Two Ice players from last season are representing their country this week, as Adam Erne and Jon Gillies are donning the red, white and blue for two junior tournaments.
Note the words chosen. Both players have been drafted -- and courted -- by QMJHL teams. Both had committed to Boston-area colleges -- Erne to Boston University, Gillies to Northeastern. But it appears Erne has been headed to the QMJHL since his rights were traded to the Quebec Remparts, who paid quite a lot to get them. While currently unconfirmed, a Twitter post from Maine-based junior hockey blogger Nathan Fournier bears that out today ("I've been told Adam Erne will report to the Quebec Remparts"). He was expected to give a decision by today. We will try to confirm with the Ice.
Gillies appears to be staying with the Ice and heading the NCAA route. He'll likely be one of the USHL's top netminders this season after posting a strong year splitting time with Casey DeSmith last season.
Gillies is headed overseas to play for the United States' U18 team in the annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. The event is heavily-scouted as it's the first major event for hockey players in their draft year. The games will begin to count next week, as the United States will play Finland on Monday, Aug. 8 (8 a.m. EDT), Russia on Tuesday, Aug. 9 (8 a.m. EDT), Slovakia on Wednesday, Aug. 10 (11:30 a.m. EDT). The semis and finals of the eight-nation tournament will be played Aug. 12-13.
Erne will represent the USA in the Five Nations Tournament next week in Ann Arbor, Mich. Play begins Aug. 9 when the U.S. faces the Czech Republic at 7 p.m. The next day, the U.S. will face Germany at 7 p.m. A game against Slovakia will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 12, and finally against Switzerland the following day.