USA Hockey has announced the roster of players that will compete for the final roster at this year's 2014 World Junior tournament, held in Malmo, Sweden this year.
This group of players will head to camp in Minnesota starting December 15th, to begin the process of making the last three cuts and selecting the team that will defend Team USA's gold medal.
Here's a quick look at the players competing for the final roster.
Jon Gillies, Providence College
Anthony Stolarz, London Knights(OHL)
Thatcher Demko, Boston College
This should pretty much be Gillies' tournament. If he plays as well as John Gibson did last year, and his play this year suggests that's a possibility, there's no limit to how far the US could go in this tournament. Stolarz has played well in the OHL this year, after a shaky season in both the NCAA and OHL last year, and could potentially see some playing time. Demko likely comes along for the ride to gain experience for next season.
Will Butcher, Denver
Connor Carrick, Hershey(AHL)
Tony DeAngelo, Sarnia(OHL)
Matt Grzelcyk, Boston University
Ian McCoshen, Boston College
Brett Pesce, New Hampshire
Steven Santini, Boston College
Brady Skjei, Minnesota
There's only eight defensemen here, and seven will make the final roster. The last cut probably comes between Butcher, DeAngelo, and Pesce.
This is a pretty thin group after losing Jacob Trouba and Seth Jones to the NHL, and losing their third returning defenseman, Pat Sieloff to injury.
The only disappointment out of this group for me is that I thought Providence's Anthony Florentino earned an opportunity with his play so far in his freshman year.
Riley Barber, Miami
JT Compher, Michigan
Andrew Copp, Michigan
Tommy DiPauli, Notre Dame
Jack Eichel, NTDP U18
Adam Erne, Quebec(QMJHL)
Hudson Fasching, Minnesota
Ryan Fitzgerald, Boston College
Ryan Hartman, Plymouth(OHL)
Nic Kerdiles, Wisconsin
Stefan Matteau, Albany(AHL)
Tyler Motte, Michigan
Danny O'Regan, Boston University
Henrik Samuelsson, Edmonton(WHL)
Quentin Shore, Denver
There's 15 forwards here, so only two will be cut before tournament. Returning forward Ryan Hartman has been nursing an injury, and while no one has been too specific on the nature, rumors are that he's "questionable" for the tournament. Alex Galchenyuk is the only forward unavailable due to being in the NHL.
Fitzgerald, Shore, DiPauli, and Motte are probably your bubble guys at forward.
A lot of people will probably raise eyebrows at Minnesota's Taylor Cammarata not being selected, but looking at USA Hockey's history of selecting teams, there was little to suggest he'd get an invite. They always try to select the best team, moreso than aggregating the 12 best scorers at forward, and if Cammarata wasn't going to play a top six role for this team--which he probably wasn't--there was little else he'd be able to contribute.
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