USA Hockey announced today the roster of players chosen for the U.S. Junior Select Team that will compete at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge from December 13-19th in Whitby, Ontario. All 20 players selected are currently playing in the USHL.
Four NHL Draft picks were named to the roster: John Marino (Edmonton Oilers), Kris Oldham (Tampa Bay Lightning), Chase Pearson (Detroit Red Wings) and Ryan Zuhlsdorf (Tampa Bay Lightning). Four NHL Central Scouting preliminary listed players were named to the roster, including three B-rated prospects, which signifies a potential 2nd round NHL Draft pick.
12 different USHL member clubs have at least one player on the roster, led by four players from Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, three players from Tri-City Storm, and two players from Chicago Steel, Dubuque Fighting Saints and Sioux City Musketeers each. The RoughRiders led last year’s roster with four players.
In addition to the entire roster of USHL players, the coaching staff is also from the USHL. Cary Eades, Head Coach of the Fargo Force, was named coach of the U.S. Select Team last month, joined by Brian Kaufman, Head Coach of the Omaha Lancers, and Dallas Steward, Assistant Coach of the Chicago Steel. Also joining the U.S. Select Team staff for the event are Athletic Trainer Phil Faught from the Fargo Force and Equipment Manager Jason Smits of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
It is the tenth year of the World Junior A Challenge and ninth time that the United States will send a team to the Under-20 event. The United States, annually made up of players from the USHL, has earned a medal in each of the previous eight tournaments, including winning gold six times (2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008). They have won 30 of the 35 games they have played in the event, and are currently on a 13-game win streak.
Six NHL Draft first round selections from the USHL have played in the WJAC for the U.S. Select Team all-time: Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), John Carlson (Washington Capitals), Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets), John Moore (Columbus Blue Jackets), Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues) and Nick Schmaltz (Chicago Blackhawks).
USA Hockey noted that an additional defenseman and goaltender would be added to the current roster of 13 forwards, six defensemen and one goaltender in the near future.
UPDATE: November 25, 2015 at 11:30 am CT - Florida Panthers goaltending prospect Ryan Bednard (Youngstown Phantoms) and defenseman Keegan Ford (Dubuque Fighting Saints) were added by USA Hockey to the U.S. Select Team.
|Pos.||Name||Hometown||USHL Team||College Commitment|
|G||Kris Oldham||Anchorage, AK||Omaha Lancers||University of Nebraska-Omaha|
|D||Jack Ahcan||Savage, MN||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||St. Cloud State University|
|D||John Marino||North Easton, MA||Tri-City Storm||Harvard University|
|D||Andrew Peeke||Parkland, FL||Green Bay Gamblers||University of Notre Dame|
|D||Mitch Reinke||Stillwater, MN||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||Michigan Tech|
|D||Spenser Young||Brentwood, NH||Dubuque Fighting Saints||Providence College|
|D||Ryan Zuhlsdorf||Edina, MN||Sioux City Musketeers||University of Minnesota|
|F||Callahan Burke||Boxborough, MA||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||University of Notre Dame|
|F||Ross Colton||Robbinsville, NJ||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||University of Vermont|
|F||Grant Jozefek||Chester, NJ||Lincoln Stars||Northeastern University|
|F||William Knierim||Skokie, IL||Dubuque Fighting Saints||Miami University|
|F||Tanner Laczynski||Shorewood, IL||Chicago Steel||Ohio State University|
|F||Carson Meyer||Powell, OH||Tri-City Storm||Miami University|
|F||Chase Pearson||Alpharetta, GA||Youngstown Phantoms||University of Maine|
|F||Liam Pecararo||Canton, MA||Waterloo Black Hawks|
|F||Colin Peters||Sheboygan, WI||Sioux Falls Stampede||Northern Michigan University|
|F||Rem Pitlick||Plymouth, MN||Muskegon Lumberjacks||University of Minnesota|
|F||Jake Whalin||White Bear Lake, MN||Tri-City Storm||St. Cloud State University|
|F||Josh Wilkins||Raleigh, NC||Sioux City Musketeers||Providence College|
|F||Max Zimmer||Medina, MN||Chicago Steel||University of Wisconsin|
STATELY CREW: 11 different states are represented on the roster: Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin… Minnesota (6), Massachusetts (3), Illinois (2), and New Jersey (2) all have multiple players represented.
DRAFT WATCH: In addition to the four NHL Draft picks, the roster contains four first year and nine second year NHL Draft-eligible players… William Knierim (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Andrew Peeke (Green Bay Gamblers) and Max Zimmer (Chicago Steel) were all B-rated NHL Central Scouting preliminary listed prospects… Grant Jozefek (Lincoln Stars) is also a first year NHL Draft-eligible player.
SCHOLARS & ATHLETES: 19 of 20 players have committed to play college hockey… Miami University, Providence College, St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota and University of Notre Dame all have two commits on the roster… Hockey East leads all NCAA conferences with seven commits, followed by the NCHC (5), Big Ten (4), WCHA (2), and ECAC (1).
TOP SCORERS: 12 different players have been credited with 10 points or more on the season… Jozefek and Carson Meyer (Tri-City Storm) lead all players with 16 points… Meyer leads all players with nine goals… Ryan Zuhlsdorf (Sioux City Musketeers) and Chase Pearson (Youngstown Phantoms) lead all players with 12 assists… The roster has combined for 57 goals and 209 points this season.
WINNER WINNER: 12 different players have been credited with a game-winning goal this season, including Tanner Laczynski (Chicago Steel), Rem Pitlick (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Meyer and Peeke, who have all been credited with two game-winners.
GOLDEN BOYS: The United States has won six of the last seven WJAC tournaments… Zuhlsdorf and Mitch Reinke (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) both won gold for USA in 2014.
TOP PROSPECTS: Five players have played in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, an annual event featuring the top American players eligible for the NHL Draft: Laczynski, Pearson and Spenser Young (Dubuque Fighting Saints) played in 2014, while Peeke and Knierim played in the 2015 game… Four players have played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, an annual event featuring the top USHL players eligible for the NHL Draft: Cal Burke (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Laczynski, Pearson, and Zuhlsdorf played in the 2015 game.
YOUNG GUNS: Peeke and Knierim are the youngest players at 17-years old… Peeke is the youngest player on the roster by 54 days… Both players are B-rated 2016 NHL Draft prospects… The average age of the roster is 18.1.
WORLD TRAVELERS: Zuhlsdorf, Laczysnki and Zimmer all have won bronze at the Junior Club World Cup representing USA Hockey in Russia… Zuhlsdorf and Zimmer won bronze in 2014 with the Sioux City Musketeers… Zimmer and Laczynski won bronze in 2015 with the Chicago Steel.
NHL DRAFT HISTORY: 71 NHL Draft picks from the USHL have participated in the WJAC Tournament for the U.S. Select Team: Seth Ambroz (Columbus Blue Jackets), Athony Angello (Pittsburgh Penguins), Robbie Baillargeon (Ottawa Senators), Mac Bennett (Montreal Canadiens), Josh Birkholz (Florida Panthers), Ben Blood (Ottawa Senators), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), Connor Brickley (Florida Panthers), Alex Broadhurst (Chicago Blackhawks), Greg Burke (Washington Capitals), Tony Cameranesi (Toronto Maple Leafs), Taylor Cammarata (New York Islanders), John Carlson (Washington Capitals), Mike Cichy (Montreal Canadiens), Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets), Brian Cooper (Anaheim Ducks), Jeff Costello (Ottawa Senators), Chris Crane (San Jose Sharks), Matt Donovan (New York Islanders), Nic Dowd (Los Angeles Kings), Michael Downing (Florida Panthers), Ryan Dzingel (Ottawa Senators), Shane Eiserman (Ottawa Senators), C.J. Franklin (Winnipeg Jets), Max Gaede (San Jose Sharks), Shane Gersich (Washington Capitals), Kevin Gravel (Los Angeles Kings), Aaron Harstad (Winnipeg Jets), Jimmy Hayes (Toronto Maple Leafs), Blake Heinrich (Washington Capitals), Seth Helgeson (New Jersey Devils), Caleb Herbert (Washington Capitals), Vince Hinostroza (Chicago Blackhawks), Connor Hurley (Buffalo Sabres), Josh Jacobs (New Jersey Devils), Nick Jensen (Detroit Red Wings), Steven Johnson (Los Angeles Kings), Luke Johnson (Chicago Blackhawks), Dakota Joshua (Toronto Maple Leafs), Blake Kessel (New York Islanders), Teemu Kivihalme (Nashville Predators), Danny Kristo (Montreal Canadiens), Sean Kuraly (San Jose Sharks), Nick Larson (Calgary Flames), Mike Lee (Arizona Coyotes), John Lee (Florida Panthers), Kevin Lind (Anaheim Ducks), Mario Lucia (Minnesota Wild), Ryan Mantha (New York Rangers), Nick Mattson (Chicago Blackhawks), Scott Mayfield (New York Islanders), Eamon McAdam (New York Islanders), Max McCormick (Ottawa Senators), Ian McCoshen (Florida Panthers), Zane McIntyre (Boston Bruins), Lee Moffie (San Jose Sharks), John Moore (Columbus Blue Jackets), Jimmy Mullin (Tampa Bay Lighting), Max Nicastro (Detroit Red Wings), Thomas Novak (Nashville Predators), Mike Parks (Philadelphia Flyers), Cal Petersen (Buffalo Sabres), Austin Poganski (St. Louis Blues), Nico Sacchetti (Dallas Stars), Nick Schmaltz (Chicago Blackhawks), Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues), Jacob Slavin (Carolina Hurricanes), Craig Smith (Nashville Predators), Zach Stepan (Nashville Predators), Andy Welinski (Anaheim Ducks), Christian Wolanin (Ottawa Senators) and Ryan Zuhlsdorf (Tampa Bay Lightning).
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.