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Former Minnesota State forward Tyler Thompson left the team/was kicked off the team prior to last season when MSU's practices and games kept getting in the way of many court appearances, but since leaving the world of hockey, surprisingly, he seems to have embarked on a new career in the world of rap music. Even more surprising, his rapping may not be as comical and sad as you might expect from someone that went to a $12,000 per year private high school. He's got a new video coming out soon featuring Tech N9ne and Twista, who are like, real rappers. There is nothing about this that doesn't blow my mind.

The US is announcing their preliminary roster for the World Junior tournament later today at 5:30 EST on NHL Live on the NHL Network. The preliminary roster will have 20-some players that will go to a team training camp in Alberta starting Decmeber 17th, and will eventually whittle that roster down to the 22 players that will represent the US at the tournament.

You can take a look at my predictions for this year's team from back in January. It's amazing the attrition the US has already suffered. Of the players I mentioned as candidates, Jon Merrill is iffy, having not played a game this year. Alex Galchenyuk, Rocco Grimaldi, and Connor Murphy are all likely out due to injury. The strength of this team really seems to have shifted from the blueline up to forward.

The good folks over at Buzzing the Net take a look at some of the CHL options for the US. Jack Campbell is returning and an obvious choice. I think John Gibson will end up being the back-up. As for skaters, I'd take Emerson Etem, and give Jarred Tinordi and Brandon Saad strong looks at the preliminary camp.

Speaking of Jon Merrill, Michigan still hasn't given indication of when he'll be back in the lineup, I guess credit Michigan for being so firm in their punishment, because it's hard to imagine that what Merrill did off the ice could be any worse than what Michigan's third defensive pairing has been doing on the ice. The Wolverines just ended a dreadful five-game losing streak with a 1-0 win at Alaska on Saturday night. Their NCAA streak may be in jeopardy this year. The good news is that the computers currently love the CCHA, and despite being 8th in their conference, they're still 21st in the PWR, and should be able to make up some ground if they can start putting wins together.

My weekly high school hockey post will be posted over at Hockey Wilderness, SB Nation's Minnesota Wild site this year. Expect the posts every Friday.

Denver and Colorado College played a pretty epic game on Friday night, which Colorado College won 4-3 in overtime on a penalty shot by Alex Krushelnyski. If you want to see the goal and feel dizzy, you can watch it here.

Speaking of Colorado College, best wishes go out to Colorado Springs Gazette beat writer Joe Paisley, who became the latest victim of a dying business. Joe put in a lot of good work at the Gazette and it's a real shame to see him go.

Alabama-Huntsville earned their first win of the season on Friday night when they upset Nebraska-Omaha. Wins are likely to be few and far between for the Chargers in their final season, but it's nice to see them put one up in the win column.