Montreal Canadiens prospect Blake Biondi was a bit of an unknown when he was drafted. However, he has proven to be a key part of a formidable Minnesota-Duluth team this season.
Biondi was drafted by the Canadiens in the 4th round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He had racked up offensive numbers the previous season, but he was playing high school hockey in Minnesota, so you’d expect an NHL draft pick to have ridiculous numbers.
He certainly did, with 37 goals and 76 points in just 25 games, but what does three points per game mean in a high school hockey league? He played in ten games against USHL competition that season and had just three points, which was a bit of a red flag.
But the previous management regime fired Biondi and two years later it looks like a worthy bet. He played a fourth-line role for a deep Minnesota-Duluth team in 2020-21 and scored just five points in 26 games. As a sophomore, he took a huge leap forward and scored 17 goals and 28 points in 42 games for another national team in contention.
Biondi just turned 20 in April, but was just invited to the United States preliminary roster for the 2022 Summer World Junior Championship. The Junior World Championships were originally scheduled to be played in December and January as d usual, but they were canceled after a few days due to pandemic concerns.
They will start the event from scratch on August 9th. Although Biondi is on the preliminary list, this one is long. There are 60 players on the roster who will attend the camp in Plymouth, Michigan from July 24 to August 3.
The 60 players who will participate in the USA Hockey 2022 Junior National Evaluation Camp have been announced!
Details → https://t.co/WHs3tb7xSG pic.twitter.com/LxbK7PlOJH
— American Hockey (@usahockey) June 21, 2022
It’s a kind of combined camp for the 2022 summer tournament and the 2023 team which will play in December and January. As such, it’s kind of a youthful roster filled with top prospects heading into the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft.
There are 35 forwards present and only 14 will be on the roster for the 2022 tournament. Biondi remains far from making the squad, but just being on the side’s roster shows he was worthy of that bet that many questioned two years ago.
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