15 NCAA Players on U.S. Selection Camp Roster
CHN Staff Report
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Fifteen NCAA players were selected to the 27 selected for the World Junior Selection Camp roster. The list will eventually be whittled down to a 23-man final roster for the World Junior Championships coming up in Ufa, Russia, Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
The training camp will take place Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., followed by a camp in Helsinki, Finland, Dec. 19-23. The final 23-man roster will be determined on Dec. 23.
Former standout NHL defenseman Phil Housley is the coach of this year's team. The roster includes players from 13 different states.
Beyond the 15, there are numerous other players that once committed to NCAA teams before leaving for Major Junior instead. They include goalie John Gibson (Michigan), who is expected to be the No. 1 goaltender and is one of only three players returning from last year's team; and defenseman Seth Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, who could be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NHL Draft. Jones missed last year's World Junior tournament because of an injury suffered in the final exhibition game.
The list also includes Tyler Biggs, who left Miami after one season and now plays for Oshawa in the OHL. He was second to current Miami freshman Sean Kuraly in scoring at the U.S. Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid in August.
Of the three goalies, only Providence freshman Jon Gillies is currently in the NCAA.
Six of the nine defenseman are in the NCAA, including Shayne Gostisbehere (Union), Matt Grzelcyk (Boston University), Jake McCabe (Wisconsin), Mike Reilly (Minnesota), Brady Skjei (Minnesota) and Jacob Trouba (Michigan).
Eight of the 15 forwards are in the NCAA. They include: Cole Bardreau (Cornell), Riley Barber (Miami), John Gaudreau (Boston College), Rocco Grimaldi (North Dakota), Sean Kuraly (Miami), Mario Lucia (Notre Dame), Blake Pietila (Michigan Tech) and Jimmy Vesey (Harvard).
Of those, only Barber was not invited to the Evaluation Camp in August, but his hot start with Miami demanded an invite to the Selection Camp. Grimaldi was also not in Lake Placid, because of an injury.
Trouba and one-time North Dakota commit J.T. Miller are the only other returning players from last year's team, which finished a disappointing seventh, its worst showing since 1999.
The U.S. is set to play in Group B with with Canada, Slovakia, Germany and host Russia. Sweden won the gold medal last year over Russia, and heads up Group A.
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