Not a big surprise, but a good sign nonetheless: Islanders defensive prospects Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan have each survived the cut at USA's world junior evaluation camp. Both are Islanders 2008 draft picks, whereas much of the roster was drafted by NHL teams this summer. But make no mistake: These two blueliners have serious upside and provide reason for hope (with the usual "they're just kids" caveats).
The roster was cut from 42 to 29, but even with five pairs of defensemen, everyone is expected to get some playing time during this week's four-game exhibition series with the Russian junior team.
Some Ness links: Before the draft [Western College Hockey profile]; upon winning Minnesota's "Mr. Hockey" award; his U. of Minnesota bio; Ness' write-up at Hockey's Future; the Logan write-up last month after Islanders prospect camp