NCAA-Heavy Roster Heads to WJC
Twenty-one players with NCAA ties are among the group of 26 headed to Sweden to represent the United States at the 2014 World Junior Championship, USA Hockey announced Wednesday.
Head coach Don Lucia and general manager Jim Johansson trimmed their roster by three following Tuesday's overtime win in an exhibition game against Minnesota State. The remaining players represent 13 schools, led by Boston College and Boston University with three representatives apiece. BU's group includes the only future college player on the roster, Terrier commit Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./U.S. NTDP).
The importance of college players to Team USA's hopes of repeating its 2013 gold medal performance is no surprise.
'Bread and butter'
"The collegiate players are our bread and butter to where we end up on this roster," said Johansson, himself a former Wisconsin star, in an NHL.com article. "I think the partnership we have with supporting U.S. junior hockey and USA Hockey as a whole has been vital to the unlimited growth of the American player both in college and the international scene. So it’s by nature of structure that college hockey needs USA Hockey to be strong and, by nature of player development, we need college hockey to be strong."
A 23-man roster will be announced Dec. 23, with competition in the IIHF World Junior Championship set for Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
In addition to the U.S. representatives, three players with college ties have been included on preliminary rosters for Germany (two) and Sweden (one). Recruits Frederik Tiffels (Western Michigan) and Janik Moser (Ohio State) are on the German roster while the host country's list includes Colorado College freshman Gustav Olofsson.
Including those European players, as many as 15 schools could have players participating in the 2014 World Junior Championship.
U.S. National Junior Roster (as of Dec. 18)
|Thatcher Demko||G||Boston College|
|Tommy DiPauli||F||Notre Dame|
|Jack Eichel||F||Boston University*|
|Matt Grzelcyk||D||Boston University|
|Vince Hinostroza||F||Notre Dame|
|Ian McCoshen||D||Boston College|
|Dan O'Regan||F||Boston University|
|Brett Pesce||D||New Hampshire|
|Steve Santini||D||Boston College|
|Jaccob Slavin||D||Colorado College|
|Zach Stepan||F||Minnesota State|
|Anthony Stolarz||G||Nebraska Omaha#|
* Committed to BU
# Former player