MUSKEGON, Mich. – Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Adam Chlapik has been named to the Czech Republic’s preliminary roster for April’s IIHF U18 World Championship, the team announced today.
Chlapik will depart for his native country this weekend and join the Czech team’s pre-tournament camp in advance of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s annual get-together, which takes place April 12-24 in the Czech cities of Brno and Znojmo.
“It’s going to be a great experience,” said Chlapik, who joined the Lumberjacks in a November trade with Tri-City. “[The tournament] is only two or three hours from my hometown. I’m very excited about the opportunity.”
Chlapik, 18, will be first-year eligible for the NHL Draft this June and was rated as the seventh-best USHL prospect by the Red Line Report last fall. The 6-foot, 185-pound left-handed shooter has 17 points this season in America’s top junior league.
“Besides the National Team Development Program, no other USHL team will be represented at the U18 World Championship,” said Lumberjacks Owner/GM Josh Mervis. “We are pleased to help Adam earn a chance to compete for his country.”
Chlapik, who will not play this weekend for the Lumberjacks, is set to take part in the Czech squad’s preliminary camp which begins next Tuesday. The roster will then be whittled down to its final version prior to the start of the competition in three weeks.
The talented forward believes his abilities could translate quite well at the U18 Championship, which will be played on the wider international ice surface.
“It’s more about skill over there because the rink is bigger and you have more time and space with the puck,” Chlapik said.
The Czech Republic is grouped with Denmark, Finland, Canada and the United States for the round-robin portion of the tournament. Latvia, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland make up the other half of the 10-team competition.
The top three teams from each group advance to the single-elimination portion of the U18 World Championship, with group winners earning byes to the semifinal round. The United States has won the 13-year-old event six times, including the last three in a row.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)