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UConn’s Tage Thompson and Joe Masonius Discuss World Junior Championships

The two sophomores may get the call to play in the world Junior Championships during the season.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The IIHF World Under-20 Championship is the most prestigious international hockey tournament that isn’t the Olympics. The 10-team tournament is an annual event where the world’s best players showcase their skills. From December 26 to January 6, the 2017 tournament will be played in Montreal and Toronto, Canada.

The United States will be participating and we could see two Huskies on the roster. Both Joe Masonius and Tage Thompson were one of the 42 invited to the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation camp that took place during the first week in August. Those 42 will be whittled down to 22 before the team heads to Canada to compete in December.

Thompson, a sophomore forward who was a 1st round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, is not letting the pressure of being evaluated get to him.

“I think I’m more focused on what I need to get done here. I think the rest will take care of itself,” he said. “Obviously it’s a goal of mine to make the team, priority is to help UConn, to put the team first. I think the rest will just take care of itself.”

Masonius, a sophomore defenseman, also an NHL Draft pick, who has shown great promise as a two-way player, felt the same way.

“Obviously it would be great to represent your country, but right now I’m more focused on what I need to do at UConn and get ready for the season,” he said.