2 NY Islanders' prospects to participate in Team USA World Junior Summer Showcase


Coming off their sixth World Junior Championship title, Team USA is already scouting for the 2025 edition of the tournament which will begin on Dec. 26th in Ottawa.

Each summer Team USA hosts the World Junior Summer Showcase, as a way to get their first look at prospective players for the eligible for the upcoming tournament, with Canada, Finland, and Sweden joining them at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. Their own version of the 4 Nation's Face-Off, if you will.

Of the 46 players invited to this year's showcase, two will be NY Islanders' prospects, Danny Nelson and Zach Schulz.

Nelson, the Islanders' second-round pick in 2023, is entering his sophomore season at Notre Dame. He was a member of last year's Gold Medal-winning team, scoring a goal and adding one assist in seven games as the team's youngest player. Nelson also played with the USA in the U18 tournament in 2023, taking home a Gold Medal.

Nelson is coming off a stellar freshman campaign with the Fighting Irish, finishing third in points with 23 (9 G, 14 A). The Irish failed to make it to the NCAA tournament last season, and Nelson will become one of their focal points in 2024-25 as it appears he'll be returning to South Bend.

Schulz was selected by the Islander sixth 6th round last year, attending the University of Wisconsin for his freshman season. Schulz's leadership is his biggest asset, captaining the USA U18 team to the World Championship in 2023. He scored two goals and added four assists in 34 games with the Badgers this season.

With Nelson making the team last year, there's a good chance he'll represent his country again, perhaps with a bigger role. Will Smith, considered one of the league's top prospects, is set to join the San Jose Sharks this season, and it's unlikely he'll be loaned to Team USA to play in the World Junior Championship, leaving space in the lineup for Nelson to move up.

Schulz is more of a longshot to make the team, but with a solid start to the 2024-25 season, there's hope he can take the next step in his progression and see his name on the back of a USA sweater once again,