From USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program website…
While the Olympic hockey tournament will be getting underway in PyeongChang, South Korea, there will be another huge international tournament happening in Plymouth, Michigan — the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament presented by Hines Park Lincoln with bragging rights on the line for each of the countries represented.
The tournament, which runs from Feb. 13-17, features some of the top Under-18 hockey players from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Many of the players skating in this event are eligible for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, which will allow NHL management and scouts an opportunity to see them play on American soil.
“The Five Nations U18 tournament is a premier event leading up to the annual NHL Entry Draft,” said Ray Shero, executive vice president/general manager of the New Jersey Devils. “NHL teams and their scouting staffs use this opportunity to view best-on-best competition for players from all the top hockey countries. With USA Hockey Arena hosting the event in Plymouth, the venue provides great accessibility for all NHL organizations and fans alike.”
Yes, South Korea might be the main focus of the hockey world beginning this weekend at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
But USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth also will be hosting some exciting February hockey of an international variety. The Under-18 Five Nations Tournament is scheduled to take place from Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 13-17, with the U.S. and four other teams on the docket.
The building (14900 Beck Road) will be jammed with National Hockey League officials and scouts who will be filling notebooks with musings about dozens of players considered the cream of the crop in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition to the U.S., the round-robin tournament will include Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic.
“The ones who have been here for any international event know they’re fun, the games are great,” said Scott Monaghan, senior director of operations for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, which is based in Plymouth. “(During) the women’s world championship, the USA-Canada games just rocked.
“We hosted a Five Nations in February two years ago, that was the younger age group, U-17s. We had a fantastic final game with USA-Russia. The building was packed and it was rocking.
“This is a bigger event, because it is the last event before the U-18 World Championship, the next-to-last time the NHL teams and scouts can see all these kids. And there’s probably going to be upwards of 60 kids that are ranked in the draft from these five countries.”