The United States World Junior team announced that three players have been cut from the team before they fly off to Sweden for the tournament later this afternoon.
Forwards Ryan Fitzgerald and JT Compher and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo were sent home.
Compher being cut is a result of injury. He blocked a shot during practice on Monday, and was seen wearing a walking boot after Tuesday night's exhibition game. The fact that he was cut so early in the process means there was no hope he'd have been able to play for the US team in this tournament, and would seem to confirm rumors that his foot is broken.
Fitzgerald acquitted himself well in last night's exhibition, showing some nice offensive flair, but ultimately, the diminutive forward didn't quite show the versatility and defensive prowess that the US was looking for out of guys on their third or fourth line.
DeAngelo's cut is perhaps the most surprising, though that seemed to be the direction Don Lucia was leaning after Tuesday's exhibition game. DeAngelo was the most effective US defenseman on the power play on Tuesday night, and has put up a ton of points playing in the OHL this year, but some defensive liabilities, and some struggles to use his teammates effectively, combined with the fact that the US has a very deep group, made even deeper by some outstanding performances by guys at the bottom of the depth chart, made DeAngelo first on the chopping block.
The US roster is now down to 15 forwards, eight defensemen, and three goalies. Two more forwards and a defenseman will still have to be released before the tournament begins. We'll have more on the players headed to Sweden later today.