Preliminary U.S. junior team full of collegians

The 29-man preliminary roster for the United States’ entry for the World Junior Hockey Championship was unveiled today and 23 of the players named have college hockey connections, including head coach Keith Allain, currently guiding the top team in the country in Yale.

The Americans are the defending champions, having defeated Canada in overtime in a thrilling gold medal final last January in Saskatoon, Sask.

This year’s tournament will be held from Dec. 26, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011 in Buffalo, N.Y.

In goal, Cornell freshman Andy Iles will compete for time with returnee Jack Campbell, a one-time Michigan recruit.

Nine of the 10 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.

Adam Clendening (Boston University), Brian Dumoulin (Boston College), Justin Faulk (Minnesota-Duluth), Derek Forbort (North Dakota), Jon Merrill (Michigan), Jamie Oleksiak (Northeastern), John Ramage (Wisconsin), Philip Samuelsson (Boston College) and Patrick Wey (Boston College) make up the rest of the blue line.

Up front, North Dakota recruit Rocco Grimaldi is the youngest player on the roster and won’t turn 18 until February.

Denver teammates Drew Shore and Jason Zucker are two of the forwards, along with BU teammates Charlie Coyle and Matt Nieto.

Rounding out the rest of the college-connected forwards are Nick Bjugstad (Minnesota), Connor Brickley (Vermont), Chris Brown (Michigan), Jerry D’Amigo (played at Rensselaer last season, now with AHL’s Toronto Marlies), Chris Kreider (Boston College), Brock Nelson (North Dakota) and Kyle Palmieri (played at Notre Dame last season, now with AHL’s Syracuse Crunch).

Campbell, Ramage, D’Amigo, Kreider, Palmieri and Zucker were all a part of the gold medal team a year ago.

The roster will be cut to 22 players on Dec. 23.

Team USA’s training camp will take place in Albany, Troy, Rochester and Jamestown, N.Y., Dec. 16-23, and will include pre-tournament games against RPI (Dec. 19), the Czech Republic (Dec. 21) and Norway (Dec. 23).


  1. Why do they allow players currently playing as pros in the American Hockey League to compete in this tournament? This is yet another reason why many us college players sign pro contracts after their freshman season. These spoled brats should not be allowed to play in this tournament once they have turned pro. Also, us -born players currently playing in the Canadian major junior leagues should not be allowed to play in this tournament. More rules should be implimented that would encourage us -born players to go to college and stay in college for at least two years.

    • IDk how you can call someone a spoiled brat for earning a living playing the game they love and achieving there life goal of playing pro hockey… They gain nothing by staying in college except the chance of getting hurt… UNREAL man… Brutal comment… as far as the world juniors go, if you are under 20 you are eligible to play, plain and simple, ANA isn’t releasing cam fowler so he can go play but LA is releasing Bayden Schenn, it depends on the team and there needs….

  2. I agree you should have to stay for at least 2 years in college, but not letting pros play in world juniors makes no sense. Allowing them to play should help to make those on the team better.

  3. Clearly nobody has the desire or authority to separate professional hockey from amateur hockey, either in “junior” teams or DI college teams. Since nobody can/will enforce this distinction why bother to pay it lip service?
    The time has come to combine Canadian, U.S., major junior, DI college, AHL, NHL, the whole furball into one category. The Olympic Committee has faced reality and done so. Only hypocrites pretend otherwise.


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