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Heading Towards the World Juniors

Tomorrow morning at 11am CST, USA Hockey will announce their preliminary roster for the World Junior tournament at the end of the month in Canada. I say preliminary because contrary to years past, USA Hockey will hold a final tryout camp prior to the tournament to help guide their final decision. Roughly 28 players will be named tomorrow, and then the roster will be cut down to 22 players after a three day camp from December 17-19 in North Dakota.

I think the old system worked just as well, since most people have a good handle on who is out there to be selected, but the extra ice time together can't hurt.

Canada is also expected to release the roster for their tryout camp. Denver's Patrick Wiercioch, Michigan's Brandon Burlon and Harvard's Louis Leblanc are a couple of the few college players with a shot at being named to the tryout camp. Dylan Olsen has is expected to receive an invitation, meaning he'll miss a key series against Denver.

One player who will definitely be heading to the World Juniors is Colorado College's Scott Winkler, who will be competing for Team Norway in the Group B tournament. That tournament starts a little earlier, so he'll likely miss CC's series at St. Cloud, but the big defenseman has played infrequently for the Tigers so far, so they can probably get by without them. I believe Andreas Nodl turned down a chance to skate in the Group B with Austria while at St. Cloud, since it would have forced him to miss some WCHA action, and conflicted with exams.