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New York Rangers prospect Joey Keane discusses playing for Team USA at WJSS

New York Rangers defensive prospect Joey Keane impressed scouts at the World Junior Championship Summer Showcase.

The World Junior Championship is one of the most exciting yearly International hockey events, as it gives fans a chance to see the best young players going head-to-head as they try to evaluate the future of their favorite team.

The process that leads to the selection of the teams is long and includes many showcase events and camps. One of the bigger ones is the Summer Showcase in which countries play exhibition games to evaluate their young players.

With the New York Rangers in a rebuild, younger players that the team controls showcasing their skills here are extra important. Defenseman Joey Keane got that chance, and he spoke to Matt Calamia of the Rangers official website about the experience and his summer after being drafted.

Keane, who was drafted in the third round (88 overall) by the Rangers in the 2018 draft, felt that playing extra hockey in the summer (when many players are off) was worth it for a shot to make the World Junior Championship team.

“It’s summer hockey and it’s tough, but when you get there, you put those thoughts aside and go out and do your best. I know how that team is picked in December. I’m just hoping I get invited back.”

He also spoke about the honor of wearing the Team USA sweater.

“Honestly, it was a great week. Any time you get to represent Team USA it’s an honor and a really cool thing. I was excited to get out there and meet a bunch of guys. Facing guys from Canada and Sweden, it’s good to compare yourself to talent that’s out there.”

He impressed Nick Bobrov, who runs the Rangers European scouting department. “He moved the puck very well and had the poise to play a possession game when situations dictated it. Joey saw good PP time, often playing alongside Quinn Hughes on the first unit and showed his ability to play very well along with an elite player like Hughes.”

Hughes was drafted seventh overall in 2018 by the Vancouver Canucks, so the fact that Keane looked strong next to him is a good sign for the Rangers.

Keane, part of general manager Jeff Gorton’s rebuild, will probably return to the Barrie Colts of the OHL to get another season under his belt. His summer started by joining fellow third-round defenseman Sean Day at the Rangers development camp after the draft.

He’ll be hoping to join Pavel Buchnevich as a third-round pick who worked his way into the team’s future plans with good play. The World Junior Summer Showcase was a good first step towards that goal.

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I'm a student at Binghamton University. I'm a huge fan of the Mets, Rangers, Giants, and Jets, and will be covering them for the site, as well as fantasy hockey, football, and baseball. My twitter is @wmcine