'It's unfortunate:' USA Hockey cancels world junior showcase in Plymouth

The Detroit News
Team USA's Jon Gruden watches practice at a world junior evaluation camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth last year. (Detroit News photo)

USA Hockey canceled the 2020 World Junior Summer Showcase that was scheduled for July 24-31 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.

The event was slated to be part of the evaluation process in selecting the U.S. national junior team that will play in the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26, 2020-Jan. 5, 2021 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. 

"It's unfortunate but obviously there's bigger problems out there as far as people's safety and health," said Wisconsin center Alex Turcotte, one of 44 players invited to the camp and one of 27 players who previously played for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. "All you can control is your own actions and how you take care of yourself. We're hoping the real tournament goes on and that we can still have some form of camp before the actual tournament starts."

Five players with local connections were among the 44 invitees: University of Michigan defenseman Cam York (1st round/Philadelphia) and forward John Beecher (1st round/Boston), Michigan State forward Josh Nodler of Oak Park (5th round/Calgary), London Knights defenseman Hunter Skinner of Wyandotte (4th round/N.Y. Rangers) as well as Boston University center Robert Mastrosimone (2nd round/Detroit).

“We’re disappointed on many fronts, but thought it was in the best interest of everyone involved to not hold the event,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the U.S. junior team and assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey.

“Regardless, we’re excited about the level of talent in our country and look forward to putting a team together that can compete for the gold medal. We’ll continue to look at all options to get our players and staff together ahead of selecting our team.” 

The United States will enter the world championship seeking its fifth medal in six years after earning a record four consecutive medals: gold in 2017, silver in 2019, and bronze in both 2018 and 2016.