By USA Hockey
PLYMOUTH, Mich – USA Hockey today named the 26-player preliminary roster set to travel to Czech Republic ahead of the 2020 World Junior Championship. The group includes five members of the silver medal-winning 2019. U.S. National Junior Team. The roster also includes Illinois’ Jack Drury (Winnetka), Jacob Pivonka (Naperville) and Alex Turcotte (Chicago).
“We had a great few days of camp in Plymouth and were left with some very difficult decisions,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “We now know the 26 players we’re taking to Czech Republic and our focus over the next few days is finding the 23 that will give us the best chance to fulfill our ultimate goal: winning a gold medal.”
Team USA will compete against Sweden in a pre-tournament matchup Dec. 22 in Cesky Tesin, Czech Republic, with puck drop set for 12 p.m. ET. Team USA’s final pre-tournament game will take place at Havirov Arena in Havirov, Czech Republic, versus Germany on Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. ET.
The 26 players, comprised of players born in 2000 or later, come from 13 different states. A total of 21 players are currently playing college hockey, including 10 from the Big Ten Conference.
NOTES: USA Hockey expects to name its final 23-player roster for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship by Dec. 24 … Scott Sandelin is the head coach of Team USA and joined by assistant coaches David Lassonde (Durham, N.H./Dartmouth College), Steve Miller (Sun Prairie, Wis./Ohio State University), Brett Larson (St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud State University) and Jerry Keefe (Saugus, Mass./Northeastern University) … The United States enters the tournament having medaled in four consecutive World Junior Championships for the first time in U.S. history after earning gold in 2017, silver in 2019, and bronze in both 2018 and 2016 … Team USA will play its preliminary round games in Ostrava against Group B opponents Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and Russia. Quarterfinals will be split between the Ostrava and Trinec. The semifinal and medal games will be played at Ostravar Arena in Ostrava. For more information about the tournament, click here … USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.