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Quick Hits for Friday - USA Hockey Likes Carolina Defensemen

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Here are a few news items worthy of a quick mention and/or discussion:


USA Hockey selects 44 players to attend Developmental Camp this summer:

Team USA included three Carolina defensive prospects in their group pf 44 invitees to Lake Placid this summer.  Brian Dumoulin, (Boston College), Justin Faulk, (U of Minn at Duluth), and Mark Alt, (U of Minn.) were all invited.  Each of them were selected by the Canes in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft.  (Alt and Faulk in 2010, Dumoulin in 2009).

These players will be fighting for spots on the U-20 Team which will be defending the USA Gold Medal Championship from last year.  This year's tournament will be from December 26 to January 5, in Buffalo, N.Y.    


Team Canada Invites Jeff Skinner for their Developmental Camp:

Hurricanes number one draft pick Jeff Skinner was invited to Team Canada's camp.  He will be fighting for a spot to do battle against his American counterparts.

This should be another great tournament at the end of the year.      


More news after the jump:

Tim Conboy signs in Buffalo:

Fan favorite and one time team "good luck charm" Tim Conboy was signed by the Buffalo Sabres today.  Conboy spent three years in the Carolina organization, although most of the time was in Albany.  The Canes were happy enough with him at the end of the 2007-8 season to sign him to a two-year deal, the second year of which was a one-way contract which guaranteed him NHL money no matter where he played.  

Unfortunately, the agitator didn't stick with the Hurricanes much last season though and only played minimal minutes in 12 NHL games.  A couple of years back, the team usually seemed to win when he was in the lineup and he brought a "nasty" edge to his game which his teammates came to appreciate.

Mike Commodore was once quoted as saying that he "felt better" when Conboy was in the lineup.  

The combo forward/defenseman is back to a two-way deal with Buffalo.


Rutherford says that Skinner and Nash could make team at training camp:

Apparently fans were not the only ones impressed by newly acquired prospects Jeff Skinner and Riley Nash at last week's conditioning camp.  Jim Rutherford recently told Paul Branecky that either or both could make the team this training camp.

"At the conditioning camp, you could see a special skill level in certain players," said Rutherford. "Clearly, Skinner and Nash were guys that really stood out. It wouldn’t surprise me if both of these guys made our team."

While there are a couple of openings at forward for the Hurricanes, including third line center, other prospects like Zac Dalpe, Zach Boychuk, Oskar Osala, Jon Matsumoto, and Drayson Bowman might also have something to say about matters. 

This training camp should be the most interesting one in years.


Justin Williams Looking for Big Year:

Former Hurricanes winger Justin Williams has had a rough patch of luck but he's looking for a better year this season, the last of his five year contract.

Williams recently interviewed with the North Cumberland News:

"I've had a tough three years," said Williams during his trip home to Cobourg last week. "It was tougher mentally than it was physically. You need to have faith in yourself, and know that this isn't going to break you." 

The forward still says that the trade from Carolina was rough. 

"It's always hard when you reach the pinnacle with a team (and then get traded)," he said. "But championship teams don't stay together, and all good things come to an end. It's part of the business." 

Williams is still young at 28 years old, although his body is probably older.

"I've been in the league ten years. I'm only 28 but sometimes I feel a lot older than that," he said. "(But) I'm still young. I've got a lot of years left in me."

Good luck to Williams this coming season.