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Team USA Trims Roster and Names Captains

Team USA made two of three cuts while waiting on health of Connor Murphy

Bruce Bennett

It was expected that the US World Junior team would name their final roster late last night, but instead, but instead, the United States only announced two of their three cuts.

Stefan Matteau, a first round pick of the New Jersey Devils, was cut at forward, bringing the team down to the 13 forwards that will head to the tournament. It's a bit surprising to see Matteau let go given how highly he was drafted, but he didn't really do much in the exhibition games, and with penalties being called very tightly in the exhibition games, his rough style of play may have been a liability.

Things are a little more complicated on defense. Brady Skjei, a first round pick of the New York Rangers, was released, bringing the roster down to eight defensemen, with one more cut to be made. Skjei has had a pretty difficult year since being drafted so highly last summer, and it's no surprise to see him let go. The final decision relates to the health of dfenseman Connor Murphy, who took a puck up high in the collarbone area and left the game with an injury. If Murphy is able to play, the last cut will likely be between Mike Reilly and Patrick Sieloff.

Meanwhile, Team USA named their captains. Jake McCabe will serve as captain, while Cole Bardreau and Jacob Trouba will serve as alternates in one uniform color, while Seth Jones and JT Miller will serve as alternates while wearing the other uniform color.