11 Current NCAA Players on Final U.S. World Junior Roster
CHN Staff Report
VIERUMAKI, Finland USA Hockey today announced the final 22-player roster for its 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship team. The tournament starts later this week with an opening game against Canada on Dec. 26.
“We're looking forward to getting the tournament underway," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “Because of the depth we have now, getting to a final roster is always difficult. We're excited about the team we'll put on the ice in Finland and believe in every one of these individuals to not only play the style our coaching staff expects but to also represent our nation proudly."
Of the 22 players named to the roster, 15 have previously represented the United States, including seven who skated for the 2015 team.
Boston University and North Dakota, with two each, is the only NCAA team with more than one player on the roster. A BU recruit, Chad Krys, also made the team, while another high-profile BU recruit, Clayton Keller, was among the final cuts.
Also among the final cuts was Minnesota defenseman Ryan Collins, who was on the team last year. It's the first time in over a decade that the Gophers don't have a player on the World Junior team.
Defenseman Zach Werenski (Michigan) was named captain, with defenseman Louie Belpedio (Miami) and forwards Auston Matthews and Colin White (Boston College) serving as alternate captains.
The diverse roster consists of players from 11 different states. New York leads the way with four team members, following by three from Michigan, and two each from Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Massachusetts and Missouri. Auston Matthews, who many project to be the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and who currently plays professionally in Switzerland, is from Arizona.
Saturday's game against Canada starts at 1 p.m. (ET) and can be seen on NHL Network.
The U.S. will compete in a group with Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network.
Current NCAA players on Team USA:
F Anders Bjork, Notre Dame
F Brock Boeser, North Dakota
F Ryan Donato, Harvard
F Ryan Hitchcock, Yale
F Nick Schmaltz, North Dakota
F Colin White, Boston College
D Louie Belpedio, Miami
D Will Borgen, St. Cloud State
D Brandon Fortunato, Boston University
D Charlie McAvoy, Boston University
D Zach Werenski, Michigan