COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey unveiled today the 29 players selected to the preliminary roster for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. The players will attend training camp Dec. 14-18 at Boston University in Boston followed by an additional camp in Vierumaki, Finland, from Dec. 19-24. The final 23-man roster is expected to be named by Dec. 24. Team USA will compete in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec.26-Jan.5, in Helsinki, Finland.
“This is a young, talented group that has experience winning on the international level,” said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations and the general manager of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. “The great variety and depth of talent represented by these players will make for some tough decisions, but that’s certainly a good problem to have.”
Seven camp invitees were members of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team, including forwardsAuston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz./ZSC Lions) and Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./Lake Erie Monsters); defensemen Brandon Carlo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Tri-City Americans), Ryan Collins (Bloomfield, Minn./University of Minnesota) and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich./University of Michigan); and goaltenders Brandon Halverson (Traverse City, Mich./Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) and Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio/Flint Firebirds).
Additionally, 15 invitees have won gold medals as members of the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team. Last season, Casey Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass./Boston College), Clayton Keller(Swansea, Ill./U.S. National Under-18 Team), Chad Krys (Ridgefield, Conn./U.S. National Under-18 Team), Charlie McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y./Boston University), Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo./Kitchener Rangers), Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo./London Knights) and Colin White(Hanover, Mass./Boston College) helped Team USA win gold while Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill./Miami University), Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis./University of Notre Dame), Collins, Brandon Fortunato (Albertson, N.Y./Boston University), Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y./Yale University), Milano and Nedeljkovic led Team USA to gold in 2014. Matthews was a member of both gold-medal winning squads.