Courtesy of www.washingtoncapitals.com
December 9, 2002 – Washington Capitals rookie defenseman Steve Eminger left the team today to join Team Canada at its selection camp in preparation for the 2003 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships. The annual tournament will be held in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, Dec. 26 – Jan. 5.
Eminger: making progress? “We’re very pleased that Team Canada has invited Steve to its training camp,” said Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee. “Competing in the World Juniors is a great opportunity for him. The experience will continue his development, and he will return to our lineup a better player.”
The Capitals selected Eminger with their first pick, 12th overall, in the 2002 Entry Draft. The Woodbridge, Ont., native has played in 17 of Washington’s 28 games, earned two assists and accumulated 24 penalty minutes.
Last season the 6’ 2”, 200-pound blueliner was named the Kitchener Rangers’ Most Outstanding Defenseman, led the Rangers with a plus-24 plus-minus rating, ranked second on the team in assists (39) and tied for fourth in points (58). He was named to the Ontario Hockey League’s second All-Star team and posted two assists and 10 penalty minutes in four postseason games. In 168 career games with Kitchener, Eminger collected 27 goals, 79 assists (106 points) and 233 penalty minutes.
Eminger, 19, joins Capitals prospects Boyd Gordon and Nathan Paetsch at Canada’s selection camp. Last season Paetsch played in all seven games in Canada’s march to the tournament’s silver medal. Eminger and Paetsch were members of Canada’s gold-medal-winning team at the 2000 Four Nations Under-18 Cup.