Young selected for USA Hockey Select 16 National Development Camp
Karson Young is the most recent Lumberjack to earn a spot at the USA Hockey Select Camp since Karson Kuhlman (2013) and Koby Bender (2015).
CLOQUET — Fresh off his breakout freshman season for the Lumberjacks, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton defenseman Karson Young will be returning to the ice this summer for the prestigious USA Hockey Select 16 National Development Camp held at Northtown Center Arena in Amherst, New York in July.
The six-day camp will bring together some of the nation’s best 16-year-old hockey players who will all be vying for the opportunity to represent USA Hockey at the Five Nations tournament against international competition.
The ninth grade blueliner joins elite company as one of only a select few from the CEC program to compete in the USA Select Camps—he joins the likes of Seattle Kraken forward Karson Kuhlman (2013) and former University of Minnesota Duluth right winger Koby Bender (2015).
Young said he was thrilled when he saw his name on the list after falling just short of making the Select 15s Camp last year.
“I was really ecstatic and overcome with joy and accomplishment,” Young said. “Last year I got cut, and that drove me all year long to work and keep up with everybody else and even pass them to get my name on that list.”
The hard work was evident in Young’s seamless transition to the varsity level this past season where he went on to finish second on the team in assists with 12.
“First and foremost he is a really good teammate and he’s ultra-competitive. ... He’s a very smart hockey player and obviously really talented,” CEC coach Shea Walters said of Young. “He brings a dynamic to our team that’s really something not a lot of players have.”
In the months leading up to his CEC debut, Young credits the training he put in with Walters, along with assistant Jacob Boese, as crucial in his preparation for the step up in competition.
“(They) really pushed me to where I needed to be, and I got a lot stronger and a lot faster,” Young said.
Young’s father, Kyle Young, has been another major influence for him throughout his hockey career. The eldest Young was a shutdown defenseman for the Lumberjacks during the early ‘90s before going on to play for Bemidji State University at the Division II level.
“He’s probably the biggest role model in my life, and I try to base my game off of everything that he’s done,” Young said, describing his dad’s influence. “He’s always said his goal for me is to be way better than he was and that’s all thanks to him that I’m at this point right now.”
Before traveling over 1,000 miles east for the camp running July 6-13, Young will finish his freshman season on the Lumberjacks’ golf team in hopes of repeating the success of his eighth grade year that ended with a state championship.
When he’s not on the links, Young said he’ll be gearing up for the camp with additional training with his coach.
“I’ll be skating all month with my hockey team, and my coach has already said he’s going to help me prepare for that, and try to push me so I get to that pace I need to play at when I get to New York,” Young said.