Top-rated prospect Bender leads Germany WJC camp
Tuesday, 12.11.2012 / 10:10 AM
By Adam Kimelman
Tim Bender, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated German-based skater, is one of 29 players invited to take part in Germany's selection camp for the 2013 World Junior Championship.
The German federation originally announced its roster last week, but made changes Monday.
Germany is back in the top division of the WJC this year after winning the gold medal in the Division I Group A tournament last year. It will play in Pool B this year, along with Russia, Canada, Slovakia and the U.S.
The 2013 WJC runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia. Germany opens the tournament Dec. 26 against Canada.
The camp will run Dec. 15-19 in Fussen, Germany. The team will leave for Ufa on Dec. 19, and play one exhibition game there, against the Czech Republic on Dec. 23.
Of the players invited, 24 are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft. Leading that group is Bender, a 5-foot-10.5, 166-pound blueliner. He has 11 goals and 11 assists in 20 games with Mannheim in Germany's junior league.
"Tim Bender is a smart, puck-moving defender who joins the rush, has good play-making instincts, good vision and a very good passing game," Central Scouting's Thomas Roost told NHL.com. "His skating is decent to good, good mobility. He has the tools to become an offensive defenseman. On the downside he is just not physical, not strong enough yet, he has to work on that and also on intensity, but overall I like his smartness and his offensive tools."
Also taking part in the camp is Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Frederik Tiffels, who is No. 25 on Central Scouting's ranking of United States Hockey League players. The 5-11, 186-pound left wing has a team-high 14 assists.
A number of other players invited to the camp also might familiar to North American fans. Goalie Marvin Cupper plays in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Shawinigan Cataractes, while three forwards play in the Ontario Hockey League -- Dominik Kahun of the Sudbury Wolves, Nikolas Latta with the Sarnia Sting and Sebastian Uvira with the Oshawa Generals.
In addition, Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League will take part in the camp. The 17-year-old left wing is tied for second among first-year WHL players with 19 assists and 28 points in 33 games. He is one of three players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft that will take part in the camp. The others are goalie Kevin Reich and defenseman Janik Moser.
The only player with an NHL affiliation is forward Tobias Rieder, a 2012 fourth-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers. He currently plays for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.