Sophomore standout forward Evan Barratt received an invite to Team USA’s training camp for the 2019 World Junior Championship, which takes place December 26-January 9 in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. The news comes on the heels of Barratt's teammate, Aarne Talvitie, making the preliminary list for Team Finland on Monday.
Barratt, a Chicago Blackhawks’ prospect, represented his country earlier this year during the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, B.C. Like Talvitie, he’ll report December 15-17 to Everett, Washington to show the U.S. coaches that he’s worth a final roster spot during exhibition contests.
This makes two-straight seasons that an American Nittany Lion was invited to a WJC camp. Sophomore and Los Angeles Kings’ prospect Cole Hults was invited last year, but ultimately didn’t make the team out of prelims.
Currently sitting tied atop the NCAA standings in points scored with 25 (12 goals, 13 assists), Barratt has already surpassed his point and goal totals from his freshman campaign. He is averaging 1.67 points per contest with 10 multi-point efforts and has registered at least one point in all but two games so far this season.
As stated with Talvitie, if Barratt ends up making the United States’ 23-player roster (and he’s pretty much a lock), he’ll ultimately miss the Lions’ series with Minnesota after the team returns from its winter break. For some added fun, the U.S. and Finland will both be pooled into Group B once the tournament begins December 26, and the two clubs will face off against each other on New Years Eve at 10:30 p.m. EST.
Having not one, but two players performing at an elite enough level to represent their countries is a true testament to the recruiting growth head coach Guy Gadowsky has built towards in the past few years, as Penn State will be well-represented on a huge national stage come the end of the year into January.