U.S. National Junior Team roster has heavy NCAA feel once again

USA Hockey announced its final roster Thursday for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton and Calgary and the roster is again NCAA-heavy.

Forwards Nick Bjugstad (Minnesota), Charlie Coyle (Boston University) and Jason Zucker (Denver) and defensemen Derek Forbort (North Dakota) and Jon Merrill (Michigan) return from last year’s bronze medal-winning team.

Also up front from NCAA schools are Josh Archibald (Nebraska-Omaha), Bill Arnold (Boston College), Connor Brickley (Vermont), Austin Czarnik (Miami), Kyle Rau (Minnesota) and T.J. Tynan (Notre Dame).

The rest of the forwards are Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat/WHL), one-time North Dakota recruit J.T. Miller (Plymouth/OHL), Brandon Saad (Saginaw/OHL) and one-time Maine commit Austin Watson (Peterborough/OHL).

On defense, the returnees are joined by Adam Clendening (Boston University), Kevin Gravel (St. Cloud State), Stephen Johns (Notre Dame) and Michigan recruit Jacob Trouba, the youngest player on the team and a member of the U.S. NTDP’s Under-18 Team.

Jarred Tinordi (London/OHL) rounds out the blue line.

Jack Campbell (Sault Ste. Marie/OHL) and John Gibson (Kitchener/OHL) are the goaltenders for this year’s squad and both coincidentally were one-time Michigan commitments. Cornell goalie Andy Iles is Team USA’s emergency goaltender.

The U.S. opens the tournament on Monday, Dec. 26 against Denmark at Rexall Place in Edmonton.