The names could be enough to intimidate any amateur hockey player. But when Brian Dumoulin of Biddeford takes part in USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp, which begin today in Lake Placid, N.Y., he knows what his approach will be.

“It’s an honor to be among those guys, but you can’t just stand there star-struck,” said Dumoulin, who will be a sophomore at Boston College this fall. “You have to be able to play with those guys, play your game and play against them.

“I don’t know what Team USA is looking for and I’m going to play the way I want to play and not try to change anything, just try as hard as I can and not think, ‘Wow, I’m playing with the best in the country.’

“I’m here for a reason.”

Dumoulin, a defenseman, is one of 44 American-born players taking part in the camp, the first step for USA Hockey to determine this year’s U.S. junior team roster for the IIHF world junior championships, which will be held Dec. 26, 2010, to Jan. 5, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Among that pool are four of Dumoulin’s teammates at Boston College, including Chris Kreider, a Team USA veteran and the New York Rangers’ first-round draft pick in 2009. There also are four sons of former NHL players — Ryan Bourque, Philip Samuelsson, Jarred Tinordi and John Ramage — along with goalie Jack Campbell, who helped Team USA win the gold medal in January at the 2010 World Junior Championships.

“The summer camp evaluates who the top prospects for the junior team might be,” said Tim Taylor, director of player personnel for the national under-20 team. “They are kids we’ve tracked over their developmental years, and I’ve been watching the kids born in 1991 and 1992 leading up to this camp.”

Dumoulin, 18, is getting his second shot at international competition in three years. In August 2008 he played for the U.S. under-18 team at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

“Looking back at representing my country for the Ivan Hlinka tournament, it was awesome,” Dumoulin said. “It would mean a lot more this year with (the juniors championship) being in the United States. My family would be able to go, my friends would be able to watch it.

“After the world juniors, the next-biggest things you can do are the world championships and the Olympics. I want to represent Maine and I want to represent the United States in this tournament.”

In his freshman year, Dumoulin helped the Eagles win the national championship. He had one goal and 21 assists in 42 games and led the Hockey East with a plus-40 rating.

“I knew this was another opportunity to showcase my skills,” said Dumoulin. “With team success comes individual success, and I’m sure the USA Hockey staff saw how I play. I had a good year and hopefully I’ll have a good camp in Lake Placid.”

Dumoulin will join teammates Samuelsson, Kreider, Steven Whitney and Patrick Wey trying out for the U-20 team.

“The goal is to win the gold medal with the team we select,” Taylor said.

“The hardest thing is to bring these kids together as a team. That’s a combined challenge. It’s not just selecting the very best players.

“We’ll work and we’ll brainstorm to zero in on the right kids and the right mixture of strength, speed, talent and skill.”

Taylor said that in Lake Placid, players will be split into two teams and will play a series of intrasquad scrimmages Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After Sunday’s game, the camp will be cut by 15 to 20 players, and the remaining players will make up one team that will play exhibitions against Sweden and Finland before camp breaks Aug. 7.

One more group of 28 players will meet in December in Rochester, N.Y., for a second camp and three exhibitions. Ultimately, 22 players will make up Team USA’s roster, which will be announced Dec. 23.

“It’s very hard to pick the team,” Taylor said. “It’s a luxury we’re happy to have and a difficulty we’re happy to have.”

 

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

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