Boston College sophomore defenseman and New Jersey Devils prospect Steve Santini was released from the U.S. Junior National Team roster one day prior to the 2015 World Junior Championship commencing. The removal of the returning blue liner was more to do with an injury than his not being suitable for the team.
Santini had not played for BC since injuring his wrist Oct. 25 against Massachusetts, the fourth game of the college season. He had wrist surgery a few days later and reportedly didn't have his cast removed until recently. The USA Hockey brass afforded Santini every opportunity imaginable to heal and make the roster.
The Mahopac, NY native was a second round selection of the New Jersey Devils in the 2013 NHL Draft. Santini had a goal and four penalty minutes in last year's World Junior Championship. Santini's absence from the roster will hurt the most in that the USA will miss his physicality. He's a very solid defensive defenseman who delivers some absolute blistering hits.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.