The CO Thunderbirds' Marek Hejduk (No. 22) was one of two Colorado-based players invited to the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp later this month. All photos by Keiana Naiman
Two Colorado youth hockey players were among 49 selected to USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp later this month.
Both Marek Hejduk and Jeremiah Slavin hail from the Denver-based Colorado Thunderbirds club program. They’ll be at the camp March 18-22 in Plymouth, Michigan, battling for a spot on the 2020-21 U.S. National under-17 team.
Hejduk, who currently plays at the 16U level and hails from Parker, was one of 27 forwards chosen. He’s the son of former Colorado Avalanche player, and 2003 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy award winner, Milan Hejduk.
Per his EliteProspects.com profile, Marek Hejduk played 13 games for the Thunderbirds U15 team, recording four goals and six assists. In two games for the U16 team, he's notched one assist. He was selected with the 190th overall pick by the Portland Winterhawks in the 2019 Western Hockey League Bantam draft in 2019.
Marek, and his twin brother David, helped the Thunderbirds reach the 2019 USA Hockey Youth Tier I 14U National Championship tournament.
Defensman Jeremiah Slavin (pictured), who skates for the Denver-based CO Thunderbirds, was also chosen to the National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp.
Slavin, who currently plays at the 15U level and hails from Erie, was one of 16 defensemen selected. Slavin also has established hockey roots. He’s the younger brother to Jaccob, a defenseman and alternate captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, as well as Josiah, a freshman at Colorado College who was selected in the seventh round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. Older sister, Jordan, played for the University of North Dakota.
According to stats from EliteProspects.com, Jeremiah Slavin, who’s 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, has skated in 12 games with the Thunderbirds this season.
Hejduk and Slavin have attended a USA Hockey affiliated camp before, but Slavin acknowledged this time will be different. In 2019, they attended the Select 15 Player Development Camp Roster, which cast a net of 217 players.
The 49 selected players to the NTDP evaluation camp will be split up into five squads. From there, players participate in on-ice practices, off-ice training, play five games and attend two U.S. National U17 and U18 games at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.
Twenty-three states are represented at the camp, led by eight from Minnesota.
USA Hockey’s National Development Program, based out of Plymouth, is in its 23rd season of competition.
Aspen native goalie Kaidan Mbereko represents Colorado on the 2019-2020 U.S. U17 team. The roster lists two goalies, eight defensemen and 13 forwards.
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