Jack Campbell, selected eleventh overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been confirmed as a member of the unofficial roster representing the United States at the World Championships in Prague tomorrow. The 22-year old netminder is on a plane to the Czech Republic today.
Adding Campbell to the United States roster brings the team to three goaltenders (Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Alex Lyon of Yale University make up the other two netminder roles), eight defensemen, and twelve forwards. The team likely needs to add at least one more forward to the roster, although that could mean taking out a blue liner already named to the team — and with the tournament beginning on Friday, this may be the finalized group.
Campbell, of the three netminders on the roster, is the most experienced at the ‘professional’ level.
After the Dallas Stars took him in the first round, Campbell — a native of Port Huron, Michigan — shifted from the US National Development Team to the OHL north of the border, making him one of only seven players on the twenty-three man lineup who opted to go to the major juniors rather than take the NCAA route prior to his pro career.
After a season spent adjusting to the shift from the USNDT to the OHL Windsor Spitfires, Campbell’s numbers went back up to the respectable stats he’d been posting as a younger player. The AHL saw him play well over his first few seasons — although he has yet to translate that success to the NHL level — but a 2014-2015 campaign with few experienced prospects and uncertainty in net (Campbell’s primary fellow netminder, Jussi Rynnas, was shuttled up and down to accommodate for conditioning stints assigned to former Dallas backup Anders Lindback) saw his production take a dip. He struggled to remain consistent throughout the year, then finally pulled himself back closer to normal during the post-season.
A primarily athletic-style netminder, Campbell brings an agility to the net in Prague that Hellebuyck has as well — but also contributes with an explosive style that sees him caught off guard very rarely. His biggest problem is an ‘attack-first’ mentality that, while used by a number of NHL netminders as well, is generally ill-advised for the larger portion of net left exposed on a rebound shot. If he can move father back towards the crease with developmental maturity (and trust his own positioning in high-risk situations), he could be a Team USA dark horse.