USA Hockey announced the preliminary roster for the team that will defend their World Juniors gold medal this year in Buffalo, NY. The roster can be found here.
USA Hockey decided to go with a 29-player camp, which is a little bigger than expected, especially since only two goalies were invited. After scouting the CHL pretty heavily the past week or so, they decided to go with just Cornell's Andy Iles backing up Jack Campbell, meaning the goalies appear to be set. I know I had picked Carruth as the back-up originally, but after the McCollum debacle a few years back, I'm never going to complain about taking a goalie facing older, more mature competition.
They threw a bit of a curveball with the defensemen by taking Jamie Oleksiak, Patrick Wey and Philip Samuelsson, though I don't think that changes what the final roster looks like at all.
I came pretty close to nailing it on the forwards. The only real difference between my picks and who was invited was that Beau Bennett was out due to injury. I would have switched him out with either Brock Nelson or Nick Bjugstad, both of whom were invited. Matt Nieto was also invited as an extra forward. I'm not surprised they went for a little extra competition at the camp since there were so many forward options out there. It's still going to be interesting to see who they put at center besides Shore, Coyle, and Grimaldi.
Also, it should be noted that USA Hockey deserves a lot of credit for getting all four professional players onto the roster, since that apparently took a bit of negotiating with their respective clubs. A lot of people are calling the US the favorite because of it. I hesitate to go that far, just because they still have such a tough road of ahead of them, but I think they've got a great shot with this team.