jr. Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., August 1-9. They are three of 53 players from 17 states to be invited. Participating players are candidates for the 2009 U.S. National Jr. Team that will compete in the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 5, 2009.

The camp will feature practices and eight international games with a split squad of the best American players under the age of 20 facing off against Sweden and Finland.

In just his first season with the Stampede, Connolly was named USA Hockey Jr. Player-of-the-Year after tying for the league scoring title with 72 points in 58 games. The Duluth, MN native led the Stampede in assists and points and finished second on the team in goals and plus/minus (+18).

He was named USHL Rookie-of-the-Year and was also named to the All-USHL First Team and USHL All-Rookie Team. He was named to the 2008 All-Star/Prospects Game in February and was named USHL Offensive Player-of-the-Week twice (January 7th & March 3rd). Connolly will attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall.

Hansen was a member of the 2007-08 Clark Cup Championship team, posting eight points (4g, 4a) in just 15 games. Prior to joining the Stampede, Hansen recorded 71 points (28g, 43a) in 25 games with White Bear Lake High School.

This past season, Hansen led the team in goals scored with 31 while finishing second on the team in scoring with 58 points in 60 games. The White Bear Lake, MN native was a third round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2007 NHL Draft. He will attend the University of Minnesota this fall.

Tropp spent this past season playing collegiate hockey at Michigan State University where he posted 17 points (6g, 11a) in 42 games as a freshman. Prior to joining the Spartans, Tropp spent two seasons with the Stampede (2005-07) where he totaled 77 points (33g, 44a) in 100 career games.

He was a member of the Stampede's Anderson Cup and Clark Cup championship teams and led the team in scoring during the 2006-07 season with 62 points (26g, 36a) in 54 games. He also led the team in post-season scoring with 13 points (4g, 9a) in eight games and was named MVP of the 2007 USHL All-Star Game in Waterloo, IA. The Grosse Pointe, MI native was a third round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres during the 2007 NHL Draft.

The camp opens on Aug. 1, with the first international games set for Aug. 5. All games will be held at the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena at the Olympic Center. All practice sessions are open to the public and tickets to the international games are available through the Olympic Regional Development Authority (orda.org) in Lake Placid.

Ron Rolston will serve as head coach for Team USA while USHL head coaches P.K. O'Handley (Waterloo) and Jeff Blashill (Indiana) will act as assistant coaches for the team.

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