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MSU hockey's Josh Nodler invited to USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp

October 5, 2020
Freshman forward Josh Nodler (20) fights for the puck during the game against Cornell at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 2, 2019. The Spartans lost to the Big Red, 6-2.
Freshman forward Josh Nodler (20) fights for the puck during the game against Cornell at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 2, 2019. The Spartans lost to the Big Red, 6-2.

As of Sept. 29, Michigan State ice hockey sophomore forward Josh Nodler has been invited to the U.S. National Junior Team Evaluation Camp. Nodler, along with 38 other participants, will compete for a chance to represent the United States in the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. 

“We’re excited to bring together our top players as we prepare for the upcoming World Junior Championship,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the U.S. National Junior Team and assistant executive director of hockey operations at USA Hockey in a release. “We’ve worked with our medical professionals to put protocols in place to help in successfully running our camp and I know our players are excited about the chance to overcome all of the obstacles and challenge for a gold medal.”

Originally Nodler was invited to participate in the 2020 World Junior Summer Showcase; however, it was canceled due to the coronavirus. The now rescheduled camp will be closed to all fans, scouts and media but regardless Nodler said he is still “super, super excited.”

“I have always watched it growing up," Nodler said. "It has been something I have always been trying to do. ... I am going to do everything I can to try and make the team and show them what I can do to help them win a gold medal at the tournament.”

And this isn't the first big move for the Oak Park, Michigan, native. Nodler was selected in the fifth round by the Calgary Flames in the 2019 NHL Draft. As a freshman in the green and white, he appeared in all 36 games, scoring three goals and five assists. He also won the team’s Rookie of the Year award. 

Nodler’s success is not limited to just the hockey rink either. Last year, Nodler posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in both the fall and spring semesters, a tough task for a full time student-athlete trying to adjust to the life of a college student as a freshman.

“The biggest thing for me was to find a way to manage my time," Nodler said. "Procrastination and putting things off is definitely where you get behind and I think a lot of people are doing it especially now with online classes."

Head Coach Danton Cole praised the performance of this year's sophomores in practice last week, including Nodler. Going into their second year, Nodler, along with the two other sophomores, will have an increased responsibility toward the success of the team. 

Nodler said that he hopes to one day play in the National Hockey League and that was a factor in his decision to play hockey at MSU. By competing on a national level, Nodler has an opportunity to take the next step in fulfilling that goal.

“This tournament is a big thing," Nodler said. "It is on a national stage. It is a good opportunity to represent your country and prove well amongst the stages of other countries."

The camp will take place Oct. 8-13 in Plymouth, Michigan. If Nodler makes the U.S. team, he and the team will look to earn their fifth medal in the last six years. The tournament runs from Dec. 25, 2020, to Jan. 5, 2021.

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