June 9, 2011
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Four members of the 2011-12 Notre Dame hockey team are among a group of 40 skaters that have been invited to attend the 2011 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp that will be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., from August 6 through August 13. The list of goaltenders selected will be announced later this month. All participating players are candidates for the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2011 to Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
Attending the camp from Notre Dame are sophomore defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) along with sophomore right wing Bryan Rust (Novi, Mich.) and sophomore center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.). That trio will be joined by incoming freshman defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.). Johns and Rust attended the camp last summer while Tynan and Russo will be making their first appearances.
The camp, which will take place at Lake Placid’s Olympic Center, will feature practices, intra-squad scrimmages and international games featuring Finland, Sweden and the United States.
Sophomore Bryan Rust is making his second trip to the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp.
Johns is a 6-4, 221-pound defenseman who had a strong rookie season for the Irish in 2010-11 as they advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four. As a freshman, Johns played in all 44 games, scoring a pair of goals with 11 assists for 13 points from the blue line. He led the Irish with 34 penalties for 98 minutes on the year. The tough, physical defenseman was an honorable mention selection to the CCHA all-rookie team and was selected to the NCAA Northeast Regional all-Tournament Team where Notre Dame defeated Merrimack and New Hampshire to advance to the NCAA semifinals. A second-round draft choice of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Johns is a product of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program and was a member of a young Irish defense that played three freshmen every night last season. Johns attended the National Junior Evaluation Camp last summer.
Rust is a 5-11, 196-pound right wing who was one of 12 freshmen on the Notre Dame roster during the 2010-11 hockey season. The talented forward tied for eighth on the team in scoring with six goals and 13 assists for 19 points on the year. One of his goals came short-handed and Rust had two penalties for four minutes on the year and was +14 in 40 games for the Irish. This is the second National Junior Evaluation Camp that Rust has been invited to, as he was one of four Notre Dame players to attend last season. A product of the National Team Developmental Program, Rust was a teammate of Johns with the Under-18 team in 2009-10 when he had 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points in 65 games. He had 24 minutes in penalties while scoring five power-play goals and leading the team in short-handed tallies (2) and game-winning goals (7). In the spring of 2010, Rust was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. Under-18 Team that won the World Under-18 championship in Belarus. The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him in the third round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Defenseman Robbie Russo helped the U.S. Under-18 Team to the gold medal at the Under-18 World Championships in April.
Tynan checks in at 5-8, 170 pounds and is a right-handed center who is coming off a remarkable rookie year at Notre Dame that saw him lead all freshman in the country in scoring on his way to being named the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) National Division I Rookie of the Year in April. Tynan scored 23 goals and added 31 assists for 54 points, including 16 games with two or more points. He had five power-play goals, two short-handed tallies and a pair of game winners on the season. Tynan led all Irish forwards with a +21 for the year and picked up 36 minutes in penalties. A four-time CCHA rookie of the week, he was selected to the CCHA all-rookie team and was the CCHA rookie of the year. A second team all-CCHA selection, Tynan was the CCHA rookie of the month for November, the RBC Financial Group CCHA player of the month in December and captured Notre Dame’s Monogram Club team most valuable player award, along with the team’s offensive player of the year and rookie of the year honors.
Tynan finished the season ranked seventh in the nation in scoring with 54 points and was just the third Notre Dame freshman to score 50 or more points in a season with his final total being just five points off the school record of 59. A product of the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he played for the Des Moines Buccaneers in 2009-10, Tynan led the Bucs in scoring with 17 goals and 55 assists for 72 points. He led the league in assists and was fifth in points while being named to the USHL’s all-rookie team.
Russo is a 5-11, 189-pound right-shot defenseman who played this season with the USA National Team Developmental Program’s Under-18 team. There he finished sixth on the team in scoring with four goals and 26 assists for 30 points while picking up 27 minutes in penalties. Two of his goals came on the power play and one was a game winner. In international play, Russo helped the national program to gold medals in the Four Nations, the Five Nations and the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championships. In 16 international games, the Westmont, Ill., native had two goals with 14 assists for 16 points. He was fourth among defenseman at the World Under-18 Championships with a goal and seven assists for eight points in six games and set up the overtime game winner in the gold medal game against Sweden. He was selected by the tournament’s coaches as one of the USA’s top three players. Russo is eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft later this month and was ranked 55th in the NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.
Since 1976, Notre Dame has had 13 players play in the World Junior Championships with Kyle Palmieri being the last Irish player to make the squad in 2010 and 2011.