USA Hockey today announced the final 22-player roster for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The roster includes Illinois natives Louie Belpedio (Skokie) and Christian Dvorak (Palos).
“We’re looking forward to getting the tournament underway,” said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “Because of the depth we have now, getting to a final roster is always difficult. We’re excited about the team we’ll put on the ice in Finland and believe in every one of these individuals to not only play the style our coaching staff expects but to also represent our nation proudly.”
The final roster features two goaltenders, seven defensemen and 13 forwards. Of the 22 players named to the roster, 15 have previously represented the United States, including seven who skated for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team. Additionally, 10 members of the squad have earned a gold medal as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team.
Defenseman Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich./University of Michigan) is the captain of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team, with defenseman Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill./Miami University) and forwards Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz./ZSC Lions) and Colin White (Hanover, Mass./Boston College) serving as alternate captains.
Team USA will begin play in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship Saturday (Dec. 26) against Canada at 1 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on the NHL Network.
NOTES: Team USA will conclude its training camp in Vierumaki, Finland, on Dec. 24 before traveling to Helsinki … Use the hashtag #USAWJC on Twitter to join the conversation about the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team … At the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, the U.S. will compete in a group with Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network. For more information about the tournament, please click here.