For every junior hockey player, the pinnacle of your career at that point and time is to represent your country at the World Junior Championship. NY Islanders prospects Quinn Finley and Calle Odelius have taken the first step toward their goal, named to the USA and Sweden rosters for the World Junior Summer Showcase.
The showcase will take place from July 27-Aug. 4, at USA Hockey's home in Plymouth, Michigan, comprised of two American teams and one from both Sweden and Finland. With eight games among the four rosters, each country will be given an early look at the top prospects from their respective nations.
Finley, selected by the Islanders in the third round at the 2023 NHL Draft, spent the last three seasons playing in the USHL. Spending his final season split between the Madison Capitols and the Chicago Steel, Finley finished with 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) before heading to the University of Wisconsin next season.
Considered a bit of a reach at pick No. 78, Finley's game has shown improvement, demonstrating his capability to score from all over the ice. A strong start to his freshman year in Wisconsin can see him named to the USA roster come the holiday season.
Joined by some of the top selections from the 2022 and 2023 drafts, Finley has his work cut out for him. Also named to the squad is potential top-two pick in 2024, Cole Eiserman, and 2025 top prospect and Long Island native James Hagens.
Selected with the final pick in the second round last year and a member of the 2023 Swedish roster, Odelius looks to be a part of his second WJC, this time contributing more than he did in the previous edition. Finishing last year's tournament with just one goal, Odelius saw his usage diminish as the medal rounds began.
Heading into another season with Djurgardens in the Swedish HockeyAllsvenskan, Odelius has his sights set on gaining promotion for his club after narrowly missing out in a seven-game finals defeat. Odelius' season was average at best, aiming to improve on his 11 points, likely playing a more predominant role in 2023-24.
Once the rosters are determined for the two USA squads, we'll know when we can see Finley and Odelius face off against each other for the first time.