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  • World Junior Hockey 2017: Led by two Wild prospects, USA hopes for a 'Golden' tournament


    Team USA

    Head Coach: Bob Motzko

    Assistant Coaches: Greg Brown, Grant Potulny, Kris Mayotte, Steve Miller

    Captains: Luke Kunin (C-University of Wisconsin), Charlie McAvoy (A-Boston University), Colin White (A-Boston College)

    2016 Finish: Bronze Medal

    Wild Prospects: Luke Kunin, Jordan Greenway


    9-Luke Kunin-University of Wisconsin

    10-Tanner Laczynski-Ohio State University

    11-Patrick Harper-Boston University

    12-Jordan Greenway-Boston University

    13-Joey Anderson-University of Minnesota-Duluth

    14-Erik Foley-Providence College

    17-Jeremy Bracco-Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

    18-Colin White-Boston College

    19-Clayton Keller-Boston University

    20-Troy Terry-University of Denver

    23-Kieffer Bellows-Boston University

    28-Jack Roslovic-Manitoba Moose (AHL)

    29-Tage Thompson-University of Connecticut


    2-Ryan Lindgren-University of Minnesota

    3-Jack Ahcan-St. Cloud State University

    4-Caleb Jones-Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

    5-Chad Krys-Boston University

    6-Casey Fitzgerald-Boston College

    8-Adam Fox-Harvard University

    25-Charlie McAvoy-Boston University

    33-Joe Cecconi-University of Michigan


    1-Tyler Parsons-London Knights (OHL)

    30-Jake Oettinger-Boston University

    31-Joseph Woll-Boston College

    Preliminary Schedule

    Monday, December 26th—USA vs. Latvia—2:30PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario—NHL Network

    Wednesday, December 28th—USA vs. Slovakia—6:30PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario—NHL Network

    Thursday, December 29th—USA vs. Russia—2:30PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario—NHL Network

    Saturday, December 31st—USA vs. Canada—2:30PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario—NHL Network

    Team Notes

    Team USA comes into the World Junior Championship with high hopes, after taking home the bronze medal in 2016. Wild prospect and Wisconsin Badger sophomore Luke Kunin will captain Team USA, which will ice a deep line-up of mostly NCAA players, many of whom have experience in international competition. USA’s roster will feature twelve players, including Kunin and other Wild prospect Jordan Greenway, who helped USA win gold in the Under-18 World Championship in 2015. This newest version of Team USA also has three players, Chad Krys, Charlie McAvoy, and Colin White, who were on the bronze-medal-winning team at last year’s WJC. Additionally, there are some big-time newcomers to the team, highlighted by Maple Leafs’ prospect Jeremy Bracco, who has lit the OHL on fire to start the season, so far posting 51 points in 27 games for the Kitchener Rangers. The team brings a bona fide attack with lots of talented forwards that Coach Bob Motzko hopes will push a fast-paced game for the Red, White, and Blue.

    USA will be without Canucks’ prospect and University of North Dakota star Brock Boeser, who is sidelined by a wrist injury. This is a significant loss for the team, as Boeser has shown that he can truly take control of games, and is expected to produce quickly once he reaches the NHL level. Additionally, the team opted to cut Alex DeBrincat from their roster last week, even though DeBrincat has already scored 30 goals and added 30 assists in 28 games for the Erie Otters in the OHL. Removing DeBrincat from the line-up and losing Boeser will certainly have a negative impact on USA’s offensive output, but Motzko and company are looking for a balanced approach to their scoring, and they believe they have the winning formula with the players they have selected.

    With a deep, talented base, USA should medal in 2017, but the question will be whether they can get past Canada, Russia, and Sweden to take home gold for the first time since 2013.

    Wild prospects Kunin and Greenway have each scored a point per game for Wisconsin and Boston University respectively, and they will look to continue this consistent production in the World Junior Championship. Kunin has been heralded as a natural leader, earning the "C" at Wisconsin in just his Sophomore season. A gold medal for Team USA would add some significant bullet points on Kunin’s leadership resume, as he continues to demonstrate his abilities on big stages.

    The road through the prelims starts with lighter competition in Latvia and Slovakia, but ends with huge tests, as USA finishes pool play by facing Russia and Canada.

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