Top prospects in August action

Updated: August 1, 2012, 2:49 PM ET
By Corey Pronman

On Saturday, Aug. 4, USA Hockey opens its world junior championships evaluation camp and hosts a mini-tournament with Finland and Sweden's under-20 teams. Starting Aug. 9, Canada and Russia will also begin a four-game series between their U-20 clubs, two in each nation, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Summit Series.

With so many future stars hitting the ice in the weeks ahead, this marks a good opportunity to take a closer look at some of the top drafted and draft-eligible prospects for national teams, starting with an American player who could challenge to be the top pick in the 2013 draft.

Team USA

Seth Jones, D, Portland (WHL)
2013 draft eligible

Jones may have been Team USA's best defenseman heading into the world juniors last January but an upper-body injury kept him out of the tournament. He's an elite thinker who is ridiculously advanced for a player his age. He also skates at a high-end level and has above-average offensive ability. He's currently the second-best prospect in the 2013 draft in my mind, behind Nathan MacKinnon, and should tear it up for Portland in the WHL next season. He will be a key piece for the U.S. world juniors team.