As announced this morning on its Facebook page, USA Hockey has named the roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship that gets underway Sunday in Buffalo.
The roster, led by head coach Keith Allain (Yale), has a college flavor as all but four of the 22 players on the roster have college connections.
“There’s a great combination of experience and talent on this roster,” said Team USA general manager Jim Johannson. “The fact that these decisions were so hard is a testament to where hockey has come in the United States.”
“I’m excited with this group of guys moving forward,” said Allain. “We’ve got good speed and talent across the board, which should help us in a tournament with so many skilled teams.”
In goal, Cornell freshman Andy Iles will compete for time with returnee Jack Campbell, a one-time Michigan recruit.
Six of the seven defensemen are currently in college with the lone exception, Nick Leddy (Minnesota) a former collegian. Leddy signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in the offseason and is playing for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs this season.
Brian Dumoulin (Boston College), Justin Faulk (Minnesota-Duluth), Derek Forbort (North Dakota), Jon Merrill (Michigan), John Ramage (Wisconsin) and Patrick Wey (Boston College) make up the rest of the blue line.
Denver teammates Drew Shore and Jason Zucker are two of the forwards, along with Nick Bjugstad (Minnesota), Chris Brown (Michigan), Charlie Coyle (Boston University), Jerry D’Amigo (played at Rensselaer last season, now with AHL’s Toronto Marlies), Chris Kreider (Boston College), Brock Nelson (North Dakota), Kyle Palmieri (played at Notre Dame last season, now with AHL’s Syracuse Crunch), Ryan Bourque (Quebec Remparts/QMJHL), Mitch Callahan (Kelowna Rockets/WHL), Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat Tigers/WHL) and Jeremy Morin (Rockford IceHogs/AHL).
Cut from the preliminary roster were BU defenseman Adam Clendening, BC defenseman Philip Samuelsson, Northeastern defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, Vermont forward Connor Brickley, North Dakota recruit and forward Rocco Grimaldi, BU forward Matt Nieto and Saginaw Spirit (OHL) forward Brandon Saad.
Campbell, Ramage, Bourque, D’Amigo, Kreider, Morin, Palmieri and Zucker were all a part of the gold medal team a year ago.
Team USA has one more exhibition game Thursday against Norway before opening the tournament Sunday against Finland.