Twenty-Three Players to compete in IIHF World Junior Championship
The group, which will look to help the U.S. build upon its record streak of four straight years with a medal in the event, features five members of the silver medal-winning 2019 U.S. National Junior Team, including goaltender Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn./Boston College), defensemen K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minn./University of Wisconsin) and Mattias Samuelsson (Voorhees, N.J./Western Michigan University), and forwards Jack Drury (Winnetka, Ill./Harvard University) and Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass./Bridgeport Sound Tigers).
“We’ve asked the guys to give everything they had throughout this process and they did,” 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. “These are tough decisions, but we believe these are the 23 best players to achieve our goal.”
The 23 players, comprised of players born in 2000 or later, come from 13 different states. A total of 20 players are currently playing or previously played college hockey.
Team USA will face Canada in its first preliminary matchup Thursday (Dec. 26) at Ostravar Arena, 7:00 p.m. local time/1 p.m. ET. In its 12th year televising the tournament, NHL Network will provide live game telecasts of all U.S. games and many others, plus comprehensive previews, highlights, analysis and interviews within its studio programming.
NOTES: Zac Jones (Glenn Allen, Va.) is the first player from Virginia to be selected for the U.S. National Junior Team … New York has four players representing its state, Illinois and Wisconsin each have three … 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. For more information about the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship click here.