Though there are still two cuts to make to get down to the official 25-man roster for this year’s (summer) World Juniors tournament, USA Hockey has announced the 27 players that will travel with the team to Edmonton in preparation for the tournament.
The World Juniors is traditionally held in late-December, but after a Covid outbreak forced a stoppage to the tournament just three days into the tournament, the event was re-scheduled to start anew on August 9th in Edmonton.
The decision to restart the tournament in the summer is one that seemed like a better idea at the time. In the eight months since the tournament was cancelled, a number of players from most of the top hockey nations, including the US and Canada, have opted out of the tournament as they prepare for the professional hockey season. Among those players for the United States are star defenseman Jake Sanderson and starting goalie Drew Commesso, who were major pieces on the US team.
Most of the original US team will be back, however. And for Thomas Bordeleau and Sean Behrens, it will be a second chance, after they were ruled out for the tournament just days prior to the original event after testing positive for COVID.
This will be a very different World Juniors this year, and it likely won’t have the same drama and intensity. But this is still a strong US team loaded with talent that will be looking to defend their gold medal.