Topeka RoadRunners forward Edgars Lipsbergs has been named to the Latvian National Junior Team that will participate at the 2009 World Junior Championship, which will be held in Ottawa from Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 5, 2009.Its great to see the USHL and the NAHL sending players to the World Junior Championships. It shows how much talent these players do have playing Junior A. The two leagues should use that as a recruiting tool. Some might say anybody could make it on Latvia's roster but it's still an honor to represent his country. What if he plays well and turns heads? The NAHL could use that to recruit players.
“The opportunity to represent my home country in the World Junior Championship is a great honor,” said Lipsbergs. “I appreciate (RoadRunners head coach Scott) Langer and (assistant coach Trevor) Converse allowing me to take time for this opportunity. This only comes around once a year and for some kids once in a lifetime.”
Lipsbergs, a 19-year-old from Riga, Latvia, has two goals for six points after 20 games this season, his first with the RoadRunners. He will miss five NAHL games with Topeka to play in the tournament.
“Edgar’s opportunity comes at a great time in his junior career,” said Langer. “Though he’ll be missed from our lineup during the event, Edgars is a great choice to represent his country, as well as the league and his team during the games.”
The 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship features the best athletes under the age of 20 on international teams including the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden.
Danny Kristo made the USA roster. How big would it be if he played well. The USHL this year has gotten some high end talent this year with Louis LeBlanc (Omaha), Mike Lee (Fargo), Stanislav Galiev (Indiana), and Zach Golembiewski (Indiana). How about some of the younger players like Yasin Cisse (Des Moines Buccaneers), John Parker (Indiana), Seth Ambroz (Omaha), and Colton St. Claire (Fargo)
If Kristo can impress maybe the USHL can get more high end talent. Remember Ethan Werek had intentions to play for Indiana Ice. Garrett Clarke signed to play for the Fargo Force. I am sure this wouldn't make or break a player committing to Junior A. Maybe it could attract a Shane McColgan to play as an underager.
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)